Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well! Today we have a fantastic artist we want to showcase for you. Her name is Chrissytor and she is a professional illustrator who has made enjoyable webcomics that focus on sices of her life. I fell head over heels for her works for multiple reasons including how adorable the art is to the humor of the content.
You can tell she puts her heart and soul into everything she does. When I found out that she also does other projects, I knew I had to interview her that way we could spread the good word about Chrissytor!
The Geek Lyfe: Although we know and love you, could you introduce yourself?
Chrissytor: Hello, I am Chrissytor and I am a freelance Illustrator based in Cincinnati, Ohio! I am a 2017 graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati for a degree in Illustration. I am also currently working on a graphic novel with Ben Grisanti titled ‘Beth Baphomet’!
TGL: You are an incredible artist and we adore your webcomics. What is your origin story as an artist? Did you fall into it yourself or were you inspired by a family member who does art?
Chrissytor: Thank you so much! I’ve drawn essentially my entire life, but it wasn’t until around 6th grade that I decided I wanted to buckle down and make it my life’s work! I fell head over heels watching Toonami channel anime on late nights when I was supposed to be sleeping. I was inspired in a way I never felt before, and I knew I wanted to make comics and just create in general! Shows like ‘Fooly Cooly’ and ‘Naruto’ were huge inspirations for me starting off.
I would binge these shows and sit at my little desk trying to replicate the characters. I also had a one-year subscription of Shonen Jump and a small collection of manga that I would just visually consume over and over to try to figure out how they would do compositions and such. I wore the poor book binding out on them haha. Growing up, I lived in a small rural town and went to a very small farming school (they literally had ‘drive your tractor to school day’ – no joke) so art wasn’t taken as a priority at my school so I never really got a formal art education until I went off for college!
Without a strong art education at school, I tried to learn everything I could online by watching my peer’s artwork on sites like DeviantArt. But I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to attend college and I definitely learned a lot!
TGL: While many of us read, laugh, and share your comics in the span of less than a minute, art takes time. What is the process for creating a single comic?
Chrissytor: It definitely depends! If it’s my little day-in-the-life of Chrissytor style comics, those usually only take a couple of hours. But, using Beth Baphomet as an example, it takes a lot of work over several days to complete a single page! I put in a lot of research detailing backgrounds, posing, compositions, and also trying to make sure my color moods are fitting for the current situation! This comic is going to be so so much fun and I can’t wait to show everyone more.
TGL: Out of all the years of being an artist what would you say is your proudest moment? Whether it was a big achievement or something small at the start that you overcame?
Chrissytor: I would say one of my proudest moments happened somewhat recently. I was cripplingly depressed a few months back, I wasn’t eating properly at all, I was pushing everyone away, and I just felt hopeless and alone. My anxiety would wake me up puking every morning in fear of facing the day. I felt like I was doing nothing with my life and I was devastated. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw how worn out I looked. Depression had completely consumed who I was. I was depression. As cheesy as it is, I looked at my worn self in the mirror and told myself something along the lines of ‘You’ve been bullied and abused your entire life – but that’s not who you are.
That’s something that happened to you but you cannot let that shape you any longer’. So, I made this comic about releasing the shackles of my past abuse and I promised myself that I would move forward and grow and become the person that I needed most when I was hurt. And honestly, it has had almost a spell-like effect on my life. Making that comic was like a ritual, and I released myself of the burden. Every time I catch myself slipping into old depressive routines and behaviors – I remind myself of the comic and the promise I’ve made to myself and to my past self. And I feel so proud of this.
My mental health has robbed me of so many years of my life, and to feel like I finally have my head above water is so refreshing. Not enough people realize how healthy and relieving it is to work through your feelings in your artwork! It has completely changed my life.
TGL: Being a creative of any kind comes with a lot of vulnerability. Not always is work well received or appreciated as it should be. What do you feel is one of your more difficult moments as an artist and how did you overcome it?
Chrissytor: Definitely one of my biggest issues is telling myself that something isn’t “worthy” to be posted. I used to make work all the time and then never post it, or take it down shortly after posting because of it not being well received. I realized that of course to a degree I’m making work for other people, because why else would people post art, but to the main degree I’m making work for myself! I decided I’m going to be proud of all of my work, and post it anyway!
My biggest realization for this was that I recently drew Lizzo – and I wasn’t originally going to post it because I was afraid it wasn’t “good” enough – but it ended up blowing up online and I went from 700 followers on Facebook to 10,000 in a matter of maybe two weeks. I think about this all the time, if I hadn’t posted it I would’ve never had so many wonderful people start to follow my work!
It goes to show that the power of Lizzo is limitless. And, don’t feel insecure about your work! There is always someone out there that will love your work. Find your audience
TGL: When you have those creative block days where you feel no motivation to create, how do you overcome them? Is there any sort of technique or strategy you implement?
Chrissytor: Absolutely! When I’m feeling creatively stuck I enjoy looking through some of my favorite artist’s work. Find things that I appreciate and value in their work and what I can learn from it. Warmup drawings usually help me a lot too – picking a favorite video game character, cartoon, etc to draw and it really helps push that creative block through! Then I get started to my day. It’s a good way to make sure I don’t get rusty and I usually get to try fun new methods and techniques when I’m warming up!
TGL: Out of all of the art you’ve ever created, which piece is your favorite and why?
Chrissytor: That’s a really tough one, I’m not sure that I have a specific piece in mind. But any work I make that has someone message me saying that I resonated with them/inspired them/made them feel something is the most important work to me. I love reaching people’s hearts and feelings through my work and I always hope I can bring some happiness or hope into someone’s life! I had a rough childhood/start into adulthood so all I want is to be able to bring some joy back into the world one piece of art at a time!
TGL: Where can people find you online?
Twitter : @chrissytor
We want to give a huge shout out to Chrissytor for taking the time to interview with us! We absolutely love her work and encourage everyone to check her out and support her.