This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Esther Olsson

Art

We’re loving the bold, colourful paintings of emerging Melbourne artist Esther Olsson. At just 22 years old, Esther has an impressive CV which includes working as an assistant to artist Kirra Jamison, as well as well known local designer Beci Orpin.

Esther currently works from a studio in Northcote alongside Kirra, who has become Esther’s painting mentor. We’re excited to see what’s next for this dynamic young creative!

14th January, 2016

Painting by Esther Olsson. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Emerging artist Esther Olsson in the studio with Dinosaur 101 the bunny rabbit! Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Painting in progress by Esther Olsson. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Painting by Esther Olsson. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

The Northcote studio of emerging Melbourne artist Esther Olsson. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Studio details. Artwork hanging above desk by Esther’s friend and mentor Kirra Jamison. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

The Northcote studio of emerging artist Esther Olsson. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Studio details in the work space of Esther Olsson. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Esther Olsson at work in her Northcote studio. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Esther’s sidekick, Dinosaur 101 the bunny rabbit! Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Esther Olsson is one of the most energetic people you will ever meet. She is always beaming with positivity and doing stuff. The best way to describe Esther, is to imagine an electron in an atom – permanently bouncing around, never content to sit still. At just 22, Esther currently works alongside well known local designer Beci Orpin, and as an assistant to artist Kirra Jamison. In the past, her versatile skill set has also seen her working with a host of other local creative businesses including SupergraphRadical Yes and Hunting for George. This girl wastes no time!

Originally from a small town in Gippsland called Neerim South, Esther grew up on a hobby farm with her big, creative family. Her mother is an art teacher, and there was never a shortage of creative projects on the go for Esther and her three siblings while growing up. Esther moved to Ballarat to complete her VCE, and later to Melbourne in 2012 to study graphic designer at Grenadi (now Tractor).

Only recently has Esther started to paint. Transitioning from her graphic design background to fine art is what she calls a ‘happy accident’. In fact, Esther says she always wanted to be a painter, but was originally swayed by her mum’s artist friend. ‘My mum’s friend grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me saying: don’t be an artist! So, I applied to study graphic design,’ Esther recalls.

While studying graphic design, Esther always found herself drawn towards illustration, and eventually this took over. She soon decided to shift gears and look for experience in this field, and before long started working with Beci Orpin, and then Kirra Jamison, who has become a firm friend. ‘One night Kirra and I got in to deep conversation about life and ended talking about why I don’t paint. Basically the reason was that I had never learnt, and ever since she has been mentoring me!’ Esther says.

Much like the artist herself, Esther’s paintings are bold, quirky, colourful and funny. Her work is inspired by her everyday life, the people she encounters and her love of hip hop. The stimulus for each painting generally begins with a phrase she conjures up. ‘I will fill a page with images that come to mind from that,’ she explains. Currently working out of her Northcote studio, Esther is in the process of painting her first solo show scheduled to open in March/April. ‘I’m excited and anxious to see how people will respond to my work’ she says. We’ll keep you posted!

Esther Olsson’s paintings are available through her website.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

Cassie Byrnes

The impressive work of young Melbourne textile designer Cassie Byrnes.
Lisa Marie Corso

Art

Lani Mitchell · Kind

New works from the young abstract painter, conceptualising the need to feel safe and nurtured.
Elle Murrell

TDF Collect

TDF Collect · Seraph by Spencer Shakespeare

Announcing our next TDF Collect exhibition, opening Saturday May 27th.

This Week

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...
Sasha Gattermayr
  19 hours ago

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Architecture

This Clever + Compact Bondi Home Feels Like A Never-Ending Holiday!

Fox Johnston architects managed to expand the footprint of this small and narrow Sydney site to create a generous, private haven!

News

The Magic And Art Of Beekeeping With Honey Fingers

Mud Australia is hosting an exhibition and in conversation event with legendary urban beekeepers Honey Fingers, moderated by artist Stanisla...
Sally Tabart

Homes

A Magical Alistair Knox-Designed Rental In Eltham!

The seriously dreamy 1970s rental home of Pop and Scott trade manager Lucienne Van Sebille, and her partner Sebastian.

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

News

Shop The Megan Park Archive Of More Than 10,000 Pieces!

Legendary fashion designer Megan Park has kept one of every piece she has designed over the last 22 years – and now, she’s opening h...

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!
Lucy Feagins
  3 hours ago

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Architecture

A Surprise Garden Brings This 'Pop-Up' Home To Life

Figr creates a unique language between architectural and landscaped spaces to truly maximise this small footprint home for a family of three...

Gardens

A Slice Of Primeval Paradise In Bronte

Situated on a steep site in a sometimes blustery coastal location, the planting palette for this stunning garden in Sydney is both soft, and...

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Similar Stories

Art

Cassie Byrnes

The impressive work of young Melbourne textile designer Cassie Byrnes.
Lisa Marie Corso

Art

Lani Mitchell · Kind

New works from the young abstract painter, conceptualising the need to feel safe and nurtured.
Elle Murrell

TDF Collect

TDF Collect · Seraph by Spencer Shakespeare

Announcing our next TDF Collect exhibition, opening Saturday May 27th.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.