A place where Olivia Arrow shares her work and other creative themes at random intervals. Thanks for viewing, hope you enjoy!


here I am

Wow, over a year since that last post and I'm still working on launching my art website! Things surely take longer than I think they will - always. I'm happy to leave this blog up a little longer as a remnant of my past work and experiences, but if you're interested in some of my more recent work you can find me at lookit, my newest blog that features mainly my photography and drawings and has far less text than this blog did. It's more of a visual thingy dealy.
I'll be back to announce any new developments I make in my creative journey. I also want to thank you for any interest you may have in following it!



the end...for now

As you can see, I've been on hiatus from this blog for ages. I've been focusing on other endeavors and creative work. It's been fun randomly doing this blog, but I'll be taking down posts soon and eventually shutting this down altogether. The reason? I'm in the process of developing my own website (!) so I'll need to focus on that to reach my goal of having it up and running by summer's end. At that time I'll be sure to make a little announcement here for anybody who might be interested in checking it out. I'm looking forward to a whole new phase and hope you'll stop by my new artist site when it's up.
Thanks for checking this out, as rudimentary as it's been, it's been fun!



RIP HSSreader

Why hello there!
 This blog has mainly been a random affair, posting bits and pieces of my scattered creative life at very irregular intervals. Kind of like it is making a zine...irregular intervals indeed.
Which reminds me that I never really announced that my (maga)zine, the HSSreader, is now defunct. It is what this blog was named after. It was a great zine, if I do say so. I kind of miss it, and its demise is a sore spot I never shared.
It's been several years since the last issue I printed (issue no. 6 in 2007!) but there were two issues that never made it to print after that. I was working on a double issue (no. 7 & 8) over the course of...WAY too long. It was becoming a pretty hefty issue with all sorts of content: two great interviews, two fantastic travel story contributions, celebrity sightings, artwork, and so on. It was going to be amazing, believe me.
But then idiocy struck. Toshiba deleted my hard drive without warning me that my files could never be retrieved. I had no back up. They even made me pay them for that "service".  The HSSreader disappeared, just like that, forever. (Along with all my photos, documents...everything.) I was heartbroken about it for a while there, but I finally realized the zine itself would have made more sense as a blog than a printed periodical anyhow. So that's the story of why the zine shall never be resurrected and I now officially lay it to rest. RIP HSSreader zine.
And there you have my little homage to the zine that will never be. (Also, a word to the wise: never call Toshiba's tech support - or buy any of their crappy products while you're at it. Not kidding around, they are the worst.) I'm looking forward to carrying on the spirit of the HSSreader in this format and hope you come back to see where I take this. Thanks for reading, it's been lengthy!
p.s. Wondering about the images? I did a wallpaper removal job this summer and revealed all these layers of wallpaper. They were laid on top of each other over several decades and it was really fascinating and beautiful to uncover. It's also kind of a metaphor for the creative process, I think.


Er, um, so...

I'm finding it hilarious that over the course of making this blog I've made promises of some big change to come, more frequent posting or other claims to boost this into being a better blog.  Then, as if by some comical force of irony, life strolls on by, taking me away to do other things and the blog goes neglected yet again. A recent example being my May post "Zoom time" which promised a "sudden surge of blog activity" because of a "surplus of time"- Ha!
It's not that I believe anyone out there is actually holding their breath, awaiting these promises. That would be weird. It's just that, for whatever reason, I really do want to make this better than what it is. Now it's mostly just a blog about things I'm interested or involved in; an artist's journal type blog, I guess. But what would I like it to evolve into?
Ok, I haven't actually figured that out.
In the interim, how's about I show you something I did this summer? Cool.
So I got a job painting a mural for a private residence, which was a first for me. I have never painted anything this large before.
That's it sitting in my living room after a month of crazy painting madness.  I used latex house paint samples on a piece of plywood. The subject was chosen by my client, btw, but imagined by me.
And this is what it looks like at his house, installed on a wood frame. Nice? He seemed to really like it, so I was happy. It was a good learning experience to work in this large format, but I don't think I'll switch over to full time mural painting. Back to the mini scale of ATCs for me.
And this is long enough now, so bye bye until the next random post!


