7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #376: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Christine Allen

h1 April 6th, 2014 by jules


It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means I welcome a student or new illustrator. Today, Christine Allen visits. Christine, who lives in Colorado, studied painting and is transitioning into illustration. She tells us more about herself below, so let’s get right to it.

I thank her for visiting …

* * *


My Schooling/Training and
Transition into Illustration:

I received my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where I studied painting. I also studied at Parson’s The New School for Design and Yale School of Art and Music. All exceptional experiences, all challenging and fulfilling. Following all of this study, I had a bit of a crisis, a loss of excitement and energy when it came to painting. I began to realize that, despite identifying as a creative person, I was at that time very rigid in my thinking. It was painting or nothing. As I began to lift the walls, so to speak, and go (not to sound hokey) where the energy took me, I came to children’s books. And as often happens when one looks back, it seemed exceedingly obvious that this connection had walked with me all along the windy road and back to where I began.


What I Am Working on Now:

I am currently playing around with circus images. The imagery is rich. The animals are unsettled and haunted by distant memories of life in the wild. I am also painting animal gods that look to be from somewhere in China.



Illustrators and writers I greatly admire are David Lucas, Jon Agee, Tove Jansson, David Small, John Burningham, and of course all things William Steig, James Thurber, and Virginia Lee Burton. I am in complete awe of Rob Dunlavey, Blexbolex, Laurent Moreau, Astrid Lindgren, Maira Kalman, Quentin Blake, Sophie Blackall, Kevin Waldron, Marjorie Priceman, Mo Willems. Honestly, it’s just too many to name here, but it’s hard to stop. I want to just keep naming them. So much incredibly wonderful work out there.


What I Am Reading Now and Love:

Unless I am deeply absorbed in a novel, I usually have two or three books going at once and another 20 due back to the library. Currently, it is Design as Art by Bruno Munari, The Bat Poet by Randall Jarrell/Maurice Sendak, and The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities by James Thurber. Since the day I became a parent, in addition to pleasure reading came the desperate reading of books by experts on child-rearing and of self-help books.


From the Sketchbooks:


All images here are used by permission of Christine Allen.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

I’m going to keep it short today, since I’m going out of town later this week for work and have my work cut out for me (for before I leave).

I’m grateful Christine visited today, as I enjoy seeing her artwork.

My big kick is that I finished Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, such a great novel.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

9 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #376: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Christine Allen”

  1. I really like the energy of Christine’s pictures. I especially like the bear. Love to see the circus animals. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Jules – Safe travels out of town. Coming North?
    I’ve been intrigued by The Interestings for a while. I’m going to have to put it on my list.


    1. I finished giving my website an overhaul. Please check it out. http://moiraswiatkowski.com/

    2. Excellent report cards from the kids. I try not to make too big a deal but I can say, “Woo Hoo!” here.
    3. The sun has made an appearance more than once this fine month of April.
    4. The taxes have been shipped off.
    5. I’m working on a fun promo piece for my husband’s business that will go in the Little League yearbook.
    6. I’m stacking up paintings like cord wood in the studio. I have a plan to re-purpose the rejects.
    7. Game of Thrones begins again.

  2. Hi, this is a quick fly by. I really liked getting to know Christine and her art work. Beautiful. Plus The Bat-Poet is a favorite.
    Jules, I will look for The Interestings.
    Moira, glad you got some sun.
    I’m on spring break and visiting friends this weekend.
    Have a great week.

  3. Good morning, Imps!

    Hi Christine! Thank you for sharing your images and inspirations.

    Jules: Have a safe trip. Hope all is well.

    Moira: Congrats to the kids! Woo hoo, definitely. Congrats on the site revamp.

    Hi Jone! Enjoy the visits.

    My kicks for the past week:
    1) First watch
    2) Re-watch
    3) Recuperative sleep
    4) Memorizing
    5) Pockets
    6) Books
    7) 2048

  4. I adore the image of the girl among the flowers. Thank you for sharing your work with us, Christine.
    Jules: Have a safe trip and an enjoyable time with your work.
    Moira: I love the look of your new website.
    Enjoy your spring break, Jone!
    Little Willow: I am a huge fan of pockets too!
    My kicks for this week:
    1. Sunshine
    2. Higher temperatures
    3. Melting snow
    4. Safe travels
    5. Spotting a gliding hawk
    6. Sound of Xena snoring
    7. Walks with Xena

  5. Moira, your website looks GREAT! I’m jealous that you can watch Game of Thrones now. I have to wait for DVD. Oh, and I’m going up to Concord for work. Really wish I could visit Boston again and see folks, but there’s not a single moment for it. This is a non-children’s lit-related trip. Boo.

    Jone, have a good Spring Break!

    Little Willow: 2048? Ah, the mystery! Also, yes, pockets are under-rated. That reminds me of probably my second favorite poem ever: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177521.

    Hi, Margie! So happy to hear you have sunshine, and I hope Xena is feeling well.

  6. Thank you Moira, Jone, Little Willow, Margie and of course Jules! I appreciate the feature and the encouragement. -Christy

  7. Jules: The game 2048 is addicting.

    Hi Margie & Xena!

  8. More to Jules: That is a lovely, lovely poem. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Ah, a game! DER.

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