Christiane Cegavske

For the record, please state your name, and occupation.
Christiane Cegavske, artist/animator

Tell us about your art. How would you describe it?
My work leans toward surrealism. My paintings tend to be rendered realistically while my films tend to involve anthropomorphic creatures in fancy costumes. The imagery is inspired by my own mythic imaginings that have drawn from many sources. In addition to the world around me, inspirations include Bosch, Botticelli, Frida Khalo, Jan Svankmajer, Joseph Campbell, the ancient myths of many cultures…….

Photo by Robin Loznak

What have you been working on?
I have made a few animated films, the best known is my feature length work, “Blood Tea and Red String” now available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Tea-String-Christiane-Cegavske/dp/B000HIVIRY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1272132518&sr=8-1

I recently completed a music video for Mark Growden’s song Coyote from his album “Saint Judas” put out by Porto Franco Records. Watch it here: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=384305948999

I have a new film in progress called “Seed in the Sand” that is partially part two of the trilogy begun with “Blood Tea and Red String” but also a story that stands on its own. More information can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seed-in-the-Sand/102959884503

I am taking a break from my film to work on a collection of paintings which will most likely be titled “Little Red” which tell a story of sorts. I plan to publish the collection as an art book. Join my facebook fanpage to get updates on this and other projects: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Christiane-Cegavske-Creator-of-Many-Things/113331288693278

I have published two books of poetry and art, the newest one which should be available towards the end of June 2010 is “A Raven in the Looking Glass”. The first one, “A Raven Went Out Walking” was originally done as a hand bound book in 1996 is now available in an affordable printed version on CreateSpace.
“A Raven in the Looking Glass”: https://www.createspace.com/3437116
“A Raven Went Out Walking”: https://www.createspace.com/3424955

I also love to sew my own fancy outfits. I have an store on Etsy where I offer an assortment of clothing, dolls, my board game called “Doll Hunt” and a few of my paintings here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/littlemisscrow

Do you have a brand name/ company name?
Little Miss Crow

Is there a story behind the name? How did you come up with it?
I have been in love with ravens and crows for most of my life. I made a pair of leather crow feet for a costume and a few friends started calling me Christian Crow. Little Miss Crow evolved from there as my pseudonym.

How did you get involved with art?
I have made art of some sort since I could hold a crayon.

What themes does your work generally revolve around?
Some form of rag doll often shows up in my work, as well as ravens. Images of tearing apart or tearing out. Birth and death combined. The wolf headed man is a frequent character as well.

Photo by Robin Loznak

What is the creative process like for you?
My ideas grow upon each other. Random new things appear in my sketchbooks from time to time to be incorporated into the greater mythological whole.
Ideas plague me for years sometimes before I finally am able to bring them to life. For days and sometimes weeks I must force myself to devote an hour or two a day to one of my projects until suddenly I become obsessed with the project and will be unable to let it alone until it is finished.

What materials do you generally work with?
I use acrylic paint, watercolor, pencil and ink mostly. For my films, I use whatever materials will work best for the character I am working on. I use a lot of cloth, wire, fur and hot glue.

How do you market/ promote your work?
I wish I had a good PR person. I am really not good at promotion. I make announcements on my facebook fan pages and using my email list. I agree to do interviews such as this one.

Are you involved with any arts communities/ groups?
I am a member of ASIFA, though I am a little behind on my dues.
I am a member of a group called Moveable Feast that began in Los Angeles a few years ago as a way to share our projects with each other and I am a member of a sewing circle from San Francisco, but the members of both groups have scattered around the country and we do our best to keep in touch but neither meet formally anymore.

What do you hope people get out of your work?
Joy or inspiration? New questions to ask? I don’t know really. I am just compelled to make it and share it.

Have you shown your work/ exhibited?
Blood Tea and Red String has played in many festivals all over the world. I have been in a few art shows with my paintings.

Did you study art in school?
Yes I have a bachelors degree in painting from San Francisco Art Institute.

Photo by Robin Loznak

What are you currently reading?
My old textbook containing literature of the western world. I just finished the Odyssey. I am heading towards Dante’s Inferno stopping to look at a bit of Plato on the way. I am about to start Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti that my friend just sent to me. I am sure to be horrified.
I recently read a collection of Philip K. Dick’s short stories, The Witches of Eastwick, Jane Eyre and the Vampire Chronicles trilogy. My tastes tend to run towards Gothic Horror and Science Fiction.

Music you like?
Black Sabbath, Nick Cave, Bauhaus, Donovan, The Seeds, Burl Ives, Ghastly Ones, Janet Klein, Clara Rockmore, Yma Sumac, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Miss Murgatroid, Sounds of Asteroth, Something About Reptiles, Vagabond Opera, Diamanda Galas, Faun Fables, Fishtank Ensemble, Mark Growden, Sweet Hollywaiians, Ataraxia (the Italian band), The Tiger Lillies…….

Favorite visual artists?
Leonora Carington, Leonor Fini, Jan Svankmajer, Hieronymus Bosch, Sandro Botticelli, Frida Khalo, Christine Shields, Jason Mecier, Edward Munch, Aubrey Beardsley, Dante Gabriel Rossetti…..

Favorite movies?
Wind in the Willows by Terry Jones, Alice by Jan Svankmajer, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Night of the Hunter, The Loved One, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Dr. Strangelove, The Trip, The Hunger, The Unholy Three, Metropolis, Cremaster Cycle, Microcosmos, Angels & Insects, The Piano, Our Hospitality, Tuvalu, Careful, The Saddest Music in the World, The Curse of the Wererabbit…..

Where do you live?
I live deep in the Oregon woods. I used to live in San Francisco and then Los Angeles.

Your website:
www.christianecegavske.com

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5 thoughts on “Christiane Cegavske

  1. Great interview! I saw “Blood Tea and Red String” a few years ago and LOVED it. It reminded me of The Brothers Quay animations. Now I need to check out all the rest of her doings.

  2. Thanks Ruth for posting this…after checking out Blood Tea & Red String I was very intrigued about Christiane! I love her creepy, gothic, and yet almost victorian/romantic approach. Great interview!

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