Interview Series: Olivia Locher

There’s no doubt that at first glance, the vibrant, methodical work of New York-based photographer, Olivia Locher, entraps you in a state of curiosity and wonder. Once you get past the oo’s and awe’s, you may begin to question how and why she came to create such pieces. So naturally, I decided I needed to find out first hand.

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Q&A

LF: Hi Olivia! Welcome to Live FAST! Let’s start with a little background – who are you and what do you do?

OL: Hi Live FAST! I am Olivia, I just turned 24 years old and I am a photographer who lives in NYC. When I’m not drinking coffee or meditating, I make sarcastic studio photographs with a heavy focus on color and concept.

LF: There is a constant use of bright, bold colors throughout your work. Do you have a favorite color, or favorite to work with? If so, why?

OL: I can’t say I have a favorite color, they are all so good. My favorite color is always changing! However, I tend to always attract towards pastel colors. Most of the time, pinks, yellows, and purples are my favorites.

LF: It seems as if each photo you take is a whole production. Describe your creative process.

OL: It all starts with an idea for me, once I have the idea I can start producing the shoot. I have a lot of fun pulling certain aspects together, and seeing the idea develop into a finished work.

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LF: Many of your photographs are self-portraits. Is there is a particular reason why you choose to use yourself as the subject as opposed to photographing someone else?

OL: I do take a lot of self portraits but I rarely do this for my individual projects, the self portraits kind of stand alone. I prefer working with a subject for more conceptual ideas. Self portraits for me are more of a fun carefree kind of thing.

LF: Your “I Fought The Law” series is especially captivating. Which “law” did you shoot first and what inspired it? 

OL: The first one I shot was how, “In Alabama it’s illegal to have an ice-cream cone in your back pocket” the idea came about because I had a conversation with a friend who made me aware of some silly laws, for some reason that conversation kept haunting me. A year later I decided to start photographing some of them. The production of that shot actually has a funny story. I photographed it outside an ice-cream stand using a makeshift studio situation, the model and I had a large very confused audience.

LF: What motivates you?

OL: Ideas are my main motivation, I also practice Transcendental Meditation. I also get a lot of inspiration from cinema and contemporary art.

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LF: Name 3 things you couldn’t function without.

OL: My practice, coffee, meditation.

LF: What advice can you give to younger artists trying to break into the industry?

OL: Trust your ideas and take risks, when you’re young you should try everything! Photograph everything, test other mediums, paint, sculpt, EXPERIMENT! Also, look at tons of art, go to galleries any chance you can, absorb everything. Learn about art history, it’s very important.

LF: What constitutes something as “art,” in your opinion?

OL: It’s difficult question because almost everything is considered “art” in this day and age. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? I myself tend to be attracted to very conceptual art.

Matthew Herbert once said this statement regarding music that I often think of, “I still feel that there is too much music in the world. I’m not convinced that we need to make any more music. I read this statistic that said 75% of music on iTunes has never been downloaded once. It’s depressing, but it also makes you think that we should stop making music until we listen to it all, and then we should start again. We’re in a bit of a muddle about the function of music, and why we’re making it, and what we expect from our music. I mean, surely, everything has been said about love already by now. Presumably everything has been said about war already. It feels like people think they have a right to make music or express themselves in a certain way. I think you have a right to express yourself, but I don’t necessarily think that there’s automatically a right that people should be expected to listen.” Though this is a bit extreme I think this relates to art. He really hits the point when he says, “I think you have a right to express yourself, but I don’t necessarily think that there’s automatically a right that people should be expected to listen.” creators should make tons of work but they should do it firstly for themselves and not a goal of having an automatic audience or following.

LF: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned in recent years?11

OL: That you learn the most from failing.

LF: You’re in your early 20’s now. What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?

OL: I just turned 24, I suddenly feel old! I hope that I create a lot more and maybe live in a warmer coast someday.

LF: How fast do you live?

OL: I live pretty slowly.

L’Agent Goodies…