I'm so stoked to be a winner of the Happy Little Art Contest 2 and to have a little something that can keep me connected to Bend. I'm so very excited to be involved with BlackStrap, and super grateful and excited. - Liahha Organna
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHERE YOU'RE FROM?
My name is Liahha Organna. I am originally from Central Oregon, but now I live in Hawaii. I've been drawing ever since I was super little. I was always the kid drawing in class when I wasn't supposed to be. I never really considered art as a career, I was always just doing art. I received my degree in sustainability, but my art has continued to evolve. I now realize that art should be my full-time career.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
So living here in Hawaii, everybody's really stoked on surfing and the environment. With all of the plants, nature, and stoke, it all kind of inspires my work. I like to give my art a little bit of a weird punk twist to it, so I start with more feminine designs and make them a little extra weird.
WHAT IS YOUR ART CREATIVE PROCESS?
I do everything digitally. I do like to do some painting every once in a while, but most of my art is all on my iPad and my computer. I always start by sitting down and digitally sketch or pencil to just get some lines going. Then, I start building and building and in no time I have a piece that kind of just came out of no where.
WITH USING A LOT OF SKELETONS, WAVES, AND TREES IN YOUR ART, DO YOU HAVE ANY MAIN SUBJECTS YOU LIKE TO FOCUS ON?
I definitely have some themes that I always go back to. I really like creating designs related to like skateboarding or snowboarding or surfing. I live five minutes from the beach in my favorite surf spot. So that inspires me every day. So always thinking about waves and Palm trees and things like that. I also just love skulls. They're inclusive to everybody, just some bones, you know, we can all relate to them and they're just a little extra punk rock. So I love it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITY OUTSIDE OF ART?
I'd have to say surfing. I haven't been surfing for that long, but it's just my favorite thing that I've dived into in the last few years. But if I had to say anything else besides surfing, I grew up in roller skates. I don't skate as often anymore, but I love to put on my roller skates and just put some music in and that makes me feel very content.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Yeah, I have a couple favorite artists that I just always go back to and like, love their stuff. One is digital artist, Hannah Eddy. She's just got some really awesome designs for snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing. It's really goofy and fun, and I love it bright and bold colors she uses. Then there's a painter that I really love, Melissa FK. She paints really awesome bold colored portraits like pop art portraits and people in pop culture. I'm not a painter myself, but I love watching her videos of her painting because it's just so different than what I do.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THE HAPPY LITTLE ART CONTEST AND WHAT MADE YOU ENTER?
I actually had a friend from Bend send it to me and encouraged me to enter the Happy Little Art Contest. The timing worked out really awesome too, because I had just gotten back from my snowboarding trip in bend. So I was all still pretty stoked on snowboarding and this last trip was when I really fell in love with snowboarding. So, I really want to do more with the snowboarding industry. So the timing just worked out really well, where I had that enthusiasm at the moment.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR WINNING SUBMISSION AND HOW YOUR DESIGN CAME TO LIFE?
I had just found out about the contest right after I got back from snowboarding. As I was sitting there thinking, what do I wanna draw for this, I just kept thinking about what would I want to have on my gear if I was going to go snowboarding again. It had me reflecting on the whole experience and it was so crazy because I'd never snowboarded Mt. Bachelor before. On the chairlift we'd run into people and they'd ask us, where are you from, or where are you coming from. We met so many people who would come to Hawaii to surf and were also snowboarding, and there was just so much like shared stoke and community. We met so many people who were either wanting to learn how to surf or loved to surf. They'd go back and forth between Bend and Hawaii. It just felt like my two worlds were coming together. So I thought like, that's it! I wanted to create a piece that's really fun and shows that those two communities can come together.