Holly Addi

Where are you from and where do you reside?
I am from Salt Lake City and I currently reside in Salt Lake City.
What’s a typical day in the studio for you?
Every day is different. However, one subject of my day holds true - actually, two - I wake up with the intent to create, and I paint. Usually, I will reflect not on a daily basis, but at the end of the week. Some weeks I find myself working passionately, but it isn’t until the end of the week, or even a few weeks later, until I have a finished product. As an artist, you have to believe in yourself and know that lengthy days of creation don’t always create a finished product, and art takes time.

I paint, I create: that is my daily routine.

Do you find that your location strongly influences the direction of your work?
I don’t feel as though my work would necessarily change if I were anywhere else. I could be in an apartment in Paris, in my studio in SLC, or in a tent in the red rocks. Even though some things might change up a little bit, it would still be a recognizable piece which I created.
What’s the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?
Evolution. Inside, I am the most impatient master of creation. I can’t wait to see my finished piece.
How do you incorporate chance in your creative process?
Chance will always be a part of the creative process: often I set out to create something in my mind, but then something speaks and we give ‘chance’ a chance.
How important is spontaneity in your art?
Spontaneity is always so important! But even more important is recognizing that importance of spontaneity and being able to see that the lightbulb of its effect is turned on. It is at that moment we must open our eyes to see it.
Did you go to art school?
I graduated from the University of Utah, but I didn’t think art would be an acceptable career path to choose. I studied psychology and behavioral sciences along with art, as I wasn’t sure I would be able to make a living as an artist. When I graduated, I worked in the healthcare field and as a drug rep. Literally not even a year passed before I knew I wasn’t in my element. It was at that point that I decided to pursue the unknown and chose my career in art.
When did you begin your current practice?
I began my practice in 1996, but it wasn’t until 2014 I became a full-time painter. In 1996, I opened a floral boutique and after running it for 15 years and mastering the art of floral design I decided to further my career as an artist and create pieces that lasted, as flowers die.
How do you choose your materials?
I have the 80 / 20 rule when it comes to materials. The solid foundation of my materials is very consistent: 80% of my works are created on raw cotton canvas; the other 20% is saved for exploration. This gives me a solid foundation that I need, and yet allows for the intense moments of ‘a-hah’. And who knows, those intense moments of creating on other materials sometimes actually translate into the 80% equation - like the solid wood panels use for small works.
How does your choice of material inform the final piece?
I feel as though I literally start my pieces with a color palette. This sets the tone for me. I then begin with the formations and structures and stay true to my philosophy of imperfections- it is all the materials that create the piece at the end of the day.
What are some themes you find recurring in your pieces, intentional or not?
I love contrast. I love blacks and navy blues with whites and grey, and small pops of color. I feel as though there needs to be a climax with a story to create emotion, just as art needs a pivotal point or points along with the desensitized formations and notes of tranquility to create harmony.
I feel as though I literally start my pieces with a color palette. — Holly Addi
Have you ever collaborated, or would you?
I love collaborations, and I love to see the outcome. However, my work is so solitary. When I am in my element, it is the only true moments I have to myself where I am me. It’s just me and my art. The other moments in my life are filled with the day-to-day convolutions. Art is a pure form: it is just you and the object of creation.
Do you remember the first work of art that captured your attention?
Cy Twombly.
When I am in my element, it is the only true moments I have to myself where I am me. It’s just me and my art. — Holly Addi
How has your work developed in the past few years, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
My works have definitely created their own unique style in the past few years. I use an abundance of negative space, particularly tones of white. In the future, I don’t really see how this will change, but I do know that change is essential. Stay tuned.

More From Holly Addi

More from Meet

Browse Artist Interviews
16d64045 3a10 4ce8 81ed 1454737ea224
Meet Kayla Plosz Antiel

Kayla Plosz Antiel talks her move from figuration to abstraction, how there's no substitute for quality materials, and how quilting and folk art figure in her painting.

More from the Journal

Browse Posts
35a975f3 6c18 4e4c bad7 9810800fcae6
At Uprise Tricks of the trade with Tina Rich

To kick off a new series highlighting some of the amazing designers we collaborate with, we sat down with New York-based designer Tina Rich.