Today we’d like to introduce you to Margaux Olverd.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I wrote Venice Wildlife in 2018 and published it in 2019 as my first complete work. I began the concept years before when I was living on the corner of Westminster and Sixth Avenue in Venice. Everyday I would take long walks and discover all sorts of strange objects. Eventually, I started documenting these “trash” discoveries in a field notes fashion and photographing each piece. I would title the piece and mark on a map where I found the objects displayed.
It felt like the more things I documented the more I saw. Eventually, when the book came together, it told a very clear story. Through these discarded items, it was so easy to see the struggle happening between old and new Venice. Sometimes I’d find a new piece in the morning that would be gone by afternoon – that’s how fast Venice was changing. The subject matter made me think a lot about what we choose to see. The book’s supplementary content eventually swelled and came to include landmark cultural moments that were unfolding at the time. I hope when people read it they can see that it has its roots in a place and time but that the story is much larger than just Venice, California.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There’s a lot of opacity in the publishing world. I think there’s this hopeful desire from creatives to be naturally discovered (I still have it!), but I tried to focus on making and publishing this book on my own. And I still doubted myself most of the way. What helped was keeping a big sheet of paper in my office and slowly ticking the boxes so I could see myself getting closer and closer to my goal. That visual reminder really allowed me stay focused – to finish no matter what. That kind of became the only goal I had for certain periods.
And then when the book was released in June 2019 it got picked up by one of my favorite bookstores, Arcana, and then by Hennessey & Ingalls, and soon after Artbook at Hauser and Wirth. I didn’t anticipate such a warm reception, but the funny thing is that as soon as you produce something and it’s tangible, everything becomes easier. The crazy is all gone from the idea because it’s simply out there. No one doubts it anymore. It’s proven it can be done. And people are excited by the work and also have their own ideas about it. Then you kind of forget you were just making it up as you go.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As a writer, I focus a lot on satire and observation. I view my work as a cultural Rolodex. Marie Kondo is one of my favorite subjects to write about. Her rapid rise as an author, professional cleaner, and spiritual guide was remarkable. There’s an awesomeness as well as an absurdity there.
I’m also fascinated by cliché archetypes that we all know but rarely identify: a girl that can’t parallel park her M series BMW, a man in flip flops who abuses natural medicine. These are people (as LA folks) we’ve all seen or met, but they might never appear in a feature film, so instead I like to write about them and the strange little corners of the world.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I’m working on my second book, Reality is a Church in Hollywood. Moving forward, I plan to collaborate with more visual artists and continue to tell the story of Los Angeles in new ways.
I continue to share small bits and observations as well on my Instagram. (https://www.instagram.com/__margo__polo/)
- $19.99 – Venice Wildlife
- Website: margauxolverd.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/__margo__polo/
- Other: http://lesecretinvisible.tumblr.com/