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Meet Christina Wald

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

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am an illustrator and designer. I have illustrated over 50 children’s books and design toys (my degree is in industrial design). I started out illustrating professionally for games including the Star Wars RPG, Middle Earth: Wizards, A Lord of the Rings collectable card game, Dragon Magazine, BattleTech, Dune and many others. My latest book Cao Chong Weighs and Elephant by Chicago author Songju Ma Daemicke recently was given an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Award and included on the NSTA Best STEM Books list for 2018. Other highlights include illustrating Paws, Hoofs, and Wings Animal Heroes of the San Diego Zoo by Sharyn Lyon, the official children’s book to celebrate the zoo’s 2016 centennial, Camas and Sage: A Story of Bison Life on the Prairie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (funded by the American Prairie Reserve and featured on HuffPost Books) which received a Skipping Stones Honor award, and The Wild Life of Elk by Donna Love, (A joint venture between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Forest Service) which was a finalist for a 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award. Other illustration highlights: comics for various anthologies/zines and illustration/toy design for National Geographic, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Discovery Kids and she has been a frequent illustration contributor to Scholastic News over the years. I am also heavily into Urban Sketching. I recently spent a month in France and sketched every day.

Please tell us about your art.
I love drawing more than anything else. I always have a few sketchbooks going for exploring ideas, urban sketching and stream of consciousness drawing. I use many medias. For sketching, mostly ink and watercolor and for children’s book illustrations acrylic and digital. Cao Chong is my first book in watercolor. One of the exciting aspects of being an illustrator is the research. I learn so much about every subject I paint meeting with scientists, visiting locations, researching costumes. For one book, Little Red Bat, I met with bat rescuers in Ft. Wayne Indiana to take reference photos and video, another, Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer, I talked to the librarian at Harvard about visual details and exchanged emails with Oxford University about the colors and design of the commencement robes. Some of the work from Annie Jump Cannon’s book hangs in her childhood home. I recently sketched and photographed Eriz, Switzerland for a couple of books I am illustrating for a Swiss publisher.

I hope most people find as much joy looking at my work as I do creating it. I am always exploring and trying new techniques and subject matter. I love travel and like to experience different places through sketching. It is also a great way to meet people and find out more about where you are.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Characteristic? Persistence and practice.

Success? I feel so lucky to get to do what I love every day and appreciate the every new opportunity.

My best advice is always have a goal in mind, but do not be imprisoned by that goal. Be flexible and recognize opportunities in any form. The saying “there are no small parts, only small actors” is also true in art and illustration projects. Do the type of work you want to do, have a robust online presence, and learn about the markets you want to be a part of.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
People can buy the books I have illustrated and I take commissions. I am also in various gallery shows so check my blog for the latest.

My most recent show was May the Fourth, a Lucasfilms approved tribute to Star Wars. My next show is Domination Illustration at Clermont College opening July 11th.

My most recent books: Cao Chong Weighs and Elephant by Songju Ma Daemicke, One Day in the Desert by Anna Keener about the ecosystem of New Mexico for the National Science Foundation and Denni-Jo and Pinto by Buck Buchanan.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Christina Wald

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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