jeanne oliver | artist interview | art quotes | creativity quotes | artist quotes | art resources About Jeanne, from Jeanne: “I grew up watching old movies. I was inspired by the styles and femininity of the past. Nothing seemed more glamorous to me than Vivien Leigh sweeping down a staircase, Grace Kelly wearing white gloves with a black cocktail dress or Audrey Hepburn outside of Tiffany’s. Hours were spent designing my own creations and dreaming of wearing all the apparel my fingers could sketch. Today I have the honor of offering you collections of my clothing, bags, art, jewelry and vintage pieces that tell a story. Each piece full of attention to detail and design. My hope is that from the moment you receive an item from my shop that you know it is different from the attention to wrapping, fabrics, embellishments and vintage finds. Whether you are wearing one of my dresses, pieces of jewelry or carrying one of my bags … I want you to feel beautiful and feminine.” Check out Jeanne’s website here.

Jeanne Oliver

Jeanne Oliver

Carrie: Welcome to Artist Strong Jeanne! Have you always known you were a creative? How did you discover your interests in the arts?

I have always been creative! I was that kid always making up plays, dragging all of the neighborhood kids into my crazy ideas, making gifts for friends, writing stories and poetry, drawing and redecorating my bedroom all of the time.

I grew up with the most incredibly talented extended family. My Grandma Jeanne was a composer and pianist, my aunt was a Broadway dancer, another aunt a pianist, a mother that played the piano and sang…the list goes on. I was surrounded by plays, music, instruments, paintings and expressions of art all around me.

Carrie: How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?

My time creating is the time when everything else around me is shut out and my mind is completely focused on creating. It is truly a creative escape and I have a hard time really getting into my art with others around. I have to ease myself into creating and get my heart and mind ready to be open to the experience. I am a “to do list” kind of girl and art doesn’t work that way. Art just says to “show up” and don’t come with expectations. That is what I love so much about that part of me.

Carrie: It appears you are what Marie Forleo terms: multi-passionate. You make clothes, bags, jewelry and art. Yet, there are messages in media and elsewhere that tell artists to choose one thing and stick with it. How did you come to accept yourself as a multi-passionate being and decide to act on all of your interests?

launchI love that you asked this. I was just talking to a friend about this same question and told her how I came to accept all of my creativity. Many years ago I kept on hearing from so many that I needed to make a choice what I was going to create and go after that whole heartedly. I was truly sad about this and had been talking to my husband with tears in my eyes. I didn’t want to choose. My creativity stays more honed when I am working on many different things or when I can change gears and create in a completely different way. My husband just looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Martha Stewart didn’t have to choose. Why do you?” I laughed through my tears and agreed that one direction was not for me. Over the years I have edited out some aspects of my business and added new ones based upon where my business was going and where I was creatively…but I have never felt again like I had to do one thing to use my gifts to their full potential. The best advice I can give anyone is to be true to you. Maybe others need one focus and that is great for them. If that is not you …do not change who you have been made to be. I get to teach, write, paint, design, photograph, speak, connect with women and so much more because I just went with what felt true to me.

Carrie: You also offer several e-courses. Can you tell us a bit about some of your favorite offerings?

 I love any course where I get to share my heart with women, encourage them in their creativity and get to get my hands dirty too. 🙂

Carrie: What is one positive outcome a student has had from taking one of your courses? (We love stories here at Artist Strong!)

 There are so many stories that have just wrecked me and I was so humbled how an e-course was used to make huge differences in a person’s life. Over and over I hear that women have found freedom in acknowledging that they don’t have to create for anyone else…they can open themselves up to their gifts for themselves, that their gifts are enough and that they discover that they ARE a creative being. I love that.

jeanneolivernetworkheaderCarrie: Where do you find inspiration for your work?  

Where don’t I! I am inspired by walks, music, books, friends, museums. I am a collector of beautiful things, I tuck them away and then bring them out at different times to create. You can see this inspiration in how I love on my family, entertain friends, make a home, create art and run a business.

Carrie: Can you describe your artistic process to readers? For example, do you follow the same pattern and track when you develop an artwork from idea to product?

I don’t really have a process. I just need to get into my studio, make sure it is somewhat tidy, put music on and start getting comfortable in my space. Nothing is as energizing and addicting to me as the early morning light in my studio. My mind takes a little time to let go and to be ready to just be open to what is next without an agenda. Just show up in your creative space and give yourself time to make yourself at home. Your creativity will show up too.

jeanneoliver5Carrie: What are some strategies you use to get “unstuck” when you want to create but don’t know where to start?

As I wrote above I think you just need to get out of your head and spend time in your creative space. Another thing that centers me is to take time alone to walk or hike. I probably look like a crazy woman on the paths as I just pray and talk. Nothing gets me out of my head better than this.

 Carrie: Who/what inspires you?

I have the most incredible friends and family. I wouldn’t want to do any of this without them. I am inspired to be a better artist by the creative women in my life, my children and my own desire to constantly learn and grow my creativity. I believe we have all been given gifts that have been given to us to bless us, bless others and glorify the Lord.

Carrie: What is the best advice you’ve received as a creative?  

Practice, practice, practice.

Carrie: How do you define Creativity?  

I believe creativity is anything that brings beauty. Creativity is a home cooked meal, a heart that welcomes others into your home, a garden full, a handwritten note, the perfect cocktail, the photo that captures your day, the phone call that reminds someone that they are not alone, the art on your walls, a fresh stack of unread books, sipping a cafe au lait on a patio with friends, starting your day in the word of God, a tight hug…the things that make life so beautiful. So many people think they are not creative because they compare their creativity to those around them. We are all creative and when we use our creativity we are all making the world more beautiful.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: “Just show up in your creative space and give yourself time to make yourself at home. Your creativity will show up too.” –Jeanne Oliver

You can also find Jeanne here:

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Jeanne’s Shop Jeanne’s Blog

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