At high school, Olivia Morris majored in art, but life beyond school took her in a different direction. Years later, she reignited her passion and started studying visual arts at RMIT.
I got to a point in my working life where I needed to be creative; I wanted to go back and study art. I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded people and learn from artists and respected academics.
Applying for the Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts at RMIT was the best choice I have made. RMIT suits me; it has a great reputation, it’s accessible and it feels less intimidating and more “open arms” than other places.
I’m at uni most days and in the studios making and experimenting. Through my studies, I’m exploring concepts that consider techniques used for composition and aesthetic not from a defined object but rather through a process itself. I use heavy acids, to corrode my copper plates into shapes for my intaglio prints in printmaking. The shape could either be dictated by my hand, or by the acid choosing the structure which I don’t have control over.
I’m exploring the mediums of printmaking and abstraction painting and complementing these by experimenting with my love for materials and textures.
I’m learning the technical skills I never thought of learning, or needing, which I now realise are important to my growth as an artist and my practice.
I’m also learning the business basics, which is so important for a practising artist, especially if you treat your creative field as your livelihood.
The support from the teachers, many who are practising artists, has been beyond helpful. They are nurturing and so encouraging. We have been provided with so many opportunities that are incredible, such as prizes, exchanges overseas and exhibition prospects.
I recently won first prize in the RMIT Post-card competition, where I received a super generous $750 voucher to the wonderful Melbourne Artists Supplies. That was an amazing experience.
RMIT offers a wide variety of experiences and opportunities. I encourage all students to seek them out and take them up, and enter the competitions – not only for the prize, but as a way to boost your confidence and profile as an emerging artist.
My goals from studying visual arts are to undertake a residency overseas and develop a career that spans worldwide, but next year I plan to continue my studies at RMIT in the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art).
Eventually I’d love to open a gallery or studio space where other artists can practise and I’m looking forward to a career of collaborating with an array of creative people and artists.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, you should always find a way to pursue your passion and interests.