Christian Roy is an illustrator and textile designer currently working towards his BFA in illustration at SCAD. His exhibition, It’s Been A Good Ride, is currently up at Sulfur Studios. The closing reception for the show is on Friday, March 4 from 6 – 9pm during the First Friday Art March. You can see more of Christian’s work at http://www.chrstnroy.com/.
SAI: So, what does It’s Been A Good Ride mean? Why did you choose that for your show title?
Christian Roy: It’s Been a Good Ride has a double meaning. First, the show revolves around life’s experiences from childhood to adulthood. It’s a celebration of the good and bad moments we all face in life. Second, the title serves as a farewell to school as I graduate from SCAD and enter the “real world” so-to-speak. I was playing with a lot of options, but this title spoke to me most.
SAI: There’s a ton of different media in this exhibition—everything from installation to illustration to fibers to collage. What was the experience of putting this show together like? What was most challenging and most rewarding for you?
Roy: Yes! A lot of mediums were used throughout the show. I don’t feel I should limit myself to one medium if I can convey a message more successfully with multiple techniques. I enjoy the process of using found objects and fibers together—and it makes for a primitive style.
The most challenging part was assembling the carousel and cuckoo clocks. Since they’re installations, you don’t know what it will look like until they’re installed.
The most rewarding part of this show is seeing it completely finished! Yay!
SAI: Can you tell us a bit about the cigarette carton assemblage dolls? What’s the back story there and what do they represent for you?
Roy: So, these pieces were actually an editorial assignment on men in China. One in three men die [there] due to second hand smoking. Can you believe that? It was an interesting prompt to me. I see smoking as a communal recreation—you can catch up with friends and family over a simple cigarette and lose them at the same time. So, I titled these pieces A Smokers Tale. Don’t worry mom and dad, I haven’t started smoking. (They’d kill me if I had.)
SAI: On the back wall there’s a kind of interwoven mixed media installation of gilded clocks with titles like “That One Time I Faced God” and “That One Time I Felt Stuck”. What’s the story behind that installation?
Roy: I am most excited about this installation and so pleased with its outcome. Each cuckoo clock represents a moment in my life. That Time I Faced God is about my time growing up in a religious household and That One time I Felt Stuck is indeed about a time I’ve felt stuck. They hold universal ideas about life I feel many people can relate to. There are more, but I don’t want to give away too much. You will have to come to the show and see for yourself.
SAI: You repeat the motif of baby doll parts throughout the show, both in your assemblages and in your illustrations. Why are you so drawn to that particular image?
Roy: I do, and for multiple reasons. I feel the dolls allude to childhood. I am most drawn to them because they are creepy! I enjoy using pastel, bright, colors against baby doll parts because it sometimes makes the viewer feel uneasy. It further illustrates the loss of innocence we all experience in our lifetime and ultimately our journey through adulthood.
SAI: What’s next for you after It’s Been A Good Ride? Anything you’re working on that you’re particularly excited about?
Roy: As I said earlier I am graduating from SCAD in a few weeks. It’s been a good ride, but it’s time to move on to greater things. (See what I did there?) I’ve recently received some exciting news: after this show closes, one of the pieces, D.I.D., will be traveling to the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in NY. It will be on display from May 10 – June 4 along with many other talented work from students across the U.S. Presently, I am finding freelance jobs in illustration. My fingers are crossed for those opportunities to come.