Visual culture is my passion. In a world where we communicate more visually than ever (🎨🖌), knowing how to read images is increasingly important. Visual literacy not only helps us understand each other, it also provides a window into the riches of the past. Visual communication transcends language, culture, place, and time. It is a universalizing medium through which can share our human experiences.
Illustration serves me as a sort of multi-tool. In my personal life it helps me understand my inner dialogue, and also as a form of communication with others. Ink and watercolor illustrations best reflect my current sensibilities, as I can be soft and light as a wash or as rigid and calculating as a line. By combining both I create a visual harmony that more accurately reflects reality, as it is my opinion that nothing is ever all good or bad. My work has been focused on my mental health, my culture, trauma, and things I love.
Tattoos & Illustration
I am drawn to tattoos for the idea of permanence. Permanence of interests. Permanence of memories. Permanence of something in mind and body as the aging of life wears away at everything until it is distorted and forgotten in the end. Before that time comes, I feel that it is important to live a life where one feels in control with how they wish to express themselves, in the one canvas that will stay with them forever.
This is what drives me to be a tattoo artist. Whether it’s to cover a scar from a darker past or to embellish the body with a personal reminder that light does exist, I believe that everyone has a right to modify as much as they desire in their life. To feel good in their own skin. To feel unashamed of what they like. To feel brave enough to display such complex or trivial things like badges and carry them wherever they go. As the creator of these pieces, I am humbled by the trust of my clients to help realize their ideas and bring them to life.”
Art, Land, Photography
Christina Birrer is an artist of the land using photography. The work confronts directly the dichotomy of modern life and earth life across millennia. Birrer uses performative gesture and community based research to weave past and present, investigating endemic anomalies whose fragile ecosystems mirror that of concurrent ethnologic systems. Feminism, community activism, and biodynamic practice inform the imagery and concepts embedded in ‘interconnected’- a cri de cœur and a meditation on natural earth processes.
I try to emulate my lifestyle in each form I produce. It is important for me to work with natural and sustainable materials. I would like to leave a light ecological footprint. I love creating an ambiance where viewers are set to wonder about the relationship between handmade objects and growing, organic material. My work revolves around the idea of creation, formation and manipulation. Clay is very distinctive from other mediums. Ceramics is the material I use in my artwork because there is something about it that captures my essence. My hand and the way I manipulate form with touch is heavily engraved in every inch of clay.
I have always been captivated by art that invokes an emotional response in me. As a child, I found my love for animation after seeing a Pixar Animation Studios film in my local movie theater. I have strived to create works of art that make me feel the same way those films have always made me feel while watching.
Fabric Design & Fiber Art
I have been doodling in the margins of books, creating cartoon characters, and letting my imagination wander across a canvas and screen for as long as I could hold a pen. As well as doing freelance commissions I also work as an associate artist/animator for a children’s early learning website. I have created art for business cards, book covers, album designs, and everything in between. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Adventure have always been my favorite creative genres but my insatiable desire to create and tell a story has always been my motivation as an artist.
Illustrations & Sprites
As an illustrator, character designer, and spriter, I enjoy breathing life into characters. My works are the realization of my dreams. Art has the power to exist somewhere beyond the cruel reality of the world. My goal is to create characters and stories that lift away the burden of everyday life.
My design skills focus on defining problems. Sometimes the scope of a project is not completely clear at the start and I work to solve issues as they arise. In an ever-changing world, my mission as a designer is to continuously define problems and solve them through communication and collaboration.
Sending a message should be quick, clear, and provoke a response from the viewer. That is what I look to do with my design work. Also, being able to adapt to different tones and emotions is key. Every aspect of design must be well thought out and serve a purpose. My work ranges from posters and annual reports to prototypes of apps and websites. With over 7+ years of experience with the Adobe Creative Suite, I am always looking for new ways to communicate ideas.
Almost everyone has a curious inner child. Working with animation taught me that. Storyboarding is the visualization of a script. A map for bringing that script to life. Character development, design, and storyboarding have always excited me. I love the pre-production process and its vital role in an animation project.
I grew up with cartoons and video games, which led to me become interested in animation. I studied art at Cal State Long Beach and received my B.A. in Studio Art in 2020. I am now a concept artist who designs characters for animated films, TV, and video games.
Design & Illustration
My work is based in a broad mix of illustration styles. One of my favorite things about illustration is how it interacts with the world. As kids illustrations are our first form of interaction with art and we use these illustrations to learn about our world. As children, illustrations are in the books read to us and the shows we watch. We learn from them and we grow as people with them. As we get older, many things change but illustration remains a constant in our world. We see illustrations in magazines, books, advertisements, and even the how-to instructions that come with furniture. Illustrations are an art form everyone interacts with. Many people cherish it. I am an illustrator to be a part of this process and to be a part of people’s lives.
Design & Illustration
My art is driven by feelings. By fits of emotion during a phase of negativity or a moment of excitement. The art I create helps me release those emotions in a safe and creative way. Each piece has a story behind it, but the meaning is up to the viewer. I prefer to keep everything open to others’ interpretation while holding onto my own emotion and message. I use art to stop myself from going crazy while creating something interesting in the process. But most artists are crazy anyway.
I love bringing characters to life. Growing up, I loved to play with dolls and puppets. I would create a personality for each of them through story. Today I build puppets to tell stories. I hope my work bring joys to anyone who sees it.
Glenn Zucman, Instructor
Sharing our Stories
My favorite part of the LBSU School of Art (SOA) is visiting the SOA Art Gallery Courtyard each week. Every week 5 more student artists share their unique lives, experiences, and aesthetics with the campus community.
My one disappointment is that so many of these engaging artists don’t have websites. I’m fortunate this semester to be teaching Art 490, Artists’ Websites. If the students have learned half as much as I have this semester, then they have learned a lot.
A portfolio is a never-ending part of an artist’s life journey. I feel privileged to have helped these students launch web portfolios. I am excited to see where the sinuous paths of their careers take them in the years and decades to come.