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Art Works: Chrissy Curtin

23 September 17 words: Chrissy Curtin

The local artist on her creative process...

The Win of the Warriors is one of my more recent illustrations, commissioned in June by a fitness and wellness website to use on their Instagram page. They wanted me to make an editorial image to celebrate the 2017 NBA Championship Finals win by the Golden State Warriors.

When brainstorming this project, I liked the idea from the movies of the clock counting down and someone scoring in the last few seconds, so my image is the slow-motion dunk at the end of the movie: a confetti explosion-type thing. I took elements from their logo as inspiration for the shapes throughout the illustration, and the colour palette came from their team colours.

This job had a very quick turn-around: just one day! I’d never worked to such a tight deadline before, so when they asked, I jumped at the challenge. In a way, it was a landmark job for me because before this I had mostly been working to one- or two-week deadlines, or longer. This job proved to me that I could make those fast deadlines and still put out quality work.

My illustrations are a mix of traditional and digital. I draw everything in pencil and colour digitally. I try to physically draw as many of the elements in the image as possible, because the less I have to add digitally, the more cohesive the image will look in the end. I like limited colour palettes and offset screen-printing styles, so I try to incorporate this into my stuff.

All my work is done from my home studio, under the watchful eyes of my dogs, Lady and Moose. It’s a bit small and cramped, but has everything I need right now. I hope to eventually upgrade to a bigger studio with my own screen- and risograph-printing facilities.

I originally studied Design Communications in Ireland and, while taking an illustration elective, I discovered I much preferred that. I graduated from that course and then moved to Scotland to study illustration for two years at DJCAD. After graduation number two, I moved back to Ireland and have been building up my business ever since.

I work full time as a freelance illustrator, balancing personal projects with commissions. I take on personal commissions, portraits and editorial work from clients all over the world. I’d like to break into book illustration too at some stage.

Now and then, I make small runs of zines, but in the future I’d like to do larger runs, plus make handmade prints and other products to sell online and at markets and fairs. I have shops online with Society6 and Inprnt where I sell prints and items featuring my designs. Ideally, I’d want to sell my own handmade curated items from my own shop.

Every project is a new topic to discover and research and that’s one of the things I love about illustration. I’m very detail-orientated and naturally curious, so illustration is a good fit for me. Being your own boss isn’t half bad either, even if it means you have to work weird hours and weekends a lot. All in all, it’s great to wake up and get to do what you love for a living.

To get in touch with Chrissy, drop her a line on [email protected]

Chrissy Curtin website