WESTON, Vt. – Welcome to the wonderful and whimsical children’s art world of Christine Mix. An illustrator, painter, designer, and author, the Dayton, Ohio-native, who now resides in scenic Weston, Vt., has cultivated a unique niche in the competitive world of commercial illustration.
Growing up in Connecticut during the mid-70s, Mix was compelled to create art from an early age and indulged in a variety of mediums and activities including drawing, painting, creating with clay, and writing poems and stories. “I loved to draw early on. I did a few paint-by-number paintings and my parents hired a local artist to give me lessons,” Mix said.
“As a young girl, I was most influenced by comics, cartoons, and animated specials on television. Some of my favorites were Warner Bros, Hanna Barbara, Bugs Bunny cartoons, Disney, Charles Schultz and the Charlie Brown comics, ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ and the Raskin/Bass Productions animated-claymation Christmas specials. Those holiday specials were my favorites and a huge inspiration to me growing up.”
Mix’s interest in art continued to grow and after high school, she received a painting scholarship and studied at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla. During her college experience, which also included studies at Coker College in Hartsville, S.C. and the University of South Florida, Mix continued to expand her horizons while studying painting, sculpture, photography, cinematography, and theatre arts, a diverse curriculum that would serve her well moving forward.
“After graduation, I worked at Honeywell as an audio-visual tech/photographer/videographer, before relocating (in Florida) to work in theater as a scenic painter by day and lighting and spot light technician at night. During that time, I also worked on my own illustrations and stories, submitted to children’s publishers, joined the Society of Children’s Illustrators and Writers, and started working freelance with local decorators and designers. I also worked on decorating holiday displays at Bloomingdales in Palm Beach.”
Over time, however, and although she enjoyed her time in Florida, Mix missed the northeast and wanted to return to New England. “I was really missing New England and also realized I needed to be closer to New York City and the children’s publishing industry. In the late ‘90s I had the opportunity to move to Vermont and I grabbed it, and it has turned out to be a great move.”
Mix’s illustrations and watercolor paintings have been exhibited in several galleries including the Book Culture/Book Expo America in New York City, the Chaffee Art Center in Rutland, , the Southern Vermont Center in Manchester, , the Cluster Arts Center in Londonderry, and the Poe Park Museum in Bronx, N.Y., just to name a few.
Currently, most of Mix’s art focuses on children’s illustrations and her own writing, and a possible picture or graphic novel series featuring her character Spike the Dragon. “It’s a story I’ve been working on for a long time and after many helpful critiques and revisions – I belong to a great critique group and two children’s publishing associations – it is now starting to spark some interest.”
Mix is currently setting up exhibits for the fall, including a showing at the West Townshend Country Store where she will offer her original watercolor paintings, prints, cards, and illustrated pillow covers. “One of the fun parts of being an artist is having the opportunity to encourage both younger and older generations to follow their artistic dreams and goals, and I am happy to say that I am listed on the Vermont Art Council’s ‘Teaching Artists Roster’ for cartoon/illustration and drawing residencies.”
For more information about the wonderful art world of Christine Mix, as well as her upcoming local exhibits, please visit her website at www.christinemixart.com.