RESiNMAG.COM: Where were you Born?
JOHN OLVEY: Houston, Texas
RESiNMAG.COM: Where do you reside?
JOHN OLVEY: Corpus Christi, Texas
RESiNMAG.COM: How old were you when you realized you had artistic talent?
JOHN OLVEY: My Grandfather began to teach me how to draw horses when I was 7. It turned to surf doodles when I saw Murphy cartoons in Surfer magazine.
RESiNMAG.COM: What was your first completed piece of?
JOHN OLVEY: I think it was a landscape of some sort. But I did a 10‘ diameter Ukrainian easter egg sculpture out of surfboard foam for the Russian church in college.
RESiNMAG.COM: Is that when you new that is what you wanted to do with your life?
JOHN OLVEY: That commission sustained my desires and I stuck with any art class I could take through college. Then it was off to anything I could make money at.
RESiNMAG.COM: How would you describe your own work in a sentence?
JOHN OLVEY: Genetically re-engineered surfboards, I carve them up like a Christmas turkey.
RESiNMAG.COM: What style of painting are you? More than 1 which is your favorite?
JOHN OLVEY: “My work is the idyllic expression for my love of a sport and a lifestyle” ARGGH!!! #@*#* !! I hate it when I read that crap on artist statements. Look, I create images of what I know, where I’ve been. I paint in a vivid child like manner that has evolved from time to time. I love to mix up the mediums. Gold leaf, surfboard resins, I love bright tropical surf scenes. And then re-sculpting the foam. I follow behind some of the greatest shapers in the world. I’m carving the inside what they have already created.
RESiNMAG.COM: Who are some of your favorite artists?
JOHN OLVEY: For my boards I prefer the classics, Lightning Bolts, Challengers, Bings, Rick, I have a Hobie V bottom from the 60’s that’s on the block and I want to carve an vintage Greg Noll. I really prefer the old 70’s single fins and the early twin fins. Lots more foam to work with than today’s little rip sticks. For painting I study Monet, have a few of his books. And I love Gaugain’s Tahitian paintings.
RESiNMAG.COM: What kind of schooling have you had?
JOHN OLVEY: Almost a fine art degree, but I did change my major to business. I knew I’d always do art. BS in Management U of H in Houston
RESiNMAG.COM: What or who inspires you to paint and what you paint?
JOHN OLVEY: A good friend I knew in grade school is a very good and successful artist. Wade Koniakowsky. He been a great mentor and I have a little sign he made me. It say “Keep Painting!” I keep that in sight on the wall of my studio.
RESiNMAG.COM: Were would you like to be with your art career in 5 yrs?
JOHN OLVEY: Right now I’m on a gallery push with my surfboard sculptures. I’m in 7 galleries from Texas to California and Hawaii. I want seven more and the East coast is my next focus. I think that my painting will be my bread and butter till then. After that we’re focusing on my website sales.
RESiNMAG.COM: How do you want your art to be seen or described by other people?
JOHN OLVEY: The boards are so unique. They are incredible works of art. They have been accurately described as such.
RESiNMAG.COM: Do you have any advice or wise words for up and coming artists?
JOHN OLVEY: Paint or draw or do what you know. What your life has been. Your life will be reflected in the process and the finished work. Remember…Artwork is work.
RESiNMAG.COM: What is the most expensive piece you ever sold?
JOHN OLVEY: Right now my boards are selling for $3000 to $6000. I have a large public sculpture of seven boards or more I want to do that is in the drawing stage. I need a supporting patron in order to complete that goal.
RESiNMAG.COM: What are you working on right now?
JOHN OLVEY: Christmas commissions, a church mural, and two large paintings for customers. A new line of trophy statues ( resin ), two carved boards and a new mold for my hula dolls. One of my pieces will be used as a prop on Hawaii-Five-0 in January 2013.
RESiNMAG.COM: Anything you would like to plug?
JOHN OLVEY: ResinMag of course!! And my wife Yvonne who supports me in all my endeavors and keeps me on task.
RESiNMAG.COM: Are you presently making your living as an Artist? Do you have advice for artists who would like to also do this?
JOHN OLVEY: I’m paying the bills but I always want to increase the sales. My advice to others is always follow up on every potential order. Follow up follow up. Get the order, make calls, get new business, network and then work a full day on art ( unless the surf is firing ) Making money is job one. The great masters painted toilets to earn the money to pay the bills and then had the time to create what you see in the museums. If a client wants you to paint clowns.. PAINT CLOWNS!! Get the order.
RESiNMAG.COM: If you could go anywhere in the world to paint or teach, where would you go?
JOHN OLVEY: ALO-HA !
RESiNMAG.COM: If you were not doing art what would you be doing?
JOHN OLVEY: Been there, done that. This is my career now. I’d teach surf lessons if I got bored. Don’t stop doing your personal life.
RESiNMAG.COM: How has work evolved over the years?
JOHN OLVEY: I was a competitive amateur surfer for 35 years. Never liked to loose. I won in every level of competition including The US Championships. Right now I treat art the same way. If I have to paddle over to the second peak just to get waves by my myself, I will. I started painting boards and won a few juried competitions, but everyone paints boards. That why I started carving surfboards. Nobody wants to do that. I’m getting the results I want and it takes the comparison shopper out of the equation. My art has never been like anyone else’s and because the boards are so dramatic, it allows me to really set my own standard.