Cristina Guitian
Cristina Guitian





2009 – IMAGES 33

Cristina is a Spanish artist working across illustration, sculpture and installation. Born in 1981 in Madrid where she studied Illustration, Cristina moved to London in 2004 where she combines her practice as an artist with commissions for clients such as Kensington Palace, Saatchi & Saatchi, Nike and the Guardian. Cristina has also exhibited extensively internationality along different cities like New York, Tokyo, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid and Milan.

Graphic Cowboy is a character that embraces technology without forgetting the roots of creativity. It is one of a series of illustrations series created for the recruitment section Virgin Media’s portfolio to help explain creativity in the digital environment.

“The award has been a great addition to my portfolio, reputation and cache. When people learn of the win, it has a real impact on their perception of my work and encourages a further exploration of it. This kind of industry recognition and respect gives me greater confidence and renewed ambition.

Photograph by @vazquezmanuel

BRIEF: The brief was to demonstrate, in one drawing, all the different aspects of the new media field: the creativity, the necessary grasp of technology as well as general everyday duties.

MATERIALS: Ink drawings on paper, scanned and coloured on Adobe Photoshop.

RESEARCH: This commission was very focused in my own imagination. I would start sketching without looking at any references and when I ran out of ideas I would look for inspiration by browsing images on the internet. Then I would start sketching again and would repeat this process a few times.

PROCESS: During a whole month I was focused in creating a group of visual metaphors that illustrated different themes but all communicated creativity. I worked on each individual illustration for a few days until its conclusion. The main focus was the overall concept, so in the main the process would involve me sketching in pencil. Once I had come up with the main visual I would proceed to ink it to then scan it and finish it in Photoshop.

RESISTANCES: It was the first time I had been asked to come up with such a consistent group of images. The way I had worked until that commission was either very free or very restricted. This time I was given a tight brief that required strong creativity and accurate narrative so it was a big challenge for my imagination. At first I felt a strong resistance to it, but as the results started showing up I realised this process had allowed for creative growth.

INSIGHT: This commission helped define the illustration style I am known for. The Art Director gave me complete creative trust within a very tight narrative, which allowed me to define a visual language of my own.

DISTRACTIONS: I was actually working from Virgin Media’s offices, which really helped me to focus on the work as I had very few distractions.

NUMBERS: 1. I was working on this series for 1 month, and it was also the 1st illustration commission that I consider defines my style.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I am very grateful to Chomoi Picho Owiny, the Art Director. He encouraged and pushed me further. Thank you Chomoi.