Monica Olivo

photo credit to Monica Olivo

“Art has saved my life.”

Monica “Mo” Olivo (she/her) is a 25-year-old multidisciplinary Dominican artist. As a child, she excelled in her math and science classes. It wasn’t until her anatomy and physiology class in her junior year of high school, where the teacher had them draw the body’s systems and organs, that she fully discovered her affinity for drawing. From that moment on, she fell in love with art. But still, due to external pressures to pursue science, she suppressed her urges to create art until her senior year of college. In her senior year, she witnessed the passions of many painters, poets and profound creatives, and felt a renewed sense of longing to delve into her artistic desires.

Thus, Mo began to experiment with digital illustration and sketching, and soon transitioned to mainly using acrylic paint. She also uses oil and spray paint, watercolor and charcoal. Her work meshes abstractionism with realism, focusing on color, shading and tone to emphasize certain emotions and ideas she feels are important to express. Artmaking is meditative to her. It is a form of self-therapy, a way to explore life and all its layers. But she does not create art solely for herself. She states, “I hope to encourage others to engage in any type of creation that calls to them, even if just for fun, as I believe it genuinely helps heal and create more clarity in one’s life.”

She runs subtracted, an online shop and collaborative gallery space where she displays her works. She has collaborated with visual artist Lizcary Amarante and designed digital album covers for independent artist Nina Raquel.

Check out Monica’s feature on the blog KTdoesart!

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