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Featured Artist - Christina Dias


(Photo Credit: www.Lyndzstyles.com INSTAGRAM: @lyndzstyles)

BD: Hey there Ms. Dias, How are you doing?

CD: Pretty damn splendid! Especially after being asked to be apart of this artist feature on such a captivating site! It's nice to feel special for a moment, so thank you!

BD: You’re an amazing artist from So Cal, how is the weather and season working for you so far?

Thank you! I'm based out of Long Beach CA. Where it's ALWAYS sunny and I can practice my rain dance on my nice brown lawn, in hopes that we can catch a few droplets of fresh water. In the meantime the beach is a great conciliation and a great source of inspiration.

BD: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Where are you originally from? How do you get started with art and how did you up where you are at the moment?

CD: I come from a family of Portuguese Immigrants. My parents came here with literally nothing. Their work ethic and infallible determination has been a continued source of inspiration for me. Aside from a few poets in the family tree, there is not a single branch with a visual artist on it. So I have no idea where I got my compulsion to visually create. I just know it started with my first pack of Crayolas. When I declared to my parents I wanted to be an artist. They redirected me on the same path as my sister and cousins into something that would make "real money." I conformed, I got a AA in Business Administration. I got through it by taking art classes simultaneously just to have something to look forward to. As a result, I concurrently got AA in Liberal Arts. After graduation, I got into finance, made a lucrative career, and was never more miserable. I became depressed, self destructive and realized money truly cannot buy happiness. My family saw how I tried "their" way and it was not the way for me. In an act of desperation they finally supported my dream. I moved to long beach in 2006 after acquiring a Make-up Artist position and enrolled into CSULB. Luckily those art classes I took for "fun" paid off and I got accepted into the Illustration program. It was the best decision I ever made!

"This Hertz" - 9x12 Gallery Wood Panel-Acrylic, Oil, Silver and Gold Leaf

BD So your education in art as well as curiosity had a big impact with the artist we see today, any pros and cons of what you’ve learned in the past when you were starting and now?

CD: I did achieve a BFA in Illustration with an emphasis in Graphic Design. However, if I could do it all over again. I would have shoved my insecurities aside since it prevented me from really learning. Since I didn't have any artistic friends or family, in fact no one in my circle got me at all. My lack of confidence made me defensive. I took criticism so very personally that it stunted me creatively. However it wasn't until after I graduated, developing a supportive creative network along the way, that I was able to actually absorb the previous advice and critiques of my professors, classmates and colleagues. Now I actually welcome feedback at all times. It's become a catalyst for growth and has allowed me to shift perspective, so I can truly let go and be in a constant mode of discovery.

BD: Struggle is hard but perseverance has definitely shown, I see you use Pencils, oils and so forth... How did you make the transition from each medium without burning yourself our or do you just wing it, what do you find you like and struggle with on both?

(WIP) "Make Me UP' - 11x14 Strathmore 500 drawing paper- Blackwing Palomino Pearl Graphite

CD: Well, it really depends on the end game. Before starting any work I surround myself with images of inspiration and reference. For drawings I love using either my Moleskin or the Strathmore 500 series drawing paper. I start with a 4H pencil to lightly sketch and then move on to the delicious Blackwing Palomino Pearl pencil to finalize it. Occasionally I'll use watercolor, ink and/or Prismacolor pencils to add splashes of color. If I'm going digital, I'll start the same, omit the last two steps and ink it out, scan, and transfer it to illustrator and/or photoshop to render it. Lastly, my current traditional painting process, is just starting off loosely digitally sketching and coloring in photoshop before I transfer it to wood panel. It's a super fast process to work out the colors and composition. Then I print that out, and use it as a reference as I paint. I start off with acrylics to bypass the drying time, and then oils because I love the luster and life it brings.

BD: When sketching for a new piece of art what are you thinking/aiming for when it comes to your process and execution? You have a huge amount of diversity as well as color, how do you conceive your image

(Photo Credit: www.Lyndzstyles.com INSTAGRAM: @lyndzstyles)

CD: In the past, I was honestly all over the place. I experimented a lot with different concepts, techniques and mediums and I acquired a vast skill set but I wasn't an expert at anything. I was afraid of being categorized stylistically. I saw that as a loss of creative freedom. As a consequence I lost purpose, and my artistic voice was inaudible. After a personal inventory check, I sifted through what I've learned and picked a few favorites that I wanted to pursue. I found that I gravitated toward contrast and color. As a makeup artist, I expanded the various textures I worked on and enjoyed the contrast between them all! As an Illustrator and Graphic Artist I became fond of incorporating the two. The ultra flat and geometric next to the voluminous and rendered and of course the copious amounts of color. I love how you can manipulate it depending on what other color lies next to it. It's all such a beautiful harmonious tension that's soothing to me.

BD: I really love the what you with your art capturing the mood so to speak in your art, Your art has a juxtapose feel and style while being all your own at the same time, is it something that came natural or something that you were inspired by?

