Artist's Story: Christopher Cunetto + Giveaway
We're excited to introduce you to our friend and artist, Christopher. He's got a whole lot of talent, an appreciation for all things creative, and an amazing sense of humor. Plus, he's been nice enough to create a special print just for you guys! Meet Christopher.
Occupation: Illustrator + Owner at Cunetto Creative
Favorite studio tool/supply: My Wacom Intuos Pro + iMac
Artists you love: Moebius, Jean Paul Gaultier, Ivan Bilibin
Sources of inspiration: Everything! Though especially sci-fi, b-movies, fashion icons, queer theory, and long showers. Lots of good ideas in the shower.
Favorite time to create: When I'm alone.
Most unexpected quality: That's a hard one. People have told me that on first impression I seem so nice and polite which, for the record, I am! Then they get to know me and discover that I curse like a sailor.
Favorite Instagram accounts: I am obsessed with @saraandreasson. Her work makes me feel so crazy. I could look at it all day. Also, I have a substantial fascination with The Rock. Everyone should follow his Instagram, he's such a weirdo! In the best way. I love him.
The best advice you've ever gotten: Someone once told me: "If everything always goes your way, all the time, you're doing it wrong." That stuck with me. It means that you should always be doing something that is challenging, something that helps you grow, or get better at what you do, or gain wisdom. Challenge yourself.
How did you come to be an artist? Well, I've always drawn, since I was a kid. I just liked it. My first "muse" as a child was one of the chefs at my dad's Italian restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri. He seemed so tall to me! I drew him as one big circle for the body, one smaller circle for the head, with tiny arms and legs. When I say obsessed I mean I started by drawing him all the time, then graduated to making paper cutouts (paper dolls I guess, in retrospect?) of him, THEN made paper "purses" of him for my mom. I don't know why I was obsessed with him. Maybe it was because he made food as his job. I love food. If you were wondering I was a completely normal and not at all a strange or unusual child.
What is it about illustration that you love? Sometimes illustration is painful, actually. Some pieces I feel like I have to rip out of the blank space in front of me. Sometimes, though, it is easier. I am drawn to (pun intended, for you dad-joke lovers) that dynamic, the challenge. The visual part is so deep down a part of who I am it's not even what attracts me to illustration anymore. If I wasn't drawing I think I'd be making pictures some other way.
I also just love looking. I look at things as much as possible and expose myself to as much visual culture as I can. It's life to me. You know, these spaces aren't bound by anything that we know or think is real. It's a magical space. You can do anything, and that's really liberating. And then of course the commercial work of illustration helps people understand things they read, can kind of poetically contextualize issues and information. And I love that, using art to draw someone into a story or issue. It's all about the stories, man.
"I look at things as much as possible and expose myself to as much visual culture as I can. It's life to me."
What does your average day look like? You know that saying "early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise"? Yeah, whoever said that would NOT approve of my schedule. It really varies. When I'm on deadline I'll be up late working, sleep in, and work late again - I work very well at night. Discipline is really important to me, so even though I might be working weirdo hours sometimes, I have those things that I do every day or on a set schedule to make things feel at least somewhat structured and to keep me on my game.
How would you describe your creative process/how do you go about making art? It really comes from a narrative place most often. For an editorial job I read the article first if I can, though sometimes they aren't available until right at deadline, in which case I work a little bit more closely with the art director or editor to concept things out. I like metaphors so I don't necessarily just illustrate literally a thing that happens in the writing, I like to get more nuanced than that. For my personal work it's more complicated. I come from a fine art background so some of my personal work is a bit more complex in terms of the symbols and what they mean to me. I love portraiture, so a lot of times my personal work is some kind of portrait.
What tips would you give someone looking to buy art? Go directly to the artist! Browse Etsy, artist websites, go to galleries, things like that. Many local art colleges have student art sale events, those are great, too. The closer you can get to buying art directly from the artist, the more the artist pockets from that sale, the better it is for the artist, the more they can make a living through their art. Also, probably preaching to the choir here, but framing is important. Good art should be presented well, and it will only make your home look nicer.
What would you say to someone who is convinced they lack creativity or artistic ability? People tend to shoehorn creativity into things like design or art, when really creativity is a key factor for success in so many areas of life and work. Creativity is bringing together two disparate things for a unique, effective solution. That happens in business, science, tech, food...everywhere. Most people who are great at what they do actively engage in creative problem solving. It is a great skill to develop and be mindful of!
Don't you just love him? We do too. Enter to win the custom "Spread the Love" illustration print above in the comments below. Simply tell us why you would LOVE this print. Is it for you or for a gift? Where would you put it?! Winner will be announced Wednesday, February 24 at 5pm EST.