What is your artist background?
I finished my studies in graphic design and communication, and after that, I was lucky enough to work on many exciting projects, both on my own and with non-profit organisations, musicians, and art events.
In 2020, I decided to switch from graphic design to illustration because I wanted to let my maximalist side shine. Since then, I've had the pleasure of collaborating with fantastic companies from around the world who create wonderful products.
Where in New Zealand do you live?
When did you start doing your art?
I've always been creative. When I was a kid, I doodled in my notebooks and dreamt about beautiful colours. As a teenager, I was really into photography and oil painting, which eventually (with a lot of trial and error) led me to where I am today.
When did you start your entrepreneur journey?
In March 2020, and it’s been the hardest, but most amazing journey ever!
How do you describe your artwork style?
My art style is all about being colourful and imaginative. I use lots of bright colours that remind me of Mexico, and I also add parts of my life here in Aotearoa and my travels to make it more unique.
Have you always done your field of art or was there other types of art that you have done? If so, what types?
I started off as a photographer with a pinch of graphic design. I’ve tried oil painting, printmaking, sewing, writing, pottery, drawing and filmmaking just for fun!
What is the best/ideal environment for you when creating your artwork?
I don’t have one, but good natural light is always a plus!
I love packing my paints and going for hikes and letting inspiration guide me, when it hits I just go with the flow and create. When at home, I enjoy having classical music in the background and scented candles.
Who is your hero? And why?
I truly admire Francisco Toledo, a Mexican artist and activist. He blended art with solidarity, giving voice to the voiceless, often indigenous people, during these times of widespread cultural and resource exploitation. With his profits he opened art centres, museums, an ethnobotanical garden and several libraries. To me, art with a purpose is incredibly beautiful and meaningful.
What values are important to you?
Kindness, and respect for all living things.
Any advice for aspiring NZ artists?
Don’t be afraid of showing your work, don’t listen to those negative voices in your head, and remember: “done is better than perfect”. Create, create, create and enjoy the process.
What was the inspiration behind your artwork for your PieceHouse puzzle?
I wanted to combine some of my favourite elements from Aotearoa and Mexico: the vibrant colours that bring me joy, the beauty of the flowers and my passion for art itself. It’s a celebration of the things that fill my heart with happiness. Cris is the artist that created the Sunday Bunch puzzle.
What do you do to help keep your mental health in a positive place?
I have 3 non-negotiables that I do every day: meditate, walk for at least one hour a day and I designed a wee notepad called “my self-love tracker” where I included things like: how do I feel today physically and mentally, 3 things that I’m grateful for, today’s affirmation, water intake and 3 things to focus on today.
Some amazing other work by Cris. Follow Cris' instagram here.