Art, // August 27, 2015

Christopher C. Curtis – ARTIST

Christopher C. Curtis

Christopher C. Curtis

Interview with artist Christopher C. Curtis —


"Snow" 3.25" x 4.25"

3.25″ x 4.25″




1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Christopher C. Curtis (C3). I am an artist living in Oakland, CA. I primarily work in graphite, watercolor, colored pencil and sometimes in oils.



2. Why art?
I have always been interested in drawing as far back as I can remember. I was really into comic books so I would try to copy the characters all the time. As I got older I became interested in contemporary and classical artists. As I studied them I felt that making art was the right thing for me as a career.


"Frontier" graphite on aged paper, 11" x 14"

graphite on aged paper, 11″ x 14″


3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I never really thought I was going to become an artist but I could never figure out what else to do with myself. I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco shortly after high school. That really changed my views on a possible future as an artist. At least then I was able to acquire the skills I needed to make the work I wanted to make.


"Time-Shadow - Corrupt" graphite, colored pencil, and acrylic on book cover, 8" x 9"

“Time-Shadow – Corrupt”
graphite, colored pencil, and acrylic
on book cover, 8″ x 9″



4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
As far as subjects I prefer the figure, masks, temples, anything within the 1800’s and early 1900’s American culture and recently more landscapes. My favorite media by far is graphite. Recently I’ve been exploring watercolor and acrylic which has really sped up my process and allowed me to explore color.



5. How do you work and approach your subject?
My work is sort of encased in this mythology I’ve been creating for years now and a lot of times I can get ideas from that. I’ll think of some character within my story and really try to imagine a history for them or a specific personality. My characters are usually inspired by friends so it’s all relatable in some way. Other times I will see an old photo that really inspires me and I will incorporate it into the world somehow. That will then add a new layer to the story taking it in a direction it wouldn’t have gone otherwise.


"Harvest" graphite and colored pencil on book cover, 8" x 11"

graphite and colored pencil
on book cover, 8″ x 11″


6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
My favorite artists right now are Remedios Varo, Neo Rauch, Michaël Borremans, Zdzisław Beksiński, and David Lynch to name a few. My favorite work of art will probably always be “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” by Bernini.

"Wall of Sleep" graphite on paper, 9" x 15"

“Wall of Sleep”
graphite on paper, 9″ x 15″


7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
The best responses I’ve gotten are that they connect with the work or that they are inspired by it. I enjoy it when people can look at the drawings and see a dialogue there and then they can put the pieces together as they wish and form their own story.


"Humanity-Simplified" graphite and colored pencil on book  with assemblage

graphite and colored pencil on book
with assemblage

8. What do you like about your work?
That it is ever changing. The world I work from is always changing and rewriting itself so it’s my job to keep up and try to decipher what I can.


"Shadow of the Wolf" graphite & colored pencil on paper, 7" x 23"

“Shadow of the Wolf”
graphite & colored pencil on paper, 7″ x 23″


9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Find something you’re interested in exploring such as an idea or subject. Then see where you can take it and how far. The most important is to never stop making art. The only way to get better and to fully explore what you’re doing is to put in the time.

"Husk" graphite, watercolor, colored pencil on paper 3.5" x 5.5"

graphite, watercolor, colored pencil on paper
3.5″ x 5.5″


10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I’m hoping to get some books out and to have some more shows. I also have some ideas for installations I want to do in the woods somewhere. I’m hoping to find a wooded area to live in where I can experiment with those ideas.




Christopher C. Curtis

Christopher C. Curtis