CORBIN — Art has always always been a big part of Corbin native Olivia Moody Smith’s life, but the almost 22-year-old never expected to be creating and selling her own custom artwork.
“When I was young, my stepdad actually had canvases that I think used to belong to his foreign exchange student and he really got me into it and just pushed my creativity a lot,” Smith said. “He always told me I really had an eye for it and that really encouraged me.”
Smith said she moved more heavily into art in middle school after taking a painting class but it was when she hit her junior year of high school that she realized her dream to make art for a living after winning some art competitions and having her work published in an art appreciation book.
“It was not only a passion but I thought maybe I could take this somewhere and once I started living on my own, I started doing it more as much as I could,” she said.
Smith began with acrylic paintings but has since moved to doing mostly marker illustrations and oil paintings.
Though Smith has been creating art since she was a little girl, she only recently began selling her artwork.
“I’ve been doing it (art) my whole life basically but I just recently started selling in the last two years, year and a half,” she said. “I had a friend ask me to do a custom piece and I was like ‘you know, maybe I should just start saying that it’s for sale and see where it goes.’ And it just kind of took off on its own.”
As she has seen others truly enjoy and cherish her work, Smith has grown as a person and an artist and has been able to really find her own unique style.
“Once I became more passionate about it and had other people encouraging me, I’ve just naturally improved and really found my style,” she said.
Smith’s biggest inspiration for her artwork comes from the people around her and the creativity and energy they give off.
“I had never done a lot of commissions and custom pieces for people until the last couple of years and being able to make something for them and see their reaction and how it really means something inspires me a lot,” she said.
More recently, Smith has been working on some surrealist pieces, as well as some larger scale oil paintings.
One of Smith’s favorite pieces, though, is a piece she recently created for a Kentucky boudoir photographer.
“She wanted it to be really inclusive with all race, identity and size, so it’s two neon silhouettes of two very different sizes,” Smith said. “It just really spoke to me, so it’s one of my favorites for sure.”
Though Smith sells a lot of her own artwork, she also creates made-to-order and custom pieces for those looking for something particular.
To check out her portfolio or inquire about a piece, visit her Instagram page @art.thou.a.painter or you can email Smith at [email protected]