First Im­pres­sions

Kristina Car­roll talks Greek myths.

ImagineFX - - Contents - Kristina Car­roll

Where did you grow up and how has this in­flu­enced your art?

I grew up in Mon­tana and was an only child, so I had to learn to en­ter­tain my­self. My home life wasn’t al­ways ter­rific and so I es­caped by read­ing and draw­ing.

You’re a child, you see a paint­ing that changes every­thing… what are you look­ing at, and what ef­fect did it have?

It wasn’t un­til high-school where cer­tain artists started to stand out. I re­mem­ber dis­cov­er­ing James Chris­tensen’s book, Voy­age of the Bas­set, and fall­ing in love. See­ing how an artist could make pic­ture­heavy sto­ries that an older au­di­ence could en­joy opened a door for me.

What was your next step in art?

My big­gest goal af­ter high-school was to get far away from Mon­tana, so when a the­atre school in NYC ac­cepted me, the lo­ca­tion was more of a draw than the sub­ject. I didn’t find my way back to art un­til my late 20s, but have no re­grets. What in­spired you to launch the Month of Love and Month of Fear chal­lenges? I had re­cently moved to Bos­ton and it was win­ter. I was de­pressed, feel­ing iso­lated and not mak­ing art, so I de­vised this idea to make a whole bunch of art with friends to jump-start the cre­ative process. The idea of do­ing it pub­licly cre­ated an ac­count­abil­ity and pres­sure help­ful to lev­el­ling-up. I’m con­tin­u­ally de­lighted at the en­thu­si­asm and beau­ti­ful art that comes from th­ese chal­lenges!

Why do you think wa­ter­colours are over­looked by many artists?

I think that they can be in­tim­i­dat­ing. There’s a per­ma­nence to the mark mak­ing in water­colour that other medi­ums don’t have, and they re­quire a

The abil­ity to con­nect with fans and peers on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is a great ex­pe­ri­ence

mea­sure of pa­tience and plan­ning to be most ef­fec­tive. This can lend it­self to some won­der­ful happy ac­ci­dents.

What’s the most im­por­tant thing that you’ve taught some­one?

I think the rea­son many stu­dents con­nect with me is be­cause I hit them with a lot of tech­ni­cal tools and it em­pow­ers them to prob­lem-solve from mul­ti­ple an­gles. Also, be­ing in the sci-fi/ fan­tasy com­mu­nity, I of­ten shine a light on dif­fer­ent av­enues of be­ing a work­ing artist that they might not have thought of be­fore. That means I can also give them some spe­cific places to go right af­ter school, to en­gage with a larger com­mu­nity of artists.

Do you tread the con­ven­tion cir­cuit?

I’m fairly new to the con­ven­tion cir­cuit, but look­ing for­ward to mak­ing it a big­ger part of my life. The abil­ity to con­nect face to face with fans and peers on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is a great ex­pe­ri­ence that I find very mo­ti­vat­ing.

Is there a char­ac­ter you’ve painted who you most iden­tify with?

I don’t know if “iden­tify” is the right word, but I’ve al­ways been fas­ci­nated with the mino­taur. To me, he’s a mis­un­der­stood be­ing at the mercy of other peo­ple’s bad choices. He’s halfhu­man, but that part has been dis­re­garded next to his monster half. In my paint­ing of him, I gave him a cre­ative spark so that he could carve beau­ti­ful shapes into his sur­round­ings and show that he was more than just a monster.

Do you have any gripes about the fan­tasy art in­dus­try?

It’s frus­trat­ing that so many com­pa­nies have adopted work-for-hire con­tracts in con­cert with low fees. Es­pe­cially those com­pa­nies that have very pop­u­lar IPs to work on. There’s so much pas­sion and love for this sub­ject mat­ter, but when you crip­ple the artist’s abil­ity to make a liv­ing from it, it cre­ates a neg­a­tive feed­back loop that’s bad for every­one.

Why is it still the best place to work?

This com­mu­nity is so wel­com­ing and sup­port­ive. Our open­ness about our tech­niques, busi­ness and en­thu­si­asm for our peers’ work cre­ates an at­mos­phere of ca­ma­raderie that’s re­ally spe­cial. I’ve of­ten heard from peo­ple in the ed­i­to­rial, de­sign or gallery world who come to our events and are floored at the way we treat each other. I love this in­dus­try and can’t imag­ine be­ing in any other.

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