Lots of SACRED is dark and emotional... a good clue to its tone is that two Sylvia Plath quotes open the book! But there are light, funny parts too, and Christina Forshay has focused on one for her fabulous piece. Here it is:
E: I love how lighthearted and fun this picture is! Can you tell me why you chose this scene?
C: This scene really grabbed my attention because of its fun qualities. I always think I want to do a dark or serious painting, but my subconscious always seems to want to create the more lighthearted imagery first.
Here are a couple of those lighthearted images:
C: Plus, this scene also totally reminds me of something my friends and I totally would have done in high school.
E: Really? Tell me about something crazy you did in high school!
C: In this scene, Lily is enjoying playing "secret agent" and hoping to not be spotted by anyone who might recognize her and Scarlett. Well, one evening, my friends and I decided we were going to go "incognito" to a fancy restaurant in Laguna Beach. BUT, to "up" the excitement, we created fake fancy names for ourselves and pretended like we were rich, fancy ladies with European accents sipping tea. It was pretty ridiculous, but a great memory nonetheless. I think my name was Mercedes for the night!
E: How fabulous! I would have loved to have joined in. Were you always an artist? Do you remember any one moment when you decided you had to create art?
C: I've always craved art. Since before kindergarten, one of my favorite things to do was open a brand new box of crayons. Nothing better than that "new crayon smell"! I was always coloring, or making clay creations with my dad, or drawing. From about elementary school to high school I thought I wanted to be an architect. But I realized at some point that architecture was too structured for me. Then, I dabbled in graphic design which was "ok", but still too structured. And finally, after a couple of years spent thinking that I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, I finally listened to my heart and made the decision to major in illustration. So, some form of creativity has always been at my core.
E: Who and what inspire you?
C: I'm inspired by a lot of things: my kids, the morning sun glowing through my kitchen window, and even something as silly as watching that really big guy ride his really tiny bike down the street. And music. Music is always an inspiration for new ideas and almost always acts as motivation while I'm painting. For example, I listened to a lot of Edith Piaf while painting this piece. It just felt like it made the perfect soundtrack for this scene.
E: What is a typical workday like for you?
C: Well, given my family dynamics I don't have any kind of typical workday. It's usually just whenever I can squeeze in a bit of time here and there. I've got a son who just started kindergarten, a two year old, and a firefighter husband with a very crazy schedule. If I've got a deadline, my most productive time would be after everyone else is sleeping at night, which makes for some really late nights! I'm always trying new ways to find time to work during the day, but so far night works best.
E: Do you have a favorite type of art to create?
C: Fun, bright and colorful art naturally pours out of me. Cartoons were a HUGE influence on my creativity growing up and I think my art reflects that. I like to create visual worlds where I think, "I want to jump into this painting and live there!"
E: What other projects—both professional and personal—are you involved in?
C: I've got a picture book I illustrated coming out in Spring of 2013 called "Goodnight Baseball" through Capstone Young Readers. I also recently finished up some designing wine labels for a good friend who has her own vineyard. The past year was so crazy with illustration deadlines, that I'm currently taking some time to explore my style and get back into painting with actual brushes versus digital brushes.
E: What advice would you give people who’d like to break into the art world?
C: It is important to be brave and courageous. Put your work out there! You can't go anywhere in the art world if you are too filled with fear to show your work. We all have self-doubts, but we shouldn't be paralyzed by fear of rejection.
E: I agree completely. Also, do you have a web presence?
C: I do! My website and blog are at www.christinaforshay.com.
E: Do you have a favorite character in SACRED?
C: Oooh, that's a hard one! I like all the characters for different reasons, but my favorite has to be Lily. She is super confident and comfortable in her own skin. I wish I had those qualities when I was her age. Heck, I could probably use more of both of those attributes now!
Me too. Once again, here's Christina's wonderful piece: