19-year-old Christina Thornton is a Surrey based artist, born and bred in Woking. Aged just 11, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. When she was diagnosed, Christina didn’t know much about Asperger’s or how to cope with it. Over the years, her passion for art grew and she found it helped her to express her feelings in a creative way. Her love for art sparked from a young age but was something she explored in more depth at secondary school. She began her art journey with oil paint, progressing to commissions when she was just 17 years old. Finding the gargantuan cost of art materials hard to sustain, she currently works part-time at a supermarket to help fund her passion, and hopes that one day, this can be her full-time job.
Tell us about your style and what you have taught yourself over the last few years?
In the last year, I have been working on pet portraits. I started them in pencil, then a few months after learning how to do that I went into colour using pastel pencils and have been drawing in colour ever since. Most recently, I have been teaching myself fluid art and learning how to make coasters in acrylic and alcohol inks. When I see a piece of art I like, I research into it and experiment until the outcome is exactly how I like it.
What inspires you?
My grandma was an art teacher, and my grandad owns a craft shop so both backgrounds have inspired me to explore different areas and styles of art. My parents let me convert a room in our house into an art studio which gives me a creative space of my own, allowing me to use my inspiration to create art.
Are there any styles or techniques you haven’t tried yet in your work but would like to explore in the future?
I would like to explore alcohol inks on a larger scale and possibly work with resin pigments and powders in the future. I love the variety of art; there are so many different areas and techniques to try and explore. I feel like my journey has only just begun and I am so excited to learn more!
When did you discover your amazing talent?
I first realised that I was talented at art after winning a handful of art competitions back in college, the headmistress at the time asked for some of my paintings to be hung in her office. This was the kick I needed to carry on and start learning new skills and techniques.
What are the most popular pieces you paint?
I have been asked to do a range of custom pieces, for example, a sailboat. The most popular pieces I have been commissioned to draw are my pet portraits. They are mainly dogs drawn in pastel pencils, but I have done others too such as cats and tortoises. Dutch pours are also extremely popular, especially as a triptych as it is a modern style that fills a big space and can be done on a larger scale.