Togetherness, inspiration and creativity

Meet Ken Oliver – The Artist Behind Color Burst!

Meet Ken Oliver – The Artist Behind Color Burst!

Specialising in watercolour, mixed media art and papercrafting, Ken Oliver is an accomplished artist, and the creative mind behind the incredible Color Burst range. Having travelled the world, Ken finds his inspiration in the beauty of nature, which is apparent if you flick through the stunning pages of his watercolour journal! This week we caught up with Ken, to talk colour, craft and creativity – check out his take on all things art below!

Ken Oliver title image

Meet Ken Oliver…

How old were you when you were first bitten by the creative bug?

I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a little child.  I basically learned to draw from my great grandmother…she sketched and painted every day.  I sold my first painting when I was six years old.

When did you decide to build a business around doing the thing you loved?

For the past 20 years, I’ve worked in creative industries…about 5 years ago, I realized that I could make it a business that includes innovative products and education.

Ken Oliver

In an age where the world seems to be becoming ever-more digital – what is it about papercraft and mixed media that draws you in?

To me it’s tactile, the feel of paper and the way colour flows across the paper or canvas…it’s about a feeling. It’s about layering colour and texture.

Where do you find inspiration for all the gorgeous designs you produce?

Much of the time, I look to nature…for everything!  Nature creates the most intriguing colour palettes and most beautiful lines.

Ken Oliver art journal

What is your favourite medium to work with when creating a new piece of art?

Watercolour or Color Burst.

Now that crafting has taken over your professional life – is it still something you turn to in your spare time to help you unwind?

Watercolour art

I still paint in my watercolour journal almost every day.  It’s freeing to me, to sit down and sketch out something I’ve seen during my travels.

Have you managed to convince any family or friends to take up crafting over the years?

Yes, I think I’ve convinced lot’s of people to craft and to paint. I regularly teach at events and stores around the world…it’s amazing to see what happens when people get inspired.

When it comes to teaching others in your classes and workshops – what do you find the most rewarding?

I feel a real sense of satisfaction when I see someone making creative decisions with confidence.  If I can do anything, I’d love to inspire creative confidence with students who take classes with me.

What do you do when you hit a creative brick wall… any advice on conquering artist’s block?

It can be very challenging when you hit that brick wall or feel uninspired.  The best thing to do is to cut that paper or for me, play with paint.  I can break through a brick wall by just painting lines and washes of color.  

Watercolour art

How do you see the world of papercrafting and mixed media growing and evolving over the next year or two?

What you’ll see emerging are more mediums to work with on paper…look for waxes, glittery pastes, and more glitter mediums.

Are there any new mixed media trends emerging this year that we should keep an eye out for?

Watercolour art

Watercolor will continue to trend forward…but you’ll also see more paint pouring, and painting with encaustic wax.  Stencils will continue to trend forward in mixed media and papercraft.

If you could share three top tips with someone new to the world of mixed media, but keen to get started, what would they be?

Don’t be afraid to try!  Have the confidence to try something new.

  1. Try new mediums! Whether it’s alcohol ink, watercolour pencils, or Color Burst…try a new medium.
  2. Try working in a different scale. If you’re used to working on cards, try working on something bigger sometime…just up to a 12 x 12 canvas or 24 x 36 canvas… working on a larger scale will really get you outside of your comfort zone.
  3. Try a new colour combination… but always look to nature for inspiration!

What’s next for you in 2019, and beyond?

Ken Oliver

I am very excited about the future and being able to demonstrate my range of products to Create & Craft’s viewers! We’re developing more new colors for Color Burst, along with new signature stencils and stamps… and I can’t wait for the world to start producing more gorgeous art with them!

Love this article? You can check out the rest of our art projects, tutorials and articles right here on the blog!

Check out the exciting Color Burst range from Ken Oliver right here on Create and Craft!

Lisa at Create & Craft