We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Before the pandemic hit, I was overworking and I was questioning why I was doing what I was doing. It was like “If I love this so much why am I not fully happy?” After a forced pause, I got back in touch with myself and my why. I still sometimes struggle with that feeling of needing to be productive all the time like a machine, which is a product of our societal programming I’m afraid, but I always find that ironically the most productive times come after rest and that creativity comes during rest as well. I think that balance is more about prioritizing the quality of life and the process over the goal.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Besides the art itself I think that probably what makes my work unique is the meaning behind it. I deeply explore the layers of dimensions in our inner and outer worlds. It’s not all just lighthearted sparkles and rainbows…it’s also about the grit of human experience blended with those ethereal elements, showing that it’s all divine. I’m also always pushing the way materials are used. I’m rarely conventional with mediums, and I work in A LOT of them. Take for instance my art installation at When Where Co. in Tucson. They gave me some vintage glass tubes to do something with and I turned around and “beaded” and embroidered an entire wall with them, using brightly colored yarn (See photo). I just love experimenting. As far as where I’m at today, since my gigs were cancelled due to Covid, I’m focusing on being as creative as possible and surrendering, taking things as they come. I’m currently creating a new body of work, moving things online, and I’m also looking for mural and installation projects.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First off, I’d have them stay at Hotel McCoy. The whole hotel is covered in and filled with art (you can walk through my installation there too!). My favorite brunch spot is 5 Points Market. What’s cool too is that The Sonoran Glass School it right near by so you can go make some glass treasures there, like tumblers, or they have lots of other projects there as well. I love to hang out in downtown, even just to walk around and check out the architecture and alley ways, the colors and textures are inspiring. Thrifting is my favorite pastime so I’d probably take them to Savers at some point. The nature in Tucson is pretty amazing too so hiking is a must.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to send a shoutout to my family, my sister Sarah who encourages me to put my creativity first, which has been life changing. And my mom who has helped me in so many ways, these last few years especially. And my cousin Isla who always has my back in every way. I’m also super grateful to my friends and community who show up and care about what I make… It makes it all worth while.
Glittery trash alley photos with me were in collaboration with photographer Mariah Alysz @ryapie.pictures
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