Cristina Polop is an artist and illustrator based in London. Graduated in Arts and Interactive Media, her inspiration comes from cinema, music, photography and pop culture. After some years working as a graphic designer and photographer, she is now focusing on illustration full time.
KALTBLUT: When did you start drawing?
Cristina: I have been drawing since I can remember. My mother studied Fine Arts so I was raised surrounded by paintings. When I was a kid I used to draw just for enjoyment, I didn’t know it was possible to live from drawing. It was back to 2012 when I took it seriously.
KALTBLUT: What is your artistic background?
Cristina: I studied Fine Arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and Interactive Media in Southampton Solent University in England. When I finished I started working as graphic designer in an Advertising Company and freelance photographer, also in my spare time I used to do some art for collective exhibitions, as you see I am that kind of renaissance person that I touch all creatives branches, although I have decided to focus in one thing at the moment, it’s very difficult to cover everything!
KALTBLUT: What inspires you when you’re drawing?
Cristina: Popular culture is something that influences me, I’m a film and music lover so somehow I think that is reflected into my illustrations. Modernist artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Ramon Casas, surrealists as Giorgio de Chirico and René Magritte, pop art, vintage photography and the casual and fun style from high school doodles. I really like portraits as it’s said the eyes are the mirror of the soul, most animals look at you in the eyes, even the Cobras! On the other hand there is an appeal of a human face, although it’s just lines and colours. we feel connected to what is supposed to be an other human, I would say for the empathy.
KALTBLUT: You obviously really like Marlene Dietrich…
Cristina: Haha, you got me, you are the first one who tells me this and it’s surprising as she is an icon from the classic cinema, probably because most people are more into the new releases, that is good but we don’t have to forget about the classics. Yes, I really like Marlene Dietrich and everything she represents…her elegance, her strong personality and charisma. I would like to sing in the stage as she does in The Blue Angel although I prefer Minelli’s dance.
KALTBLUT: Why is pop culture so important to you?
Cristina: I started with conceptual art which is very interesting and intellectually stimulating but it can be elitist, and for that reason I wanted to do something more fun, which was able to arrive to everyone in any kind of product, from an art print to a pencil case or magazine and I think the illustration is perfect for that. I’ve been always attracted to the icons, probably it’s because they are symbols and not just images. They represent a time and a moment in our history and as result they have built our present. Popular culture has driven other people to the non-conformism and at the end most of the time those alternative movements had become mainstream, paradoxical.
KALTBLUT: Aside colour pencil, what is your favourite Medium to use ?
Cristina: I like drawing with pencil and pen, I still like the contact with the paper while drawing. Though I started working with colour pencil I think at the moment I prefer digital colouring. It has a clean finished and I can use a lot of different kind of brushed simulating water-colour, ink etc… To me it’s very important to get the right balance between traditional and digital techniques…also I can use Cmd+z many times as I want!…I have tried to use it while drawing with pen on paper but that doesn’t work! haha
KALTBLUT: What are you working on at the moment?
Cristina: At the moment I have started an online project related to London which is going to involve different kind of people and will see the light very soon, also a commission for a movie and my collaboration in a new brand. Besides that, I’m printing some of my stuff to sell online and doing some sketches to do my first Zine, I’m looking forward to see it done.