In the Wild With Olivia Cooner Of Sandstone Market

Welcome to the first edition of our brand new In the Wild Interview Series! This project was born out of the desire to connect and collaborate with creatives who inspire us in Portland and beyond. Our first interview is with the lovely Olivia Cooner of Sandstone Market. We hope you enjoy learning about Olivia's journey into art and you can shop our Wild Cactus x Sandstone Market Collaboration here
  1. Tell us about yourself! Where are you from and what is your story on how you became the artist you are today?

I started painting and drawing realism at a super young age and was on the trajectory to get a degree at an art college. I got a job being a florist when I was 18 and fell in love with flowers and floral design. I ditched the idea of art school and came to PDX from Florida (where I lived my entire life) on a whim to take some floral design classes. I reconnected with some old friends from high school, found a job pretty quickly and just ended up staying… for 9 years!

I mostly felt creatively fulfilled with floral design until I reconnected with painting about two years ago because I missed it so much. I tried realism again, but couldn’t stomach the process of it (I started a painting that STILL isn’t done) and Sandstone Market was born out of the desire to connect painting to a nostalgia for places I’ve traveled to. I started out recreating rock formations, and it evolved into collecting color palettes from the desert, ocean, geothermal pools, and other places I’ve been to and putting them on canvas.

2.  How would you describe your art and how do you choose your color palates? What inspires you to make the art you do?

I’ve had a hard time nailing it down, but I think I’ve landed on describing it as a curated color study. The pieces I connect with the most are inspired by places I’ve actually been to and colors that deeply inspire me. I spent a year living in the middle of nowhere in AZ, so a lot of the project was born out of missing the desert but not being able to be in it.

3. Tell us about what you’re wearing and why you chose the pieces and items you did from Wild Cactus.

I’m in love with the pieces I got from Wild Cactus! The shop is so well curated that I feel like it chose this outfit for me ~ I’m wearing the Cutoff Raglan Hacci Top from NIA which is wildly comfy and goes with so much, but especially the Lisa Says Gah! Robyn Jean in Brown/Ivory Cow. I’m a huge fan of cow print, so I couldn’t resist these pants! I always go for mostly neutrals with a pop of color when I’m choosing an outfit, so I picked a cobalt blue knit beanie to tie it all together.

Wild Cactus also has a ton of great self care items & home goods, so I’m burning my Amber & Moss candle from PF - which is one of my favorite smells ever, and wearing my pair of Red Daisy socks as I type this!

Lisa Says Gah Cow Print Jeans

NIA Cutoff Raglan Hacci Top

Thick Knit Beanie

4. What are your favorite things to do on your days off when you’re not working or making art?

Let me tell you, those times are RARE AF, but when I do get some time off, I love to go to the coast, go on a hike, thrift, day drink and snack at the river, and read. Every so often, I get an opportunity to do absolutely nothing which is the best, but my crazy schedule and type A personality rarely allow for that.

5. What is something only your best friend would know about you?

Only the nearest and dearest to me know my top secret musical talents - and have seen photos of my emo phase.

6. What is your post pandemic dream plan? Where is the first place you want to go if things clear up and life goes back to “normal?”

In addition to being in the same boat with everyone in wanting to hug and kiss my friends and eat at my favorite restaurants again, I really miss going to shows & seeing art. I hope to have pop-ups and show my art in more public places, too! I’d also love to take a big road trip down to visit AZ, but I haven’t seen my family that lives on the east coast in almost two years, so that takes priority above any other dreamy travel plans.

7. If you could give your younger self any advice based on everything you know now, what would it be?

1. It’ll all work out

2. Eat more cheesy bread while you still can and

3. Dump him!

8. What’s your favorite way to end the day?

With a heavy pour of Greek wine, a Sci-Fi movie, and one arm around my corgi.

To see more of Olivia's artwork, style and cute corgi, check out her instagram @sandstonemarket


Wild Cactus