Artist Research: Colin Chrisitian

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To begin my dissertation preparation, i looked at Colin Christian. I had been following this artist for a while and when the more scary and bizarre collections were realised i became more excited about his work. Colin later released a collection on trypophobia, Which is one of my main skin phobias i will be looking at in my research.

More about Colin:


Born in London on March 30th 1964 to a loving and outgoing mother. He hated school and apart from art classes found the whole thing rather frustrating and useless. At the age of 15 he left school and lived for a year in Morocco with his mother, brother and sister. The cultural difference was very liberating. Upon his return to England at 16 he worked at a record music store and in 1982 became a DJ and was a stage manager for a large nightclub in the south of England. This is where he met his wife Sas in 1989.

In 1992 Colin moved to the U.S where he and his wife started a small business making latex clothing for fetish stores around the country. Their work was featured in Penthouse and Skin Two magazines. Taking what he had learned from the clothing manufacturing and combining it with his interest in movie special fx, Colin started to produce fiberglass figures and displays. In 1998 he produced his first production figure, an anime girl called “Suki” – a towering 7 feet tall and anatomically correct.

Colin decided to put his career on hold for a few years to take up commercial sculpture. Sas was developing as a painter and if this was to be encouraged she had to be able to devote herself full time, learning how to paint. The commercial work paid the bills for both of them and would support them both until Sas was ready to support herself. During this time Colin produced pieces for stores, museums and various businesses. A robot he made for the American Heart Association was interviewed by Katie Couric on the Today show and he also constructed the worlds largest mousetrap for pest control company Truly Nolen, which is now featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Colin now works full time on his original sculptures, finding inspiration in old sci-fi movies, pinup girl/supermodels, anime, ambient electronic music and H.P. Lovecraft. In 2004 he started using silicone in his sculptures, a difficult material to use but one that helps him achieve his goal of true cartoon realism, a line drawing made flesh. He is not looking to create every imperfection and flaw, but to take the exaggerations and perfections of cartoons and make them into a realistic 3D form.

extract from Colin Christians website:


Dissertation Prep

To start my dissertation preparation I already had my starting point of skin phobias and how they are represented in art and design, which branched off of my  constellation sessions with Cath the previous term. Many of Cath’s Lectures inspired me for my research idea such as the idea of the ‘abject’ body, Glamorous vs the monstrous, and freud’s look into identity.

To start my background reading I want to look at The book of skin by Steven Connor. We analyzed some quotes from this book in Cath’s sessions and i feel this will be a good starting point to elaborate my knowledge on this subject.


Skin, Stecontentven Connor argues, has never been more visible. The Book of Skin explores the multiple functions of the skin in the cultures of the West. In this vividly illustrated book, Connor draws on evidence from a variety of sources including literary and other forms of public and private writing, especially medical texts, as well as painting, photography, and film, folklore and popular song.Because of its newfound visibility, skin has never been at once so manifest and so in jeopardy as it is today. This dilemma becomes evident, in Connor’s view, if we examine how skin is displayed and manipulated as a site of inscription. In order to trace our culture’s anxious concerns with the materiality and mortality of skin, Connor’s analysis ranges from the human body itself to photography, from Medieval leprosy, Renaissance flaying, and eternal syphilis to cosmetics, plastic surgery, and skin cancers.Connor examines the chromatics of skin color and pigmentation, blushing, suntanning, paleness, darkening, tattooing, cutting, the Turin shroud, the Mummy, and the Invisible Man. He also offers engaging explanations for why particular colors are ascribed to feelings and conditions such as green for envy, purple for rage, and yellow for cowardice. Connor’s insights into the
obvious and yet unfamiliar terrain of the skin and its place in Western culture ameliorates the intensities and attenuations of touch in cultural history. The Book of Skin bears out James Joyce’s claim that “modern man has an epidermis rather than a soul.”

