Interview with Dawne Olson

Hello Cyril
I had a bit of time this afternoon to think through the interview questions and I think I came up with some answers.

I’m so honored that you chose me for this interview! There are so many talented people on RedBubble that being “picked” for anything (featured works, comments, favorites, sales…) always feels a little bit like winning the lottery!!

How does being a creative person and pursuing your creativity affect other aspects of your life?

I can recognize ways that it has affected my life both positively and negatively. My first reaction is to reflect on some of the ways my creative “pursuits” have gotten me in trouble! For as far back as I can remember I’ve been “the girl with her head in the clouds”. In grade school my notebooks were filled with pencil sketches of horses, mountains, flowers, rivers, sunsets… just about anything. My “books” that I created were held together with staples and the illustrations meticulously cut out and pasted into the pages. I wanted to tell stories in the worst way. As I got older I realized I couldn’t draw worth a darn and I started to pick up photography! I grew up in the wide open prairies of the Midwest. It was very remote and beautiful but the solitude gave wings to my imagination and put a wildness in my spirit Unfortunately, being a creative person has alienated me from engaging in the “real world” at times when I really need to. This can be distressing for me and my family and hard on friendships. Like I’ve told my friend, Mike another artist here on RedBubble, “Sometimes it’s like I can’t feel my life. I lose bits and pieces of what’s going on with my four kids or my husband and friends and all the sudden it will hit me that my creative pursuits have taken me away for too long (in my head) and that some part of their lives I was supposed to be there for has silently slipped away. It doesn’t make me resent being a creative person, but it does create some internal conflict.
(I don’t think I’m the first creative person to experience these moods though!)
One very positive aspect of my creativity is the way it brings me closer to my kids. I think kids are just naturally creative and less encumbered by responsibilities and politics so they gravitate to the pursuit of creativity. I have so much fun encouraging my kids to write and photograph the things that inspire them. It makes me really proud as a parent to see their enthusiasm for being able to share field trips with me when I go out and shoot.

Tell us about one person or moment that has made your time on RedBubble particularly special or meaningful?

Wow. That’s a tough one. Honestly? RedBubble has been such a positive experience for me as an individual AND as an artist! Many, many people have contributed to this sentiment so if I pick one person it seems unfair! I do remember the first time I received a comment on my work from Giselle I couldn’t believe someone so good would take time to stop and look or comment on my pictures. She was probably the first person I added to my watchlist when I became a member and she has been an inspiration to me as a photographer but especially as a role model of encouragement, modesty, genuineness, passion and kindness. Plus, she introduced me to ANOTHER fantastic, warm hearted and talented individual who I’m really privileged to be sharing this interview with right now! Thank you Cyril! Xx

Show or tell about 5 works on RedBubble that have moved or inspired you

I might have to break the rules a little bit here and mention a wee bit more than five! Well, everyone would agree that artwork is completely subjective. What moves and inspires me is deeply personal. It could be something that holds deep spiritual symbolism, that reminds me of who I am or where I’ve come from, or a particular artwork or photograph might make me feel longing for some place that I wish I could go or a reminder of places I’ve been that are special to me. You’re image “Needless” is one example of place like that.

This image by Zoltan Madacsi is one of my favorite because it brings me right back to that magical place from my grade school day dreams. Appropriately enough, the image is titled Dreaming with Horses

The photo art of Mike LeMay titled Lily of the Valley holds great symbolic significance for me of purity, faithfulness, strong love bonds and eternal life.

Some mornings I wake up and (being the moody gal that I am) I’ll feel those old demons of hopelessness and resignation trying to claw their way back into my life and I’ll find a new work by amazing people on my watchlist like Mar Silva encouraging me not to give up

Or there will be a glorious new sunrise picture from Jim that radiates with light and joy, dispelling my gray or cloudy mood.

Although I’ve already mentioned how much I love her photography, I would be remiss not to share my favorite image of Gigi’s because it, like so many of her images, transports me to a place that is positively infused with life to the soul! The Golden Path has been a long time favorite of mine.

Having recently visited the Grand Teton Mountains, I envied the talent of wildlife and nature photographer, Bianca in her stunning portrayal of these magnificent mountains.

And last, but not least, I don’t know anywhere a person can wander on RedBubble for long before they run into Christopher whom I have found to be the most prolific commenter in the community. He is a fantastic photographer with images like this one

titled A Touch of Yellow from the Smoky Mountains (where I want to go very badly!) and he was the very first individual to make me feel like I was a true artist and had every right to be numbered among the fine individuals here. Everywhere I go, I find him offering support and praise for others work and the longer I am on RedBubble, the more I notice a shift in my own attitude. With people like I’ve mentioned above, and my dear friend Cyril, I realize that the reward here is not the sales that we make, but the people that we meet and I challenge myself each day with being able to give back to my community as much as they are giving to me!!

Thank you again… so very very much for this invitation! ……xx

Journal Comments

  • Joanne  Bradley
  • dinghysailor1
  • Dawne Olson
  • linaji
  • amarica
  • Cyril Marchand
  • Jim Caldwell
  • Gisele Bedard
  • EarthGipsy