Zines and things

It's been a while since the Chicago zine fest happened, but I still wanted to write about it nevertheless (such a great combo word!). I worked ultra hard over spring break to get everything done on time. The fest was on the last day of my break and I was so exhausted from all the preparation. Who knew that having a table at an event would be so hectic? Not me!
The exhibition was held on a Saturday in March at Columbia College in Chicago. It was rather large, and by large I mean maybe a little too much for one day. Last year it was only on the 1st floor but this year it was on the 1st and the 8th floors, with dozens of tables and loads of events. At one point I got someone to watch over my table while I took a stroll around the exhibition and I never even made it off the 8th floor. I didn't even get to every table up there. It was rather overwhelming, actually!
I traded a lot, which was pretty cool, but my sales were kinda crumby. On the plus side, I did get a lot of lovely compliments, and the people tabling around me were super sweet and interesting, so that was fab, too. I'm thinking that next year I'll skip having a table and just be an attendee so I can see all the events and workshops I missed this time around.

zine fest '11
(Here's me, looking dorky.)

I'll do another post soon (enough) to review some of the zines I got that were great, so you can check them out as well. I also made two brand new zines just for the festival, which are pictured below and recently up for sale on my etsy shop.
Being in the exhibition had the surprising effect of turning me in a new direction with zines, so I think it was a good learning experience in the end. I'll always want to create these independently published booklets that take so much blood, sweat and tears. I've been in love with the creative process of it all for many years now. But I also realized that I have finally reached a point of wanting to move on to some other formats, and it's exciting and refreshing to be entering a new phase of creating and sharing.
So - viva zines! And cheers to exploring new avenues! Thanks for joining me in my creative evolution.

new zines!
(my newest zines: "arrow obsession" and "the idea")


Comically Conventional

So I finally made it to my first comic convention! Not sure what took me so long, but now that I have, I think I'm hooked!
I went to the opening day of C2E2, back in March. This was seriously the most fun I've experienced in a while. I loved seeing all the people in costume, cruising around in awesome/weird get-ups they put together.

c2e2 costumes(Craziness)

There was an almost overwhelming array of booths with comics, art, and mad stuff (swords?). I didn't make it to any of the workshops, or see any celebrities (ahem, Thor made an appearance the day after I was there), but it was plenty entertaining despite that. I especially loved that you could meet and talk with artists and writers, and I wanted to share a few of them here.

c2e2 ugly (Ugly dolls galore)

At the Archaia booth we met Tom Pinchuk, the writer of a super crazy comic inspired by Greek mythology called "Hybrid Bastards". The story is super wild and the art, by Kate Glasheen, matches the madness! I think her watercolor illustrations are incredible and truly unique.
I also walked through the rows of tables were artists sat with their portfolios and you could meet them, buy their stuff or just watch them sketching. I found this was the most inspiring part of the event.

c2e2 jawa(Rad Jawa)

I met a few of these artists and they encouraged me to get my art out there, which I definitely plan to do more of (that's kind of the point of this blog). One of them was Christopher Herdon, who was super nice and GAVE me a print of his! My favorite of his works were dinosaurs and mammoths and I just found out he did the art for an ice age-themed comic, Terra Tempo, which I must have.
Also, I met the incredible Fiona Meng, who was a huge sweetheart and whose art I envy and adore.
The whole experience was so inspiring, I went home and made a comic that week!
But more on that later.
Until then, be a proud nerd and get your butt to a comic convention at least once. You won't regret it.


Zoom time

Don't be surprised if there's a sudden surge of blog activity from me after such a long patchy, dry spell. I'm on summer break from school now, so I have a new surplus of time I can use to get you caught up on some recent stuff and things.
Breaks from school tend to go by a lot faster than I expect so I want to try and fit a whole lot into the next couple months, it's kind of a personal challenge. Ideas are overflowing right now for new art and adventures so I hope this summer proves extra productive in the creative department.
If you come back soon I'll be showing some new art, I'll talk about a few events I've been to recently, do a couple reviews and so on and so forth! The general plan is to share an extravaganza of goodness with you, so see you soon. Let's zoom.
One of the many arrows I've photographed this year. Nothing says "zoom" like an arrow!