The last time It’s Nice That spoke with illustrator Olivia Healy she was a third-year student down in Falmouth. Since then, she’s been getting heavily into all things mystical, producing tarot-influenced work that’s brighter and better than anything she’s done before.
“For years I’ve been very interested in astrology and dream symbolism, especially since I’m very prone to lucid dreaming,” she tells us. “Initially, there had been a few times with friends I had casually picked up some cards and did some readings, which I always felt were really helpful and spookily accurate.”
Even during her student days, the cards were present, and the sense of symbolism that clings to each and every card in the deck was ammunition for self-initiated projects in which the illustrator really had to push herself. “I started researching them and using them more frequently in order to have a full understanding to help me with my project. I did a lot of practice illustrations for the cards throughout this process and my ideas changed a lot as I learned more from using the cards,” Oliva recalls.
Just over two years on from her first dabbling with tarot, Olivia has developed her own unique deck. She uses her own cards, and the cards she’d previously accrued not to predict the future, but to question conflicts and gain a better understanding of her own feelings.
The cards that Olivia’s drawn are, in her words, “a bold and imaginative tarot deck which draws from ancient, occult, and contemporary influences,” she says. “I think that the biggest changes have been through my technique, but besides that, the heart and intention of my work remains the same,” she explains when we ask how this recent foray into the arcane rituals of the semi-occult feedback into her body of work as a whole. “Even though I don’t paint traditionally as much anymore, creating my illustrations remains a meditative process for me and is really about exploring my thoughts and imagination in a tangible way. My goal is still to create work that empowers femininity and explores our relationship to nature and the universe.”