"Siamese Cream"- 16x20 Digital Painting - Photoshop and Illustrator

CD: Thank you so much! In the current series I'm working on, I decided to delve into what made me most uncomfortable in an attempt to address my insecurities. I mean we all have them, but I wanted to expose mine metaphorically in an attempt "fix" myself. I also wanted to look at how others cover or hide their flaws or even themselves. Since for many years I've helped others do so cosmetically. Some choose to do it surgically, slicing and dicing away their imperfections. I myself, decided to do the same physiologically. At first, I dissected myself into different entities some I was proud of, others I felt ashamed of and kept hidden. To manage them all I looked for any "fix" to better "fake it till I made it" For years I never "made it" and my fix turned into terrible vices. As a result I turned that into inspiration in my work and did the very opposite by literally unfixing everything. To pull it apart, and put it back together and finding the beauty in a puzzle that didn't quite fit but still can perform together somehow. So what began as a process to fix became a means of accepting that nothing is "fixed." We are constantly moving, evolving and there is real beauty in the all the imperfections which makes us interesting and unique.

BD: What are the materials you mainly use when painting or doing art in general? (please give some detail on company, number(size of brush, etc… just to share with others)

CD: I recently made an astonishing revelation with Trekell Brushes, they are my favorite! They truly know what an artist wants in a brush, luxurious feel and execution at artist prices. When I came across the "Crayola" Greg Simkins artist brush set by Trekell. I thought man, if his talent somehow rubbed off on those brushes I'm gonna order them! After the first use I was hooked! I soon ordered the Glenn Arthur Artist Brush set for the same reason. Maybe it was creative osmosis but I actually felt my painting technique got better or at the very lest became much easier. I later invested in their Filbert and Cat Tongue brush sets which I highly recommend also.

(Photo Credit: www.Lyndzstyles.com INSTAGRAM: @lyndzstyles)

BD: What are some techniques that you consider a must when it comes to your art work, also some you’ve tried that were lets say popular that you figured weren’t really your thing?

CD: The techniques I consider is what will allow me to capture my vision while working smarter, not harder! One being acrylics, early on that's all I used because I loved its dry speed! However I spend so much time color mixing for each painting. I just didn't have the time to repeat this process everyday. To extend the dry time, I tried placing my paint on a "stay-wet palette" then I tried an acrylic retarder to extend the "open" time however it still wasn't quite long for enough for me. So I decided to incorporate oils so I could have more play time on the palette and canvas also the different textures between the two made it so much more interesting to me. So now I first use acrylic to lay down all my graphic elements that don't need much rendering which creates more of a contrast between the ones that do and that's when oils come in to play. I also found this trick of keeping my pre-mixed palettes in the fridge to really extend the dry time for up to two weeks!!!. Now I can take immense time precisely color mixing and use that same palette for a piece from start to finish at my own pace.

"Axis" - 14x14 Frame - 12x12 Wood Panel - Acrylic, Oil and Gold Leaf

BD: The Fridge? that’s a very good idea, Looks like we’ll have to just throw out our intern Steve’s food and be set! Where do you see or want to see your art to go in the next few years?

CD: I’m definitely enjoying the process of exploring and discovering creatively. Everyday I learn something new while working which cascades into a million other new things along the way. I would love to expand that by getting my work into galleries and traveling. That would be my ultimate dream!

BD: If people want to find your work, buy anything you may be selling or contact in general where may they find you?

CD:Sure thing! For commissions, inquiries or just to say hello, feel free to hit me up on my website:

www.xtinadiasart.com (Still in BETA)

Or follow me on:

https://www.facebook.com/xtinadiasart

https://www.behance.net/xtinadiasart

https://ello.co/xtinadiasart

http://xtinadiasart.tumblr.com/

INSTAGRAM: @xtinadiasart

BD: Any shoutouts or thoughts you’d like to share with us?

CD: Just a few ;) A shout out to my family and friends who continue to give me such dedicated support during this wondrous artistic journey. A shout out to all the fellow artists I admire and who I look to daily for continued inspiration. Also, to any future unsure artists out there, I say leave the insecurities at the door and just replace it with all the possibilities and never to give up.

To my friends at "To Out Of Step Books" at www.oosbooks.com, for always supporting me and including me in their fantastic projects and stunning publications. Last but definitely not least, www.brushesofdoom.com for allowing me and other artists out there to be featured and their voices heard. Your immense support is very much appreciated, Thank you!

BD: Thanks for being a part of this and from myself personally I want to say thanks for being our first featured artist we cant wait to see how much more you do in the time to come!

CD: WOW Thank you! I would be very honored if my work was amongst your art collection! In the meantime, I appreciate having you along for the journey, can't wait to see what develops!!

Thank you again, this was fun and you're awesome!

PHOTO CREDIT:

Lindsey Jones at www.lyndzstyles.com on INSTAGRAM @lyndzstyles

#FeaturedArtist #Painter #trekell #xtinadiasart

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