Briana Olivares has utilized local art resources since her youth, first enrolling in community art classes at the Art Barn in Valparaiso. In high school she participated in Honors Art, which culminated in an art exhibit in the Spring. In college, she took drawing, painting, and photography courses while studying Journalism. Living in Bloomington, Briana was introduced to zines and poetry, two art forms that profoundly changed her life and resulted in fully bloomed pieces. Briana's first zine, Perennial Magick & Poetry Vol. I, was a collaborative effort between her and other women who worked on a farm together. Since 2014, she has produced seven zines that feature poetry, essay, collage, watercolor, photography, and illustration. Briana says "The purpose of my zines is transform reality; to combine word and image equally into a compelling read."
For CSA Valpo, Briana will be illustrating her poem Tiger Swallowtail and incorporating it into an edition of one-of-a-kind handmade, hand-bound books, using handmade marbled paper that will be created at a workshop at Hook Pottery Paper in LaPorte, IN. "The final product will be comprised of one poem illustrated in various mediums: acrylic paper marbling, handmade paper, and linoleum stamping. Although this may sound like a daunting task to some, it is a labor of love for me. I have experience with each of these techniques from my previous creative work. Art is my means of connecting to my center as well as others in an authentic way. I am continuously inspired by the natural world. There, I find a sense of union in the face of the mundane. Each artist book I produce will reflect this worldview in hopes it will resonate with the reader.