Featured: Jenna Smith

Meet the Maker - Olivia Bezett

Growing up in Orewa on the Hibiscus Coast and spending much of her childhood on the family farm in Gisborne, Olivia Bezett was surrounded by nature, animals and art. The talented young artists colour pencil illustrations feature, striking native birds, fluffy bunny rabbits and cheeky woodland critters. Olivia's intricately detailed work reflect her love for animals and amazing skill can be credited to her dedication to drawing everyday and having a supportive artistic family.

Olivia workspace at home

Olivia’s career as an artist started at the age of 17, after realising school wasn’t really doing it for her and only ever enjoying her art subjects she decided to leave before her final year. With strong support from her family and a growing online following, Olivia had the courage to take the leap and become a full-time artist. 
Kingfisher Art Print

Olivia doesn't consider herself a risk taker yet the decision to quit school to make art full-time is one of the biggest risks anyone can take. Understandably she was nervous and even had nightmares about failing, but Olivia knew she would find her feet eventually. 
Rainbow Unicorn & Little Bunny, styled by Places & Graces

The first year was full of learning curves, learning how to run a business, managing her time and finding self-motivation to draw every day, Olivia quickly learned all these practical parts to running an art business. Soon she started attending local markets where she was meeting her followers and they could buy her art directly. The demand for her work was continuing to grow and Olivia was at a different market most weekends, eventually she was able to started her own online store and sell her art 24/7 all over the world. Olivia knew she had made the right decision to leave school and become an artist when she had commissions for pet portraits booked up for 3 years.

Alpaca Art Print

With no formal training and only the odd watercolour painting lesson from her mum when she was younger, Olivia's drawing skill comes naturally and with lots of practice. Pets Cashew (rabbit) and Craig (cat) are the perfect subjects for honing her drawing skills and they provide plenty of inspiration and entertainment too.

Olivia's favourite tool of choice for creating her work

‘Butterfly Bunny’ is a classic example of the kind of work Olivia loves to create and is a favourite among her loyal fans. Each animal illustration Olivia likes to add her own whimsical twist to, whether it’s a pair of wings, a floral crown or just a cheeky look, each pencil stroke she ingrains a personality in to the animal. Her tools of choice are simple, Derwent or Polychromos pencils, Fabriano paper and a table top easel, making her set-up pretty portable, although she works mostly from home.
Kea Art Print

Starting with a rough sketch outline and then the eyes Olivia works her way out from there, if the eyes don’t work she scarps it and starts again. Although she isn’t short of inspiration on what to draw she is keen to hit the road with her camera and capture some native animals for her next drawings, once she gets through her long list of Christmas commissions.
Olivia putting the finishing touches on a drawing of her cat Craig

Olivia continues to create fun and playful art prints and has carved out her own space in the art world, her work and style are recognisable as her own. At the age of 23 and with a very long career ahead of her we are excited to see her talent grow and what she chooses to draw next.