Artist Feature: Shannon Christie

Editor Julia Alora, Art, April 8th, 2020

"An echo of connection that goes beyond language."

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Illustration is an often overlooked field of art, mistaken for being “cartoonish” or meant only for children’s literature. Shannon Christie’s work contrasts this concept with a sublimely stylized and varied collection of illustrations that feature struggles with mental health, severing one’s own roots, and the divine power of femininity. Often times she blends the natural world into her work, calling the the forefront the connection between the viewer and the environment around them. Her imagery can at times be soft and subtle, flowing as fish and gorgeously drawn flowers; other times it is jagged and fierce through erupting crystals and droplets of blood. Take time with these illustrations to notice their details, their beauty, and their truths.

From the artist:

The majority of Shannon Christie’s portfolio has been influenced by personal experiences, nature, feminine identity, and elements of surrealism. It goes without saying that we exist in a world that has treated our environment and any gender beyond male as lesser priorities; to Shannon, it only makes sense to push these elements into the spotlight as much as she can, allowing femininity to take the lead in representing strength, exploration, curiosity, and empowerment.

In everything she makes, Shannon tries to create a sense of familiarity, evoking emotions that feel familiar and experienced before, sometimes like an echo of connection that goes beyond language; an “aha” moment of clarity when words simply don’t make sense. Ultimately, she wants to connect viewers to things they identify with, and hopes they will walk away with thoughts provoked and curiosity piqued after seeing her work.

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Shannon Christie is an illustrator living in the Portland, Oregon area. She attended the University of Oregon where she majored in Psychology and minored in Studio Art, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Psychology. Her work is highly reflective of her background, exploring themes of identity and emotion while incorporating elements of whimsicality and surrealism. The focuses on both psychology and art in her life give her inspiration and perspective on how a piece moves a person and how creativity connects us all.

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Julia Alora

Julia Alora is a transplanted Portland sculptoress inspired by biology and the natural world. Her works can be found lurking in the woods, guarding her studio, and in co-op art houses around the city.