By Aundréa Murray
After the magical effects of Photoshop or the creative advances of filters on every photo, it is a surprise that actual art still stands a chance online. The global takeover of Instagram has people searching for ways to accumulate more followers, more likes and more prestige.
However, for people like Olivia ‘Fiyabomb’ Nguyen, a line of followers and admires comes as easily to her as it is to draw a portrait of Big Sean taller than the rapper himself. With her paintbrush in one hand and her iPhone in the other, Olivia documented the less than 7-hour process of her creation for all five thousand of her followers to see.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Olivia Nguyen to gather insight on what inspires her artistic creations, her recent successes and what the life of an underground artist is like.
The procedure made the social network’s “refresh” button one of its most popular features as dozens of users rushed to see how far along she was in the portrait, hour after hour. The results wowed onlookers and caused an uproar of notifications on both Olivia and Big Sean’s accounts. People tagged the rapper alongside every photo resulting in the artist to see another artist’s work and show his appreciation by liking and commenting the photos.
But it did not end there.
Olivia went after her own success and ensured that he would have her painting in his possession. The Detroit native was in awe and gratefully accepted her gift while granting Olivia with the opportunity to present her work to him herself.
This was only the beginning for the young artist, as she repeated the process with rappers Rick Ross, Wacka Flocka Flame and Steve Aoki. All of which solidified her hard work with kind words, social recognition and more opportunities for meet and greets. It was as if the fame so many others dreamed of was falling into Olivia’s lap–right next to her indescribable talents.
As rapper, producer and art activist Swizz Beatz’s turn came around, Olivia and her followers were ready to help her shock the internet. She had given herself an 8-hour window to complete her biggest body of work at that point. Weeks beforehand, she kept the anticipation high for everyone, Swizz Beatz included. He followed her profile, witnessed his notifications explode from hundreds tagging him in every photo, and stay tuned to the artist’s live Ustream the night of the project.
“Let me know the price. I’m going to buy it and donate it to Harlem Hospital art division”, Beatz commented on the final product. “The kids would love to see your masterpiece”.
He continued to congratulate her and her team on their dedication to art and appreciation of quality work. Instagram became a celebration as Olivia’s following nearly doubled what it was prior to the exclusive show. Proving to anyone that with patience and a genuine attitude, the value of your craft could and would be appreciated by the unthinkable.
In her latest work, Olivia continued her tradition of a live Ustream and consistent showcasing of her talent when she chose to re-create actor and T.V host Ellen Degeneres. The personal art show welcomed more bloggers, photographers and supporters just a few days before Christmas to witness her skills first-hand. Again, Instagram became the hub of artwork as people tuned in from all over the country.
The titled “I Want To Be On Ellen” portrait is featured on her Instagram with extensive portfolio of art on Timberland and UGG boots to life-sized portraits that truly come to life on the canvas. Her journey remains unpredictable but her success proves to be certain as her resume of work continues to grow. Who will be next? Diddy? President Obama?