Phoenix Artist Olivia Timmons: 100 Creatives

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Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 88. Olivia Timmons.

"At times it is incredibly difficult to find a balance between your own art making and teaching," says Phoenix-based printmaker Olivia Timmons.

The artist earned her bachelor's degree in fine arts from California College of the Arts in Oakland, California, and got a master's from ASU in 2009. Since graduating, she hasn't exactly left the classroom. But that's not to say her creative output outside the academic world hasn't been dazzling.

See also: Shelby Maticic of Glendale's Brelby Theatre Company: 100 Creatives

"I have found that teaching art makes me a better artist, because I have to fully comprehend the technique or process in order to break it down into its most basic form and teach it to others."

Often inspired by animals and sea life,Timmons, who teaches at Mesa Community College, recently showed pieces her series Lumin-Essence, a collection of delicate works marrying underwater scenes and technology, at Eye Lounge in the show "The Light Beneath."

While she doesn't have upcoming shows scheduled at the moment, Timmons is gearing up to spend a couple months teaching a visual and performing arts program in Massachusetts for her fifth year. "I am always able to creatively recharge and get a lot of new ideas and work done there." So stay tuned.

I came to Phoenix with new possibilities and opportunities.

I make art because I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I really fell in love with the process of making art. I enjoy the challenge, the problem solving and all the possibilities a new series of could hold.

I'm most productive when in the morning, sketching ideas.

My inspiration wall is full of strange underwater creatures, colors, sketches, and things I'll go back to later.

I've learned the most from making mistakes and trying it again.

Good work should always be conceptually sound, thoroughly edited, well crafted, and thought provoking.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more exposure and development.

See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:

100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic

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