extract from:

the awarness and empathy project – overview

IMG_1105 IMG_1106After having my mid review meeting with Anna i felt confident in my work and knew how i could develop it and improve it. i spoke about how i created the self harm leaflet and then made one poster to go with it. I also spoke about how i took into consideration that this is a charity campaign and coming up with ideas for imagery that isn’t offensive or triggering is very difficult as the work needs to be powerful enough to get peoples attention but also needs to be considerate of who my audience is and what is appropriate for them to be seeing. I feel this was my biggest challenge in this project however i combated this by brain storming many sketches which could be developed into posters then picking out of those what i wanted to make into a finished image. I played on the idea of using colour to show emotion in some of my posters, I used this from what i learnt experimenting in the colour project. I am extremely happy with the outcome of this project and feel its the project i’ve felt most involved in and really immersed myself in every step of the work.

The Awarness and Empathy project- initial research and thoughts

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As soon as i went to the briefing i knew this would be one of my favourite projects. I was very excited to start my research and explore creating charity campaigns. Firstly, I mind-mapped all the different issues that i would be interested exploring i then narrowed that down to a few topics then researched charities that focus on those concerns. Finally i came to choosing the charity Mind. Mind is a mental health charity, i researched their current and previous campaigns and noticed they hadn’t done a self harm campaign. I decided to base my project on self harm using minds colour scheme and slogans so it closely links with the charity. In terms of work outcome i looked at bus posters and leaflets which could be given out at hospitals or mailed out.

Field- Multi disciplinary project overview

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Overall i liked the outcome of our project. I felt it had a successful link to my previous city work and as a finished project it came together very well and our presentation of out work tied together well. For our final piece Laura, Ronnie and I created a book we each did our own double pages of work playing on our theme of ‘why come to Cardiff’ where we all developed and explored our theme in slightly different ways. I wanted to look at what makes Cardiff ‘dirty’ and looked at using a different form of photography than i usually do so i tried taking polaroid pictures and looking at gum on the floor and looking at individual details of things such as a rusty chain. We also made collaborative double pages in the book, Where we took turns adding to the pages combining our styles of work to create one image.

After we completed the book we decided that while setting up our presentation that we needed to add more to make it all come together visually. We blew up our favourite pages from the book to make a3 posters and our favourite collaborative ages.we then collected rubbish and fund objects and laid them out on the table.

I enjoyed working as a team, Although sometimes  my other commitments lead me to miss one or two meetings, i still completed my share of the work and on time. I feel like the other members of the group gave their fair share of work and we all worked well coming up with the theme and didn’t have many issues with our creative preferences.

week 4: Think about activities of your own practices- describe a ‘dance of agency’.

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“Agency is the capacity of an agent (a person or other entity, human or any living being in general, or a soul in religion) to act in a world. Materials are ‘dead’Materials and matter also have an ‘agency’: they are alive.The ultimate cause of action in this chain of micro and macro events is none of the supposed agents, humans or non-humans; it is the flow of activity itself.” For example a ‘dance of agency’ that i would be a part of would be Me as an illustrator – my pencil – then the art work created.

expressing the unseen: week 1

Everybody draws, every practice has an element of drawing involved. Reflect upon what you use drawing for and how its expressive potential adds to what you think about your practice. Do you draw just to sketch? Or draw to make a finished object?

As an illustration student i feel drawing is often a central element to the subject area ( although some illustration doesn’t involve any drawing). I often use drawing just to sketch and to create final pieces however this varies on the subject of my art work. If im doing life drawings ill do a rough sketch take a picture then work more into the image later on. For example when i went on an illustration trip to bristol i did many life drawings of various things, however my process stayed the same. Firstly I’d draw a rough outline of the subject in pencil depending on how much time i had would effect how much i tightened the image up. I would then take a picture of the subject to refer to for colour reference. Then finally when I’m at home/in the studio I’d use different mediums to create and finalise my final image such as watercolour or going over lines in pen.