Meet Olivia Ives-Flores
The Founder and Visionary behind Oh Olive Creative and Gallery OH!
Published in Voyager
Interview by Maria Garcia
Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Ives-Flores.
Olivia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From the time I was a wee babe my life has been immersed in the arts. Growing up in New York City, the great museums and galleries were my playground. Before I could speak my father would take me to see the masters and tell me of their mysteries, let me wobble and tumble while the ancient Pharaohs kept a close watch from their sarcophagi and follow patiently as I tumbled around art openings downtown; networking in diapers. I learned to walk and talk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I was molded by the seasoned hands of my artistic parents but I learned to make connections on my own – life lessons were discovered by making, solutions were creative and deeper meaning could always be found in paint.
At the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in Boston, I indulged in the bounty of arts and academia. Encouraged by the school’s ethos to cross-pollinate mediums and explore new ways of thinking and creating. But truth be told it was the time spent out of the classroom that had the most profound impact on my life.
It was during my first year in Boston, that I met a dynamic group of artists and musicians, friends, whose natural stasis was to create and collaborate. When we started to organize pop-up art shows, guerrilla concerts and parades I naturally gravitated to the leadership and organizer position. The summer before I graduated in 2011, my conspirators and I agreed it was time to open our own gallery, YES.OUI.SI.
Since then I have gone on to start a creative consulting company, Oh Olive Creative and recently launched Gallery OH! Being an artist has taught me invaluable entrepreneurial skills. The ability to imagine and create is the core of creativity and business. Starting and running a company has taught me the art of business, collaboration and self- actualization, as a result I have become fluent in architecting my time to increase productivity & creativity. Regardless if I am curating an exhibition, art directing a film, designing a brand or in my studio painting, I am an artist. My approach to life, passion and work is an artistic and thoughtful endeavor.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been an interesting journey and certainly there have been many bumps & failures along the way. But I always say an experience, good or bad, is never wasted if you learn from it. Even when things are rough, I try to stay positive and keep moving forward. That’s how you stay in flow and things tend to work themselves out when you’re in flow.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Oh Olive Creative & Gallery OH! story. Tell us more about the business.
I have founded two companies (so far), Oh OliveCreative & Gallery OH!
Oh Olive Creative is an innovative consultancy specializing in crafting visual narratives and curating cultural activations. I love to work with artists, creative entrepreneurs, brands and institutions to help them pragmatically and authentically connect with their audience and tell their story online.
GALLERY OH! is a gallery for connoisseurs and the curious to discover fresh art IRL & URL. I curate contemporary pop-up exhibitions and cultural art happenings. The gallery is currently docked in a unique 3,000 sq. Ft. Loft on Newbury St. in the Back Bay but keep your eyes open, who knows where we’ll pop-up next!
Running two companies means I am always juggling new ventures & projects, clients and artists (with the occasional ego) but I love it all. I like to think of my companies as an extension of myself and my creativity, the services I provide are solutions that in my opinion make the world a more beautiful and creative place and I get to help people, brands, institutions and movements that I truly care about. At the core of what I do is bringing people together around art and telling visual stories through design and exhibition curation.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Most things in my life are reflection of hard work, serendipity and connections with wonderful people I have encountered. I try to maintain flow, stay positive and listen to others. Even when things don’t work out exactly as you planned if you can stay focused on the vision things tend to work themselves out. Sometimes it’s best not to force things and just allow them to happen.