Spotlight Sundays: Olivia B. - Expression of Freedom

Kevin L. Cole, Jr.

January 17, 2021


What is freedom to you? Is it an extension of wealth? Serenity? Love? Perhaps it’s the ability to live in the way you choose with no regards for the opinions of those that disapprove. While many avenues toward freedom exist for various individuals, Olivia B. has found that, for her, liberation comes through art.

She’ll be the first to admit that as a child she was extremely shy. Kids would approach with the intent to play with her, but wound up alone as she’d pick up her toys and escape to an imaginative world of her own. Although the action was harmless, it, of course, worried her mother as it would any parent concerned with their child’s social development. Her mom sought to bring Olivia out of her shell through group activities, effectively introducing her to art.

From the very moment that the young Creative was placed in an art course, she was intrigued. Her doodles would attract the attention of other adolescents and assist in her advancement socially as conversations around her art garnered acknowledgement and friendship. However, it wasn’t just the friendly conversation, but also the release that artistic expression granted her whenever other kids would misdirect any negativity from within onto her. Art was therapeutic.

Like most, she would eventually lay down her paintbrush as the responsibilities of young adulthood and college-life demanded her focus. In fact, years passed before she found herself in dire need to release negativity that began to fester. It wasn’t until the push of a series of unfortunate experiences from an early/mid 20s breakup - those that know the frustration and depression that follows, know - to a bad car wreck and the transition of her beloved great-aunt from this plane of existence to the next that she’d seek the comfort that art willingly provided.

Through artistic expression, Olivia noticed that the opportunity to heal was on the other side of pain as it allows her to “purge everything” that keeps her in bondage. Plus, as one that remains relatively reserved, her art allows her to view experiences through the various aspects of life as multidimensional. The release allows her to express the inner thoughts that would otherwise be difficult to vocalize outside the boudaries of the canvas, and she strongly believes that this form of expression can do the same for others.

We all have experienced our share of trauma that has resulted in baggage that we carry with us. Although it is normal to have baggage, it does us no good to hold on to it. In doing so, we might misdirect our frustrations toward others without an idea as to why. This form of self-captivity can potentially bring down the spirits of evey single person that we interact with, subsequently binding them in chains along with us.

Olivia hopes the art that she creates serves as a mirror to reflect what is within the viewer. The Creative wants her work to either expose underlying issues or release the pure joy from within, and ultimately trigger a desire for the audience to be creative themselves in order to demolish the chains of captivity and gain a sense of freedom because people free from the weight of negativity are better equipped to release the energy needed to help uplift society as a whole.

The Creative is currently creating a collection of pieces that she plans to showcase once it's safe to do so. For now, you can follow her journey with live paintings on Instagram ( @livsworldofart). She's also relaunched her website, Expression of Freedom, will relaunch her podcast Eclectic Happy Hour, and looks to become a distributor for others.

We all desire to find others that we relate to, others that we can call our tribe. We seek community, and want the space to be unapologetically us. It is up to us to remember, "as you liberate yourself, you allow others to be liberated." Find the avenue that allows you to expess freedom, and break the chains of captivity that weigh you down.

Founder of rEvolutionary Arts, Kevin seeks to share stories in hopes to stimulate the minds of those willing to consume his work and provide a platform for like-minded Creatives to do the same. As an engineer by day and an artist for life, he truly believes that we all are wired to create. He’s a lover of HBCUs - with Prairie View A&M University atop the list - coconut oil, and the Culture in its many shapes and forms.