I'm so excited to bring back my Artist Spotlight series!
I couldn't be more thrilled to have Christa be the first interview of this year. Her spirit is just as amazing as her work! I met her last year at Blogalicious. We connected because she had just left her public health position to pursue art full time, and wanted to know more about how interior designers work with artists. She has such a vibrant personality and amazing testimony. Her tenacity to make art that's true to her while building a lifestyle of her dreams is truly inspiring. Her new collection "On Changing my Mind" is available at www.christadavid.com. And you may recognize her work from my bedroom tour video! I'm such a fan. Let's get into the interview!
I love your daily "Let It Bloom" coffee moments on Instagram Stories. What is your favorite coffee right now?
True story, “let it bloom”, is an actual thing. It’s what the coffee is doing right before brewing. As the coffee grounds bloom, they release carbon dioxide and make space for the rest of the hot water to draw out the coffee flavor. LOL. I think it’s hilarious that folks think I made this up. Nope, it’s an actual coffee thing. I just say “let it bloom” out loud to remind me to pause and let my coffee have it’s 30 second moment to be great! LOL. I am LOVING LaCOLOMBE Corsica right now. It has hints of dark chocolate in it which makes it taste like a mocha coffee. I have the whole beans and ground them right before brewing which is the absolute best way to have coffee. As you can tell I LOVE me some coffee.
Tell me about your workspace. Do you work from home? A studio?
I live in NYC where the rents are high for both living and art studio spaces. Having a dedicated art studio space in NYC is a total luxury and not in my budget currently. Instead of focusing on securing a space outside of my home living space, I decided earlier in the summer to revamp my current living space, which is pretty large for NYC standards, to better accommodate my art practice. It was a slow process, but over the course of a few weeks, I decluttered and reorganized my art supplies, found simple and affordable storage solutions (thank you Container Store and Ikea!) and created zones in my home where I can engage my varied art practice. So now I have a collage making space, a painting space, and a research and writing space.
You are a collage artist & a painter. What tools are essential for your collage work?
For my collage work - lots and lots of books and magazines, specifically old ones. I love working with vintage papers. There’s something about an old yellowing book or magazine that does it for me. Besides, books and magazines from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s are pretty racialized. Text and images from that time period were much more explicit in illustrating the norms of those eras which I think is fascinating and completely linked to much of the relatively less (but still prevalent) racist, sexist, and xenophobic images we see in current media. My collage work is personal and political. I also love my ek Tools scissors and Uhu glue sticks!
For my painting work - heavy body Golden acrylic paints mostly. I like texture in my paintings so heavy body has always been my favorite. I recently started experimenting with Golden fluid acrylics and love them. They are perfect for mixing paintings quickly. I make my signature coral bloom color using mostly fluid acrylics now.A month or so ago, I returned to my first love - oil paints - and have been slowly but surely getting back into more figurative painting. Oil painting in my home studio is tricky because of the all the fumes. I try to be as safe as possible and keep all the windows open.
What do you listen to while you're working?
It depends on what I’m working on. If I’m cutting images from books and magazines I listen to podcasts because I don’t necessarily need to think about what I am doing. I can listen to podcasts and just cut. When I am composing collage pieces though, I am thinking a lot so I prefer to listen to one song on repeat. That way the song’s lyrics don’t distract me; instead, the song becomes more like meditative music in the background. My favorite song lately is Alessia Cara’s Stone. It’s just so beautiful. I organized a whole art show listening to this one song. When I’m painting I prefer a playlist - everything from classical to jazz to acoustic soul. My paintings illustrate what I feel and my collages illustrate what I think.
How do you organize your life? Physical Planner? Apps?
I love tech toys and am now using Google Drive, Asana and Slack as I build my little creative team (I have an intern now YAY!). But most often than not, you’ll catch me with my hot pink Leuchtturm 1917 dotted bullet journal cause I am a paper and pen girl through and through. I LIVE by my bullet journal and my planner (The Visionary Journal). I started bullet journaling in May of 2016 during an extremely intense time in my life and it really kept me sane. I’m hooked now! I’m a minimalist when it comes to bullet journaling. I love all the creative things I see folks doing with their bullet journals (#bulletjournal) but I honestly don’t have that kind of time and I really just need to get crap done and fast. LOL.
What do you wear to work?
Whatever the heck I want. LOL. I work from home so sometimes that means pants and other times no pants. Seriously, I have studio clothes that are covered in paint, mostly yoga pants and tank tops. When I head outside of the house to meet clients and go to galleries and networking events, I tend to dress in jeans and tees. I love being able to just show up in places as my creative self now, colorful hair and nails and all.
Who is your dream collector?
Ummm, Oprah. She’s my dream everything. LOL. Seriously, when Oprah loves something she LOVES it and that kind of enthusiasm is what every artist wants their collector to have. So, yeah my dream collector is someone who is enthusiastic about my work and willing to share their enthusiasm with everyone.
What's your go-to inspiration?
When I’m feeling down in the dumps I listen to sermons online. I’ve been listening to Bishop T.D. Jakes (The Potter’s House) online for years now. Being in business for myself has been a roller coaster of a ride, but the scripture reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) and that I have to trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct my path (Proverbs 3:5-6) #Jesusismybusinesspartner
Artists need snacks while they work. What are your favorites?
Does coffee count? LOL. I like cheese. My favorite is Havarti. I pair it with mixed nuts and cranberries. Yep, doesn’t that sound like a fancy Starbucks snack pack? Well, I’m on a budget so I make my own snack packs at home. HA #protip
What was the last book you read?
You are a BadAss at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero and actually my accountability buddies and I taped a podcast about it. It is on the Pimp Your Brilliance Podcast. It’s hilarious (the podcast episode HA). The book is pretty awesome too. I definitely recommend it to anyone working to get out of debt and to generate more wealth in their lives.
Christa thank you so much for giving us a look into your beautiful world!
Keep up with Christa!
If you are in the NYC area be sure to check out her first gallery show starting today! Click here for more information.
Interior Designer living & loving in Raleigh, NC.