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Check out Christina Villa’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Villa.

Christina, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was a kid. I’m the oldest of nine and making art was my “me” time. In high school, “real classes” came first and art was just the hobby. I carried that philosophy until my first painting class in college and then everything changed. I distinctly remember the moment my instructor, Brad Killam, was mixing paint and said to the class “you make art, so your artists.” Cue the lightbulb turning on.

From there I continued studying painting and drawing at College of DuPage, transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and ended up in ceramics and light metals. After graduating I maintained my practice while teaching K-8 Art and working as the College Orientation Program Director at Metro Achievement Center. Kids are awesome because they have a natural sense of awe and wonder. Surrounding myself in their energy really helped me to discover that in the studio.

Being an artist is all about living in relation to people, places, and beauty. I love working along other artists in the pottery studio and the very same week, talking with Chicagoans while I’m painting at Montrose Harbor or 31st Beach. Making art is how I accompany people. I LOVE IT and I’ve been lucky to have supportive family and friends along the way.

I recently decided it was time to pursue being an Artist Entrepreneur, full-time and am preparing to launch an online shop this fall: Two Squares Studio.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Nature and people are oceans of inspiration for me. I’m really drawn to the way light hits the water and the many ways that layers are manifest in the natural world. Seeing light, color, and movement translates directly on to canvas as waterscapes and landscapes. The same sources of inspiration become motifs and textures on the surfaces of my clay forms.

Painting plein air and making pottery are channels for me to accompany people. Whether I’m engaging artists or patrons in the studio, or chatting with locals while painting outdoors, the conversations and ideas are intertwined in the making.

I love when I’m asked to paint (or draw) a place that is really special to someone because I get to enter into the inner realm of their heart space. Similarly. I make functional pottery because tableware is a part of every meal and meals bring people together. I make to facilitate connectedness.

The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I’m always learning to be patient with my goals and financial tension. Two Squares tips:
>Make a budget
>Pay yourself first (like a bill)
>Have diverse income streams – I can’t always count on when something will sell but having a few sources allows me to move between them as needed.
>Deep work and more importantly, deep rest – Creative people put in a lot of hours and it all falls apart when the body isn’t rested

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
How to stay connected:

  1. Follow me on Instagram @TwoSquares
    See current and in-progress work, learn about the launch of my online shop: Two Squares Studio, coming Fall 2018.
  2. Visit and click the “NEWS” tab for a listing of summer 2018 plein air locations and dates. Visit me on-site and see how paintings are made!
  3. Become a Two Squares Patron today! What is a patron? A patron is a person who gives financial or other support to an artist. Support includes everything from donating to a particular project, volunteering wall or venue space for a pop-up gallery, sponsoring a painting tour or hosting an artist-stay. Email to learn more about Patron opportunities (comes with art perks).

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Shana Smith, Claire Britt

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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