Alumni Profile: Ryan Olea

posted on August 28, 2018 by
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Huge thanks to YACalumni Ryan Olea for her great interview! Ryan is a super talented artist who recently converted a Red Cross van into a home and studio in order to experience an off the grid experience. Find more of her gorgeous work online here.

Year/years at YAC?

I was a member of YAC from 2003 - 2006.

Did you go to college? And if so, where?

YAC was a major influence in my choice of study and college. I graduated from Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2010 with a focus in painting and printmaking.

Tell us about what you’re doing now.

Right now I am raising a 3 month old Australian cattle dog as well as living in a van and painting in my studio based in Portland Oregon. Most recently I have picked up kayaking in hopes to camp and paint in places previously unreachable.

What has inspired you along the way?

After graduating from college I worked in the city for a few years then transitioned to traveling full time for several years. This took me from Asia to Australia, New Zealand, and eventually Europe. While backpacking abroad I fell in love with rock climbing and wild places. This significantly inspired me to live nomadically and to make works in honor of the natural world.

A mention about the value of YAC?

YAC was more than an after school program for me. In many ways I considered its members my true family and its place my true home. Spending 24 hours awake with kindred spirits in a creative flow is still one of my favorite memories of YAC. To have mentors in ones youth who inspire ones creativity and provide a place to be yourself is immeasurably valuable. I am the person I am today in part because of YAC.

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