Hello Christina, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
It seems that in the past four months my work has taken a turn, back towards what I was making five or six years ago. I’m starting to collaborate with people again, for the most part, people I knew who had an impact on my life. However I am combining my love for the naturalists and botanical illustration with portraiture and storytelling.
Would you give a brief walk through your workflow?
Well, an idea could come at any moment, but I found I like to chew on them for a while. I might start a drawing blindly, adding whatever moves me at the moment, and then I sit with it for a few weeks, meditating on it while in my groggy morning state, or think about it while going for a walk. I have a rule that I work on any part I know to the next, this means I don’t already have the entire drawing planned out at the beginning. Then I start to layer the pen, and to color in no particular order, but I keep build it up as time goes on, filling in what I’ve figured out. Sometimes I have to put something away and wait for the “aha! moment” on how to finish it… but I think time/space is one of the most useful tools an artist can use.
How has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning?
I would say that it became much more complex. My earlier illustrations were easier, black and white, large block shapes, a lot of detail but in an easier way. I feel like I have grown to understand color and texture much better in my recent work, and also I am finally beginning to understand how to build much more complex compositions. I also feel like I am finally learning how to better use metaphor softly, where the emotion is in a piece, and the clues are there, but not so loudly. I am working on making quiet pieces, the ones that talk to you in whispers.
When you were 13, what did you want to be?
Well, as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be either an artist or a back up singer. I can honestly say both of those things are still true. I always knew I loved to draw and I loved to sing, and both were important expressions and communications for me, but tapped into different parts of my character. Now art is my job, and music is my hobby, and.. oh, what a lucky gal I am!
Who’s the first painter/illustrator that comes to your mind in a second?
Arthur Rackham. He’s always the first one. He is one of those key illustrators from the Golden Age of Illustration, and had such a way of mixing darkness and play, character and movement. I think his illustrations are masters of storytelling and mood, and I’ve been in love with them since the first eye.
What’s the place or what do you do when you feel you’re thinking in a bright way?
When am I thinking brightly? I usually try and stay in that mind set for as long as possible! Creativity often strikes me in the morning, and productivity in the evening. So I like to take my mornings slow, I lie in bed and spend time thinking and being playful with my ideas, stretching them and poking holes to see how they could change. I make a nice breakfast and watch the birds from my porch, maybe write or journal for a bit, and allow that bright space to slowly unfold in the quiet and comfort of the morning light. The afternoon is mostly for busy work, cleaning etc, and then my brain turns on at 4 p.m. on the nose, and I start to making.
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
Oh, so many things… to go skinny dipping off the coast of Bali, make a lasagna garden, build a tiny house from scratch, sleep in a redwood…
Something you want the world to know about you.
I am a top knotch hat wearer, a slow reader, a dance floor diva, and bad with names.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.
I am overwhelming frustrated by arrogance or lack of empathy. I think that each moment holds such a bunch of story and information, that it just knocks me out to think someone would choose to pretending over learning.
What’s overrated/underrated today?
Overrated: anything with a digital screen. Underrated: anything fresh out of the dryer.