Olivia is a conceptual visual artist who creates pieces using neon light to supercharge spaces and get us thinking with her magical prose and spiritual statements. She has had work featured in exhibits all over the world and is always on the go with her dog Patron in tow.
For four months of the year, she moves herself to Tulum to ground and focus on her work, living an inspired life among the palm trees and monkeys in the jungle.
Name: OLIVIA STEELE
Age: AGELESS. I CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE AN AGE ANYMORE. I AM ME.
Your sign: CANCER
Where are you from? ANOTHER PLANET
Where are you going? ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
What is life in Tulum like for you?
MUCH SLOWER THAN OTHER PLACES I LIVE. DEFINITELY LIVING THE MAÑANA MAÑANA RHYTHM, WHERE NOTHING IS THAT URGENT, AND DELAYS IN EVERYTHING ARE TO BE EXPECTED. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS RELAX, LET GO, AND FLOW, BUT ALWAYS TRY YOUR BEST. LIVING IN TULUM HALF OF THE YEAR IS A MEDICAL NECESSITY, ITS WHERE I COME TO TURN OFF, CONNECT TO NATURE, AND NOT RUN ON THE HAMSTER WHEEL, HOPPING FROM CITY TO CITY, INSTALLATION TO INSTALLATION LIKE THE REST OF THE YEAR, WHICH REALLY TAKES A TOLL ON MY BODY. TULUM IS A WONDERFUL CONTRAST FOR ME AND HAS PROVEN TO BE VERY BENEFICIAL, MENTALLY, SPIRITUALLY, AND PHYSICALLY.
Can you tell us a bit about your art?
I DREAM MY ART AND THEN I INSTALL MY DREAM. IT’S A VERY FLUID PROCESS, WHICH I DON’T THINK TOO HARD ABOUT. IT’S A CHANNEL AND I JUST LET IT FLOW. MY ART IS MY TEACHER. I LEARN SO MUCH ABOUT MYSELF, AND WHATS GOING ON INSIDE OF MY SUBCONSCIOUS MIND WHICH I AM NOT CONNECTED TO, THROUGH MY PRODUCTIONS. NOT TO MENTION ALL THE CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES THAT COME WITH THE TERRITORY OF MY MEDIUM, AND THE INDUSTRY. EVERYTHING IS A BLESSING, EVEN THE SHIT. ITS ALL JUST A SERIES OF LESSONS PREPARING ME FOR THE NEXT LEVEL.
How did you first discover your talent for it?
I WAS BORN AN ARTIST. THIS IS FOR SURE. CREATION WAS THE ONLY THING I EXCELLED AT IN SCHOOL, BUT I NEVER CONSIDERED BEING AN ARTIST AS A JOB. I NEVER STUDIED ART PER SAY. I STUDIED INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND MINORED IN PSYCHOLOGY, AND AFTER COLLEGE DID A MASTERS IN LIGHTING DESIGN. ALL THESE SUBJECTS DEFINITELY AIDED IN MY ABILITY TO CREATE BUT IT WASN’T UNTIL 3 YEARS AFTER COLLEGE THAT I SURRENDERED TO THE CALLING.
Do you have any other passions that you pursue or would like to?
I WOULD LOVE TO PRODUCE MUSIC, FOR MY OWN SANITY AND SATISFACTION. I WANT TO MAKE THE MUSIC FOR MY FILMS. IVE BEEN FEELING THE CALL FOR YEARS BUT JUST HAVEN’T HAD THE TIME AND THE RIGHT CATALYST .
What makes you feel the happiest?
I AM MOST HAPPY WHEN I’M DANCING, TO POWERFUL MUSIC, OUTSIDE IN NATURE, WITH A INTIMATE GROUP OF PEOPLE I LOVE AND RESPECT.
What do you do to stay feeling grounded and connected?
I BREATHE. I DANCE. I EAT. I PRAY. I TRY TO MEDITATE. I PUT MYSELF THROUGH SPIRITUAL CHALLENGES LIKE VISION QUESTS. I DO A CEREMONY OF AYAHUASCA AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR.
What are your superpowers?
TRANSFORMING SPACES, AND TOUCHING AND INFLUENCING THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF STRANGERS WITH MESSAGES.
What makes you feel the healthiest in your body?
EXERCISE, AND EATING CONSCIOUSLY. I LOVE PILATES AND ACRO YOGA. IM A 90 % VEGETARIAN, AND REALLY CONSCIOUS ABOUT THE SOURCE OF WHAT I PUT IN MY BODY.
What do you do to treat yourself?
I LOVE SWEETS. AND SOMETIMES I WILL MAKE A NEON ARTWORK JUST FOR ME, A PRESENT TO MYSELF
What is your best advice for loving yourself?
SIMPLY PUT, IF YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF, NO ONE ELSE CAN.
YOU, YOURSELF, MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, DESERVE YOUR LOVE AND AFFECTION. SELF LOVE IS ONE OF THE MOST ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS TO SATISFACTION, HEALTH, HAPPINESS – WHICH IS THE GOAL RIGHT? LOVING YOURSELF IS FUNDAMENTAL! NON NEGOTIABLE.
Who inspires you and why?
THE GREAT MYSTERY LIFE ITSELF INSPIRES ME.
HUMANS: JAMES TURRELL, JENNY HOLZER, BANKSY, JOSE MUJICA (FORMER PRESIDENT OF URUGUAY) RUMI, NIETZSCHE, JUNG.
I ADMIRE ALL OF THEM FOR THEIR FIRM GRIP ON TRUTH AND REALITY. THEY ARE ALL VERY CLEVER, INTRIGUING, AND POWERFUL IN THEIR UNIQUE WAYS.
Has learning to accept yourself been a journey for you or has it come naturally?
ITS BEEN A JOURNEY FOR SURE. LIFE HAS THROWN ME SOME PRETTY TRAGIC CURVE BALLS, BUT THESE SITUATIONS ARE WHAT HAS OPENED THE DOOR TO A MUCH DEEPER LIFE OF LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, AND ABUNDANCE. I WILL NOTE THAT I HAD TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME UN-LEARNING AND DE-CONDITIONING MYSELF FROM THE WORLD I WAS RAISED IN.
What are you most grateful for learning?
I’M GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I’VE LEARNED STUDYING HUMAN DESIGN. IT HAS INFLUENCED AND AMPLIFIED MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MYSELF, MY FAMILY, AND HUMANS IN GENERAL. I SUFFER A LOT LESS THESE DAYS, NOT HOLDING TO THINGS WHICH DO NOT SERVE ME. I UNDERSTAND I AM NOT HERE TO INITIATE, RATHER TO RESPOND (WHICH SAVES SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY, BECAUSE EVERYTHING COMES TO ME.) THE UNIVERSE ALWAYS DELIVERS; YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PATIENT, OPEN AND AWARE.
What would you tell your younger self?
TRUST THE PROCESS. THE UNIVERSE WILL NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR PATH WHICH YOU ARE NOT MEANT TO HANDLE. EVERYTHING YOU WILL GO THROUGH IS PREPARING YOU FOR WHAT YOU ASKED FOR.
HOLD ON TIGHT, IT’S A BEAUTIFUL RIDE.