Chatting with Fiyabomb

Through a Facetime conversation with the talented artist Olivia Nguyen AKA Fiyabomb we chatted about her eye catching artwork and journey as an artist. Our conversation turned out to be more then what I expected because it was very insightful and also allowed me to see the true value she puts into each painting. 

Olivia Nguyen before Fiyabomb like she would say was born in Philadelphia, but moved to Connecticut at the age of 9. She considers Connecticut to be her hometown because that is where she spent most of her prime years. After many years of battling the fight of living a stable life vs. following her dreams of being an artist Olivia finally came to a decision in 2013 when she entered a contest Big Sean hosted on Instagram supporting artists and graphic designers on the rise. ‘The contest required that all contestants draw a photo resembling Big Sean. She drew several photos that did not receive any recognition until she painted a 6 foot portrait of Big Sean which was immediately noticed. Shortly after Big Sean’s publicist contacted her to find out teh details about how much she would be willing to sell the portrait? Olivia decided to give Big Sean the portrait for free as a house warming gift for his new home in LA. Big Sean’s publicist then setup a meeting for Olivia to meet and hand deliver the painting to Big Sean during his Hall of Fame Tour with Kid Cudi in Connecticut. It was that meeting with Big Sean that provoked her to truly consider doing what she loves. Olivia says;

In our meeting Big Sean asked me what do you do? I said I work at a nail salon. He said Why? I was just like I don’t know it’s easy money. He said I think you should just do this. This is really important your really good at it and I think you should do it professionally

With the prior night conversation lingering in the back of her mind the following day Olivia went to work normally and finally decided on what she should do. Olivia said;

The next day I went back to work and I had to do a old lady pedicure. When I was doing her pedicure a toenail hit me on my mouth, I just got up and quit right there on the spot, and I took the amount of money I made that week and just brought a bunch of art supplies. I decided from now on I will just dedicate my life to art.

With her new state of thinking she quickly started seeing the fruits of her labor. Olivia started doing anything that was related to art from teaching art classes, creating tattoos, to painting art for anybody that requested. Word of mouth quickly grew beyond her hometown Connecticut about her talents and within Olivia's first year of being a fulltime artist she hosted two solo galleries, went on to do artwork for Rick Ross, Wocka Flacka, Fabolous, Steve Ayoki, Haley Harper, Swiss Beats and Travis Scott. Listening to her tell her story had me questioning with all this talent what really held her back? Olivia revealed that she feared she would disappoint her parents. Coming from a traditional Vietnamese family the option of being an artist was not acceptable to have a secure, stable career. So, to stay stable while still practicing her talent after college Olivia became a nail technician. But, now their perception of a professional artist has changed due to Olivia’s success of following her dreams. Throughout everything Olivia kept playing over and over in her head this saying that she says kept her sane;

Your going to do this, but the thing is it will come with a lot of hell. With a lot of hell comes a lot of love, and with a lot of love comes with a lot of hell

At this point I was curious to find out how did she get the name Fiyabomb? she explained Fiyabomb was born after coming out of an abusive relationship with her boyfriend of 2 years. In their last physical altercation that ended the relationship. She did something that she had never done before, she fought back. Olivia explained how she experienced physical abuse for most of their relationship, but never fought back because she believed he was stronger than her, and she did not want to get hit harder. The last night in that relationship when she came home from work Olivia opened her computer to check her email and it opened to messages of him contacting another women after forgiving him for a prior situation of him messing around on her That night the  fed up switch in her brain turned on. When he arrived at her house that night she approached him about the emails and he obnoxiously responded to her questions and started hitting her. Olivia explained how she fought back with all her strength because she had enough. Following that incident Olivia started listening to Rihanna’s album “Rated R” and fell in Love with the song Fire bomb. That song made her feel empowered, so she decided to name herself Fiyabomb. This experience birthed Fiyabomb and changed her perception to seeing women to be just as strong as men, and no man should ever make a woman feel she is less than him.

One conversation with Fiyabomb and you will understand she is more than just an artist. Her work of art are reflections of her wants, beliefs, and experiences. If you would like to see more of her work go follow and checkout her work on Instagram and Twitter @Fiyab0mb