Olivia is a veterinary surgeon and artist, based in Wiltshire. Having immersed herself in science for the last 15 years, she recently gave in to the need to paint. She finds a healthy dose of creativity does wonders for her sanity, and has realised that life is too short to not attempt a foray into the art world. She is inspired by the animals of the British countryside that she loves so much.
Here, we chat to her about her brand, being stranded in a boat and more…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
I have always dabbled in art, but I started to take it more seriously a few years ago, as a means of de-stressing from my high pressure day-job as a veterinary surgeon. When several friends commented they would buy my prints, I realised I could turn it from a hobby into a business. I sold my first few prints in 2016, and Olivia Hicks Art was born.
Whats your background?
I’m a vet – which is more of a lifestyle than just a job! You have to be very committed to studying and have a strong scientific bias to make it to qualifying as a vet, so it’s only recently that I’ve really tried to build up other more creative aspects of my life. It’s hard to find the time, but I am constantly striving to find the balance between vetting and art.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
Currently it’s a one-woman business, though I am very lucky to have the help and support of my fiancé/much loved minion Giles.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Maybe start doing it about 10 years earlier?! There’s so much to paint and so little time!
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
Learning from scratch about a completely new industry. They don’t teach you about marketing artwork at vet school.
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I was once in a boat that was sunk by a hippo. I had a gin and tonic and waited for rescue.
Where do you plan on taking the brand this year?
I need to build my portfolio and learn how to reach new and wider audiences.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
Winning a competition to be a featured artist with a company called Wraptious. Them taking me seriously as an artist made me realise it wasn’t just a pipe dream.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
Of those three, London, but to be honest I’m not a city girl. I love the countryside!
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Oh dear, I’m terribly bad at beauty products. I probably shouldn’t leave the house without at least three, but I definitely usually do. May be where I’m going wrong!
Good taste and timelessness. Try not to wear anything that’ll look daft in 20 years.
Best thing about London to you?
When I visit, it’s the culture. I can’t get enough of the theatre.
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My red heels. God I love red shoes.
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
You’re a long time dead.
Buying more paint colours like a crazy magpie.
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The South West Coast Path. Off season!
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
Paint more. Market more. Don’t give up.
Find out more…
@oliviahicksart (instagram, twitter, facebook)