Artist

Hello Wonderful An Interview With Ola Volo

Ola Volo Mural Artist and Illustrator

It's no secret that I love intricate detailed work, so of course I am very excited to share Ola Volo's work with you today! Ola is an artist and illustrator whose unique style is instantly recognizable across everything tackels from her client work, gallery artwork, murals and book projects. Enjoy getting to know Ola below!


Artist Ola Volo

Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?

Hi my name is Ola Volo. I’m an artist and illustrator who focuses on the narrative of storytelling. My art investigates the ideas of folklore, nature, history, and multiculturalism. I try to encompass the subtleties of human nature and our everyday life through imaginative characters that are full of spirit and inhibit dynamic environments. I’m currently writing this from Vancouver, BC.

What do you believe in?

I believe that every individual is creative, and that creativity can often lead to the expression of happiness. I hope everyone is able to recognise their creative strengths!

Ola Volo Artist and Illustrator

When do you feel your most wonderful?

I feel really happy when I’m in the mist of projects and where I’m able to share my vision and passion with the public. After every mural I feel changed because of the time, ideas, and process that takes place. The mural then becomes a piece that belongs to the public. I feel wonderful when I get to share my work with the public!

What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?

When I first went to New York, I was completely intimidated and ready to quit art. I was completely overwhelmed by the New York art scene. But since I don’t like to make myself feel intimidated, I decided to move out there instead. I wanted to discover what I would love about the city, and rediscover what it is that I love about art. Moving to NYC completely changed my career. I was able to concentrate stylistically on my work and uncover where I thrived in the world of illustration, which I found was through storytelling. In NYC, it was also my first time that I started diving into my personal life as inspiration for my artwork rather than only look to folklore as a means of storytelling. 

It was also exciting to watch so many creative people earn a living for themselves, and work incredibly long hours for their passions; it became a realistic means to live off your art. Particularly because NYC is so expensive I thought if those illustrators are able to make a living off their work, I could at least pay my rent.

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

My earliest experience I remember, which is related to art, is when I took my first art class when I was five years old. We were using watercolours, and my teacher gave everyone a candle; she asked us to create lines all across the paper. I covered the entire paper with watercolours, and then all of these wax lines magically appeared through the paint and they looked just like raindrops. The wax hadn't taken in the colour, because wax repeals water and no watercolour would stick to it. To me that was magical!

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Jamie Smith is an incredible community builder.
Zoë Pawlak not only do I love Zoë’s work but I think she is a completely rad business woman. 
Andrea Wan is also a terrific artist. Andrea had the guts to move to Berlin, and has continued her career as a very successful artist. 


Thank you so much Ola! You can view Ola's website and follow her journey on InstagramFacebook and Twitter

Have a wonderful day!


Ola Volo Artist and Illustrator

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With April Lacheur


Hello Wonderful! I love living on the west coast of Canada and today's Hello Wonderful interview is with April Lacheur a painter who captures the beauty of the west coast with acrylic paint and ink. I first met April when she was interviewed as part of Papergirl Vancouver's artist interview series in 2013! One of the things that I most admire about April is that she is an artist and a really savvy business person. Let's get to know this super hardworking and inspiring artist better below!


Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you? 
Hello! I'm April Lacheur, an acrylic painter living in beautiful Maple Ridge BC, Canada. I make my living creating bold and colorful paintings that are my own unique interpretations of west coast nature. I am obsessed with trees and paint them in a self-discovered style with twisting bark and exposed roots. Bright colors and clean lines can be found in my work. I sell my work at art markets and online and also have a line of art cards and prints from my original works that can be found at 70+ retail locations Canada wide. 

What do you believe in?

I believe we are all connected, much like the roots of trees and the elements of earth. I believe it is important to remember we all have individual roots that create us and take us down different paths. By being mindful of other people roots as well as our own we can create more acceptance, empathy and understanding in the world. 

When do you feel your most wonderful?

I feel most wonderful when I am painting! That is why I am following my dream of being an artist. Life is too short to not do what you love and do what makes you feel wonderful as much as possible! I am also a Registered Nurse (I do this once a week). Although I feel this is important work my passion for art is much stronger. It is always a fabulous feeling to share my work and hear how other people connect with my paintings. Art is such a personal thing and I always find it so interesting that what I see in my paintings may not be what other people see. Its always so special to hear when someone connects deeply with my work and the personal meaning it has for them. 

