Born in Lawrence, Kan., and raised in Houston, Texas, and Norwalk, Conn., and having lived in Missouri, Montana and Chicago, Ill., I now live in Miami, Florida. I've had little formal training or education in art , but I was fortunate enough to have grown up surrounded by art, as both my mother (once a potter) and my father (a commercial illustrator) are artists.
As a writer and editor by trade (I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia), I work full-time in corporate communications at a national company based in Miami. In my spare time, I enjoy drawing, painting, sewing ... basically, I enjoy working with my hands and creating.
Though I have always dabbled in art, I didn't take it up as a serious past-time until the summer of 2005, when I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). I know some people either don't believe in ADD or don't feel it's worth mentioning (after all, it's pretty common among creative people), but for me, my diagnosis represents a major turning point in my life. It was the reason I found my way back to creating art.
Having struggled with anxiety and depression for much of my life, I learned that many of my struggles came from fighting and resisting a brain that was obsessive, compulsive, impulsive, easily distracted and, frankly, exhausting. Once I had a better understanding as to why my brain functions the way it does (though it still throws me for a loop from time to time), I tried to find ways to process the masses of stimuli swirling around in it so that I felt relief and gratification, not restraint and frustration. As much as I love writing, putting words to paper wasn't enough; I needed something more tactile and more visual. On the advice of a psychologist, I decided to tap into my "inner child" and return to my childhood loves of drawing, painting and creating. And -- lo and behold -- they turned out to be the answers. So in a way, creating art has saved me.
I find inspiration in everything from my emotions and personal observations on life to the ordinary objects that surround me, such as a stack of books, a rubber band or a bowl of cherries. Creating art -- from highly detailed paintings to simple line drawings to assemblages of fabric, thread, wood and found objects -- has proved to be the best way for me to let my brain just "be" -— be it funny, intelligent, curious and experimental, or obsessive, compulsive and detail-oriented. Creating art helps me find focus and calm in a world that often seems out of focus and chaotic to me. Creating art helps me navigate and come to terms with that "place" where our dreams and realities collide and we realize, sometimes with sadness, how different they are, despite our best efforts.
My artwork is personal, reflecting my sometimes dark, sometimes comical and often obsessive thoughts, fears and observations about the world and my place in it. But my message is universal: The human experience is complex, confusing and sometimes painful, but it's also beautiful and worth examining. I just hope my art resonates with others as they examine their own thoughts, fears and observations about the world ... and their place in it.
- ©2013 Christine Lyall Art & Design. All rights reserved.