This article was originally published in the 2019 Fall issue of Invest In Style Magazine.

 

Christine Flynn is a Toronto-based artist working in photography and mixed media. Flynn, known for her landscape photography imbued with abstract elements, creates works of art that exist in between two mediums.

 

  

 

You had a career in graphic design before you transitioned to fine art photography. What motivated that move? 

I don’t see it so much as a move or a pivot, but more of a progression. I studied both design and photography in school and both disciplines have an impact on my pieces. While photography has always been my passion, I think it’s interesting to explore my combined influences, and blur the lines between them – that has really elevated my photography.

 

How has your graphics background influenced the approach to your photography?

My graphics background has mainly influenced my eye when it comes to photography. In design, you’re faced with a blank screen, creating something out of nothing. There is a limitlessness and a freedom to that which I’ve carried over to my photography. The art isn’t just a capture of what’s there, it’s a full vision that often includes graphical elements.

 

 

How do you develop your work? Do you have a vision at the onset of the creative process or do images build organically?

There are times when I actually know what the full vision is for a piece while I’m photographing. And then there are captures that I love and I’m not sure what will organically come to me until I’m actually in the studio working on it.

 

Your work has a strong focus on nature and, recently, a particular focus on water and surf. What drew you to these landscapes?

Growing up on Lake Huron, I’ve always been drawn to water – the sound, the difference in the air, and the calming effect of the water. I’m particularly inspired by the California coastline and the surf culture there – I love the idea of conveying that laid-back ocean surf feeling through an image.

 

You recently moved to Prince Edward County. How did that come to be? Has the new locale and scenery changed the perspective you bring to your work?

I’ve lived in NYC, London, and Toronto and it was time to experience a smaller scale and a more rural setting. We’ve been visiting PEC for the past 10 years and fell in love with the community and the simplicity of a slower pace. The water was obviously a huge draw for me and with such picturesque surroundings, now I’ve always got my camera with me.

 

You have a huge social media following and active presence on Instagram – how has social media changed your art business, and sales?

I don’t think Instagram has affected my approach to my art, but it has definitely affected my exposure. It allows people to get a sense of my aesthetic and the things that inspire the art. It’s almost like the story behind the art and that seems to really be of interest to people. I think the level of awareness I’ve generated through Instagram has also helped make my style more recognizable. And I also really just enjoy the platform as a creative outlet!

 

 

How has the invention of smart phones with cameras affected perspectives about fine art photography?

This is a tough one. While the access that smart phone cameras bring means more beautiful images from budding photographers in the world, it can also indirectly devalue the training and talent it takes to pursue a craft like the art of photography. Developing an eye and composition skills are equal parts intuitiveness and hard work. But this is not a new paradox. Long before smart phone cameras people have been going to museums and looking at great works and thinking “So what? I could do that myself.” I think the benefits of smart phone photography and the access to creativity they bring far outweighs the potential costs for the art world.

 

With such a strong aesthetic, how do you keep your work fresh and evolving for your audience?

Travel is truly my ultimate pool for inspiration and idea generation. That’s partly mindset and partly subject matter related. It’s the most effective way I know of, to keep things fresh.

 

Your work has featured a variety of travel destinations, from rural Canada to Iceland and Italy. Do you have any upcoming trips or dream locations that you’d love to photograph?

There are so many places on my list! I am currently working on an Ontario series and I’m really excited with how it’s coming along. I would love to travel to South America and shoot the Atacama region of Chile. Or the big surf in Nazare, Portugal. And there is always California – it has such a special place in my heart!

 

christineflynnart.com

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