guest blog

Young Artists

by Grace Bonney

We’re kicking things off with Olivia Bee, an internationally-acclaimed artist/photographer whose work has appeared in publications like Frankie Magazine and Seventeen… all by the tender age of 15 years old. With a knack for ethereal moments and immaculate cropping, Olivia’s photographs are full of dreamy narrative. Olivia was kind enough to chat with me about her future, high expectations and her definition of an artist:

Olivia writes, “I was born a small and scared kid. I wouldn’t play at the park when there were other kids there [and] I lined up my toys. I didn’t like going out of my house often and I had really bad OCD. Art was always a part of my life. In 6th grade, I discovered photography and I guess I thought it was pretty cool. I kinda “woke up” to the world when I was like 13, [as I] started realizing that there were wonderful things going on… but there were horrible things going on.”

“I started really making sense of my time in terms of fun things and memories. I started going to concerts and started having lots of friends and started just doing things other than sitting in my room and drawing. When i was 14, I figured photography was a great way of writing down my feelings, and when I entered high school, I kinda exploded. I wasn’t very happy and I made all these stupid depressing photos. It was around like, March that I decided I was done and wanted to take photos to document the wonderful memories I was going to have.”

“My life started on April 5th of 2009. From about that point on, everything changed. I had a lot of fun. There were periods of brief sadness, but whatever. My photos now are for documenting my teenage years. A diary of sorts.”

“I want to be a photographer and I want to make movies. I want to go to college to experience it all. But first, I’m buying a schoolbus and driving nowhere with a bus full of friends. I don’t know what I want. Well, I want a husky.”


Suggested For You


  • I think this girl is extraordinary. I’ve been following her work on flickr for a while and she was recently featured in american photo magazine. She creates beautiful things and then you realize that it’s jus what and how she sees and it’s even more inspiring. Her photos make you realize that life is a series of stories and little moments that need to be remembered. I think her age has a lot to do with it so as a photographer, and someone twice (ahem…) her age, it’s nice to be reminded to take a second to slow down and document. Thanks for sharing her work here!

  • Thanks for the post and interview with Olivia Bee! I found her Flickr sometime within the last year and just love her. Fantastic work, and she shows that anyone of any age can see and produce something beautiful.

  • I think Miss Olivia Bee is beyond extraordinary. Ethereal, dreamy and sweetly soft … which is such a nice contrast to today’s world full of in-your-face sharp images.

    She’s a breath of fresh air.

  • Olivia is AMAZING: she’s my favorite photographer. If anyone wants to see more of her talent, head over to her Flickr, OR go to oliviabee.com…her amazing website(:

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.