Bike Issue

On the Cover: Olivia Lunger

The surrealist illustrations of Olivia Lunger feel like viewing the world from a dream; a dream that’s fashioned from the illustrations of childhood, mixed with the uncanny visages of adulthood. Originally from Pennsylvania, Lunger graduated from RISD in 2022 and has been living in Providence for a year now and says her art is inspired by “People watching and the environments around me. I really like capturing a moment that no one else can capture.” Her main medium of printmaking, and her side hustle of photography, are fueled by her passion to capture a moment in time.

Lunger is an observer. Her art reflects the rapid perceptions we make of the world around us as we make them. The driving force of her work is the pursuit of capturing the world, as it is, before it is cataloged into memory. She’ll go to a coffee shop, or somewhere she can be around people, because she needs “something interesting to happen.” She’ll usually sit down and quickly sketch the environment around her. She says, “I’m very impatient with my sketches.”

Designing the cover art for this issue of Motif was especially interesting to Lunger because she doesn’t bike; yet, she was able to capture the essence of a PVD biker quite well. She’s familiar with the surroundings and routes of bikers because of her tendency to walk everywhere. Walking is her way of experiencing the city and environment. She loves “that kind of orange glow you get in the evening in Providence, how it hits the buildings. How, because of all the hills, there is also this kind of metaphorical and physical uphill battle.” Lunger wanted her cover art to resemble how bicycling is tough, and a little stressful — especially when you are biking in a place that isn’t built for bikes.

Getting outside in the spring is something Lunger finds important, if not necessary. It is a fabulous way to shake off the dust of seasonal depression, especially when you’re walking around or out riding a bike. She says “the weather rejuvenates you, it automatically makes you feel more at home because everyone else is out and walking around, too.” Another reason to get outside, soak up the sun, and shake-off PVD’s winter bones? The architecture. Lunger is a fan of “the old and new architecture that coexist next to each other. If you look around, there are these new, weird, little moments in the buildings. If you don’t look around, you’ll never notice it.”