Nature-Inspired Charcoal Drawings by Christopher Owen Smith
We feature some of our favorite Etsy artists in our most recent spring catalog, including Christopher Owen Smith’s nature-inspired charcoal drawings! Read our interview with the Ohio-based artist and see more of his work…
What’s the origin story of Wild Pulp Studio?
Wild Pulp started in late 2009, when I signed up to participate in the National Stationery Show in New York. At the time I had 6 card designs and a vague idea of the bark animal collection in the back of my mind, but I knew the event would flush out the work, and more charcoal drawings in the process.
Where do you like to turn for inspiration?
Visual rhythms and textures in nature and man-made environments, but also the process of making artwork inspires me when all cylinders are firing. I believe “accidents” are particularly important while working. It’s critical for me to stay open to them and recognize their value as soon as they happen, before they get covered up. That whole experience can be a powerful teacher for paying attention to the present and not getting bogged down mentally with what has happened, what might happen or what I think should happen.
When did you start making these charcoal drawings, and what draws you to the medium?
I’ve been working in charcoal for as long as I can remember. It has such a primal, ancient quality, and its natural behavior is to make everything black and messy. Instead of fighting that, I try to steer it.
What is your studio space and practice like?
My space is uncluttered, except for natural curio objects, tools and materials. No art on the walls, except what I’m working on. I would sum up my practice as trying to weave those “accidents” into the fold of a visual language, sort of a controlled chaos behavior. For many years, I’ve used hand cut paper cut-outs and ripped paper to create shape while drawing, staying focused on the forms as a whole.
What is the Wild Pulp theme song?
The Books’ Smells Like Content. I love everything about that song, the layers and words are so rich.
Read about all of our catalog-featured Etsy artists here!