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Meet Olivia Ferguson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Ferguson.

Olivia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I knew I wanted to get into film by the time I was leaving high school but I didn’t know specifically what I wanted to focus on in terms of a career. I went to Emerson College for film production and very early on, I realized that I was interested in production design. I have always been an artistically driven person, having drawn all my life, so this felt like a natural development. I graduated and moved to LA to pursue a career as a production designer, where luckily my mother and her family is from, so I’d have a wide support system unlike many of my friends who chose to make the same move.

The first few months were very uncertain, having only been able to art direct one short since graduating. However, I was connected with a few people who believed in me and began to hire me. I expected within the first year to have to rely fairly heavily on my savings, as I know how brutal this industry can be. However, that was not the case, and I got the opportunity to work on a variety of exciting projects, including art directing a commercial for Disney, working in the art department on a Netflix feature, and art directing my first feature film myself. More than anything, I’m grateful for the supportive friends I’ve made along the way.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think anyone has a smooth road to success. I wouldn’t consider myself “successful” yet but I’m definitely on that road. I think the biggest struggle for me has been myself. I tend to question my abilities and my choices and worry I’m not good enough or creative enough to do the job. I get in my head about those things. I want to be the best at what I do but I’m still in the stage of my career where I have a lot of learning and growing to do. That can be hard to accept sometimes and to give myself the understanding and kindness that I give to others.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a production designer and art director. I work on anything from films, to music videos, to commercials. I’m proud of my ability to maintain and grow my relationships and friendships in this industry. It’s a tough industry, so to know I have people I can rely on and support me is the best feeling.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think I would not have undervalued my worth. There are many people in this industry trying to find success so it’s easy to feel like just another member of the crowd but each person has their own value. I’ve shied away from opportunities because I felt I wasn’t ready or I wasn’t good enough for them. What I’ve realized, though is that others with my same experience are sticking up for themselves and have the confidence to take on and take ownership of new challenges, so I should do the same.

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