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What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?

I don't know if I would call this a 'wrong turn' per say but more of a detour to my correct path. When I wasa kid I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. After graduating from high school I wanted very badly to go to art school, however my parents felt it would be best to 'get a real job' and go to University to get my Nursing degree. I was ok with this idea since I also had a desire to help people, but art is where my heart was. I went on to work in a hospital in post open heart surgery. I didn't mind the job at first but I quickly lost my passion and could feel myself burning out. I fell into an opportunity to sell my art at a local restaurant and when my painting started selling quite quickly I gained the confidence to purse selling my work further. I was able to build a business and start selling my work at shows and reproducing my work quickly because my Nursing job provided me the funds to get these things going which I think is a struggle for a lot of artists starting out. It costs money to start an art business. I knew I did not want to work full time as a Nurse forever and this fueled my passion and the hard work needed to build my business to a sustainable level. I now look back and realize my 'wrong turn' in not going to art school was actually the right turn after all. I still Nurse one day a week at a community job I quite like. It provides me with the ability to help people as well as balance in my life. 

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

I can recall being very young and going to the Vancouver aquarium for the first time. I was in awe of all the animals and sea life. I have always been an animal lover and still find lots of wonder in observing them. 

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Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Laura Mawhinney- Founder of Project Aftershock Charity for Haiti- White Rock BC. 

I am proud to call Laura a friend, she inspires me every day. When Haiti was hit with massive earth quake in 2010 she jumped on a plane to Haiti to provide nursing care. Shortly after that she opened 'Project Aftershock Thrift Store' in White Rock and uses the proceeds from the shop to go to Haiti twice a year to fun medical clinics, volunteer at orphanages and sponsor families. She is one of the hardest working and most selfless people I have ever met. 

Jamie Smith- Artist and founder of Thrive Studios- Vancouver BC. 

Jamie is a friend and fellow artist that, like me, gave up her safe 'real job' (she is a teacher) to purse her passion for art. Jamie has developed 'Thrive Studios' in Vancouver with vision of helping female artists in Vancouver connect and thrive in the art world. I find her drive, passion, focus and work ethic to be super inspiring and thank her for creating thrive which I feel greatly benefits my professional artist development and helps to feed my artist soul. 

Kelly Strongitharm- Founder of Ruben's Shoes Charity- Port Moody BC

One can not help but be wow'ed by Kelly's story. When visiting Ruben, a boy she had sponsored for many years in the Dominican Republic, Kelly noticed many kids there did not have shoes. She had an idea to collect used shoes from friends and family and donate them to villages in the Dominican Republic. Her idea very quickly exploded in to a full blown charity operation with 12,000 pairs of shoes being donated in 2013. Ruben's Shoes has delivered 2 huge shipping containers of shoes to the Dominican Republic and 1 to Sierra Leone and has also started a sponsorship program to send kids to school in DM. She does all this while running her own insurance business. Her energy and passion is truly amazing. 

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Thank you so much April! You can visit April's website here and also find April on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have a wonderful day!

Hello Wonderful! An Interview With Lucy Poskitt

Image Credit: Joey Armstrong

Image Credit: Joey Armstrong


The Hello Wonderful interview series started in December of 2014 and I can't believe that we are now at interview number 23! I've found this whole experience so rewarding and inspiring and whether you've been along for the ride from the very beginning or you are just joining now I hope that you find it just as wonderful. 

We are kicking off 2016's interviews with Lucy Poskitt! Do you have weaver fever? I do! I'm crazy about weavings and wall hangings and all those textil-y fibre-y magical things. Lucy makes the most fabulous work and it was so fun to give weaving a go at one of Lucy's workshops last month with my sister! It was great to try something a little bit outside of my comfort zone and also to learn more about Lucy and her process. I am so excited to share Lucy's interview with you below!


Image Credit: Joey Armstrong

Image Credit: Joey Armstrong

Who are you, what do you do and where in the world are you?

