Written By: Regina Herring
Life sometimes throws events our way that are meant to slow us down, stop us completely or build us up to keep moving. Art whether visual, music or drama can be thought of as an obstacle. It’s up to the artist to decide if they want to pursue their creative spirit or give up and think about what could have been.
Christopher Smith, an artist who has been creating pieces since childhood, is someone who chose to keep creating art. Christopher pursued art while in high school and college. Upon leaving college things didn’t go as planned, so he has been independently trying to get back into art. He has struggled with if art is what he’s supposed to do and how he can be productive at it. Within the past couple of years, he has started using social media to get his images out more.
Christopher had to work many jobs in order to make ends meet, but he feels art is the one thing that he’s best at and makes him stand out - that inspires him to keep pushing. Portraits are his strength, but Christopher is also trying to incorporate more graphics using shapes and symbols along with the illustrations. He studied graphic design with illustration which is what he’s using to build his portfolio.
Intimate and emotional are words used to describe his style of painting. Intimate because Christopher’s strength is in portraits of faces. The most expressive part are the eyes what you see in a person’s face. Eyes really are the window to a person’s soul. Emotional because of the response you get from seeing a painting.
A gift and a curse are words Christopher uses to describe his artistic talent. He has tried many times to get away from it but came to realize art is who he is. Being productive is part of his purpose. His plan going forward is not to run away from it but to embrace it. Being stagnant is a curse that he often deals with. He knows he can be involved in more things. His advice to artists battling the negativity or negative thoughts is to remember what brings you the most satisfaction from what you do.
Christopher created a Nelson Mandela piece that was acknowledged by many not just within the black community. The piece received a lot of positive reactions. He believes any reaction helps. He feels that since he doesn’t have a large exposure right now he has not had any criticism or negative comments regarding his love of painting black faces.
The next step to grow his art career, Christopher believes that being part of the Blaque Canvas initiative is major for him. Being able to speak to someone who’s connected to a platform that will allow him to gain more publicity.
If unlimited time, money and resources were possible, Christopher’s dream project would be something large in scale probably Billie Holliday or a jazz musician. He likes to create works that are a part of him putting his interest and character into what he’s trying to present. He has a love of jazz which he was exposed to by his dad as a child. Over the years jazz has remained a big part of his life.
Years from now Christopher would like people to know the work he created or will create was not done without sacrifice. He hopes that what he’s produced shows growth and awareness.