Octavia Tomyn - Behind The Brush

A HUGE welcome back to my Behind The Brush blog series where I chat with a bunch of my favourite artists/creatives all about their work and what makes them tick!   
I know it's been a while in between interviews...I've been a busy laddddy, sorry 'bout it. 

Today we are chatting with the everso beautiful Octavia Tomyn *cue immediate swoon*

Octavia is one TALENTED artist who's work explores the complex and intimate relationships, connections and emotions of humans, capturing these through the simplicity and moment of a bare line
(yeah yeah alright so I stole these words from her website, don't @ me). 

I really couldn't have said it better myself. Octavia's work is just magical and I have such a calming feeling come over me when I see her art pop up on my feed. She's one of the NICEST women on this planet and I'm so dang excited for you to hear from her today. Sit back with a nice glass of red and enjoy! 


Hey lovely, tell us a little bit about yourself! And where are you based? 

I am an ex fashion designer who has become a professional artist and I am based in Melbourne. I am also a Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I have two young girls whom I adore and who keep me extremely busy on top of running a small business! I am an extrovert, foodie, city girl who loves dressing up and staying busy.


What do you do? When did you start and how did you come to do what you do? 

I have my own art business where I create original, minimalist line and figurative art inspired by people and relationships, from my home studio. After having my daughters, I decided not to go back into the demanding pace of the fashion industry but began to feel the need to create and express myself creatively. I started painting and drawing some pieces for our new home and was greatly encouraged by friends who saw my work and began requesting commissions! I started an instagram account dedicated to my art and have since grown to a full time small business owner who creates original art for collectors worldwide! 


Is this currently a side hustle or your full time job? And because I'm nosey, what was your previous job?

This is one of two full time jobs I run simultaneously. I am a full time stay at home mum to one grade one girl and one kinder girl. Previously I worked in the fashion industry as a designer but have not returned since having kids. Being a professional artist gives me full creative control and flexibility. It's a dream come true really!


What do you primarily use for your work? Paint, digital, ink? Why is it your preferred medium?

Gouache and acrylic paints for my painted works and ink for my line drawings. Mostly on cotton paper but I also use canvas occasionally.



In ONLY 3 words, how would you describe your art?





What do you LOVE most about your art?

The opportunity it allows me to meet people and hear their stories, then having the honour of turning that inspiration into a personal piece of art that celebrates what is most important to them.


When in your life did you have the "I've made it" moment. I want to hear your biggest highlight in your biz so far! 

There seems to be one job that stands out each year. In 2020, it was being one of the artists featured on The Block. Four of my artworks were selected for the show. Last year, it was being featured for Witchery's Style Collective series and collaborating with them to design unique t-shirts for their range. These were big jobs and big exposure moments, but I love collaborating with businesses big and small and working with other creatives.



Where do you draw inspiration from? 

I am inspired by women, relationships and emotions, history, other creators and trends but my greatest inspiration is my faith and my desire to share God's love in my work and interactions. 

Alright, skies the limit...who/what is your dream brand collab? What would it be?

I've created various pieces for hotels and restaurants and I'd love to be flown to some exotic location to create unique pieces onsite. That's probably the result of spending 270+ days in lockdown here in Melbourne. I'm desperate to get back into the world!




So, I'm a massive celeb lover and get star struck easily....Have you ever had your art purchased/liked or commented on by someone famous? We need names 👏🏽 and 👏🏽 details. If not, who would you love to have your art hanging in their house? 

I'm shocking with celebs! I was once posing on Mark Webber's F1 car at a Grand Prix Ball which I had designed a gown for, when he offered to jump in the photo, I had no idea who he was and asked him to take the photo of my model and I instead and we kept posing! But back to art, I know that Super-Influencer and fashion guru Blair Eadie recently purchased some work and shared it on her instagram and I have done a lot of work for some high profile doctors around the world. But I could easily be missing someone, I try not to get too caught up in the status of collectors and like to treat everyone equally with respect and love.


Where would you like to see you and your art in 5 years time?  

I'd love to be more productive with my time. Perhaps building a small team of pro's who can assist me on the business side, leaving me more time to be creative and experimental. I want to keep growing and evolving, both creatively and from a business perspective.


When you’re not doing your art, what would we find you doing?

Being a Mum doing mum-stuff most of the time! But also going out for dinner/drinks, visiting friends and sneaking off for weekends away!



Who in the creative world do you look up to? Drop their IG handles so we can stalk them:

Sophie Tea is a real business role model for me. Her energy is electric and there is no stopping her dreaming up bigger and better projects - @sophieteaart
Joelle Somero is one of my favourite artists on instagram - @joellemsomero
I love the beautiful sculptural shapes created by Melbourne ceramicist Jan Vogelpoel @janvogelpoel_ceramics 


What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Get into it. Now! Don’t wait for anything. These things always start as a side hustle so just get creating and see where it takes you. Even if it’s not very good to begin with, keep creating and you will get better. When you share your work you can use the feedback to hone your skill. Social media is an incredible, free opportunity to share your creativity with the world. Engage with an audience, mentors and peers. Connect with them. Listen to them. It’s scary sharing part of yourself in this way, but if you are honest and authentic, you will find people are very encouraging and gravitate to your originality.

ALRIGHTY now for some Quick Fire questions 

Hot drink order: Hot chocolate or chai latte
All time fav movie: Titanic
Go to ice-cream flavour: Messina's Super Dulce de Leche
1 song you could listen to over and over again: Say My Name - Destiny's Child
Go to alcoholic drink: at the moment an Amaretto Sour
Favourite conspiracy theory: The last Tsar and whether Anastasia lived
If you could have a dinner party with 3 famous people, dead or alive, who would they be?: Jamie Oliver, Hugh Jackman, C.S Lewis



Thanks sooooo much Octavia for taking the time out to answer these questions for me. It's been awesome learning more about you!

Want to see more of Octavia's gorgeous work? Check her out below:

Instagram: @octavia_tomyn_art


Leave a comment