Hello! I’m Lucy Poskitt and I'm a textile artist! I’ve always had my hand in one art form or another from collage to printmaking, drawing to installation art but my most lasting obsession is with textiles, specifically weaving. I make woven wall hangings and tapestries on my many looms (last count-7, yikes), from my home studio, I teach classes and workshops as well as work part-time at an amazing alternative art materials store. I currently call Vancouver home but I’ve lived all across the country- Victoria to Halifax with stops in between- which informs my work on a daily basis.

What do you believe in?

I believe in art as a powerful tool, a little like magic. It transcends barriers, teaches without words, makes us think and feel things outside our own experience. It's healthy for us, healing and thought provoking.


I also believe that if you're making art that comes from a true and honest place - where you don't need to impress anyone or worry about it being seen - that it can actually change your life. Art doesn't need to be "good" to do that, you don't need to be a professional, or devote tons of time to it, just a little daily practice to get out of your head is all. Creative play is for everyone, even established artists- exploring outside of your comfort zone without worrying about consequence or the end result is one of the most liberating things I've ever felt.

When do you feel your most wonderful?

I feel my most wonderful out in nature. Setting my never-ending to-do list aside, (physically and mentally) and going for long long walks as far away from the city as I can totally calms me. If it's raining, even better! and if it's raining and I get to come home to a luxuriously long bath, a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, wine and a good movie then I'm pretty much in heaven.

What is something wonderful that has happened that would have never have happened if you hadn't made a mistake or a wrong turn somewhere?

Not exactly a mistake or a wrong turn, but... A couple of years ago I developed a chronic case of insomnia. It started in early January, right after a crazy year of planning a wedding that rolled right into a crazy Christmas at work... I'd basically been busy busy busy for 6 months straight, and as soon as I didn't have to occupy my thoughts with that stuff anymore my brain didn't know how to turn off.


It was the lowest I'd ever been, incredibly depressed, medicated, exhausted and afraid. I spent my days worrying about if I'd get to sleep at night and my nights worrying about how I was going to function the next day without any sleep. The insomnia went on for months... until I started weaving again. Really! I'd taken a hiatus from art-making for a few years but as soon as started giving my brain "projects"- something to think about during the day, to anticipate and plan and problem-solve - I was able to sleep peacefully once again. It was a total life-saver, and I haven't looked back.

What is the earliest time in your life that you can remember experiencing wonder?

I have so many memories of experiencing wonder as a child! As a little kid I was always making up stories that explained the world to me in sorts of magical and fantastical ways. I remember looking out the window of my grandma's house on the North Shore and seeing the lights of the Lion's Gate Bridge at night and thinking, "What if those lights were fireflies holding the bridge up?" I have a very vivid memory of looking at a bonfire and “realizing” that the sparks were travelling up into the sky to become stars. I was totally the kid that played by themselves for hours and had a “very active imagination”, (which sort of describes me perfectly as an adult.)
I was lucky to have a mom who totally encouraged this kind of thinking. One of my fondest memories is of us drawing diagrams of what made the cat purr, like the actual mechanisms inside the cat that caused this sound- a series of levers, a barrel full of pebbles, a little man pushing the PURR button when it was time. I love that she encouraged me to think in a “what if, why not” kind of way. 

Who are three wonderful people you think we need to know about?

Christina Luo is an amazing calligrapher, teacher and designer. One of the most genuine, open and kind people I've met in Vancouver! The sense of calm that you get from seeing Christina's work also flows off of her in person. I totally admire sweet Christina's drive and always look forward to our chats, she makes me feel like everything's going to be okay. (Tara here- Christina also mentioned Lucy in her Hello Wonderful interview here! How sweet is that?)

Marisa Pahl is an amazing painter of miniature watercolours and also a passionate advocate for the environment. She is devoted to sparking conversation and change through her art and has embarked on an inspiring 100 day project that you should check out here. She is also one of the sweetest people I've had the pleasure of meeting, a total gem.

Anna Szul is 100% a superwoman. She is the hardest working person I know, running Studio126 with her partner Ryan, designing and building custom furniture and curating art shows while being a great mom to her two wee kids. She also somehow always finds time to be an amazing friend and ally, always enthusiastically supporting and encouraging other artists and designers. The world needs more people like Anna. 

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Thank you so much Lucy! You can find Lucy at her website and on Instagram

Have a wonderful day!