Meet Australia’s Rising Star The Very Creative Anthony Christou
Tell us about yourself we want to know everything!
“My name is Anthony Christou, I’m an artist, fantasy illustrator and comic book creator. My family is from Cyprus and I was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia. Growing up I loved watching Never Ending Story and Star Wars. As a child, you would often see me dancing, taking part in drama classes and dabbling in Art. Coming from Cyprus as you can imagine with all its historical castles and old ancient ruins, it truly has had a huge impact on my creativity”.
Oh wow, sounds amazing. What would you say is the biggest influence on your artistic talents?
“The biggest influences for me were my love for fantasy, mythology and legends. Mythology is what has inspired many modern-day superhero stories. These heroes are found in our everyday storytelling and psyche, so many of us have fantasies about transforming into a superhero with special powers. So for me, it was definitely mythology and comics that got me into illustrating”.
Were there any other artists or art forms that added to your inspiration?
“The romanticist movement of art has such gorgeous detailed and realistic paintings. The movement of surrealism and the works of Salvador Dali are also so stunning. These movements have inspired my work and I hope that my art has these elements also”.
Your work is outstanding and absolutely amazing, what gives you a different edge? It feels very different when looking at your creations, there is something very unique and deeply mystical here.
“What gives my work an edge is the combination of imagination and realism. Painting with traditional Acrylic paint, gouache and also painting digitally with photoshop and the iPad pro gives me the “edge”. Currently, I’m learning 3D to speed my workflow up with digital painting and art.
If you are going to be an artist these days it is a good idea to learn as many tools as you can. Traditional painting is great but having knowledge of digital painting also helps you to reproduce your work on a large scale. Being an artist though, I think we all just fall in love with the process and the tools that we have available to us. In this modern era, you would be silly not to try as many different things as you can”.
Tell us about your current project or work you are about to do. We want to follow you on your journey.
“Currently there’s my fantasy graphic novel on Kickstarter. In 6 days, it’s already been funded at 63% which is very exciting for me. I wanted to make a fantasy series that has wizards of many cultures and backgrounds with female and male lead characters. The reason why I have female lead characters is because my niece asked to have her own Amazon based on the Greek legends of Artemis. So I created Zara Artemis the Amazon and Lena of the light for my nieces and all women. Don’t worry, we have the barbarian characters for the guys also.
Luminous Ages also has environmental messages with nature and an alliance of wizards, with a unique type of magic fighting to save their planet. This story expresses my passion for the genre of fantasy and mythology. I created this series to give a new voice and vision to fantasy by representing different cultures. I have expressed environmental messages through these comics as it is a topic dear to my heart. My aim is to entertain and touch readers on a deep level with positive messages of hope.
This is my dream project as it has allowed me to explore my imagination with no limits and bring a different voice to the genre of fantasy.
I am also working on creating a large body of digital and traditional paintings from the realms of fantasy and mythology. These will be fine art pieces made over this year and next year for some really large exhibitions in major galleries. Adelaide is a small market for art. I feel Melbourne and Sydney plus Brisbane have a hungry art collecting audience.
Your fans must love your work, can you share how you are influencing others to see themselves in your creative work?
“It is awesome to see teenagers, children and young adults coming up to me at conventions with my comics in hand asking for a signature on the book. I am actually mentoring a total of 5 young artists who are studying illustration. I do this to help them out as my way of giving back to the community. My mentor and now colleague is Rob Richardson who has worked on the comic with me for a while now. Having his help inspired me and helped me to be a better artist”.
“Rob helped me for free because he believed in me. I am giving that help back to young artists that approach me and are genuinely good people. I am helping even comic book writers my age by advising them on what they need. With what I am doing, publishing card games, comics and art exhibitions, I have had creators of all ages say that I have inspired them to follow their dreams. It gives me the warm and fuzzies and I love hearing that I have helped people in some way. Art of all kinds does not cure cancer but because it makes people happy, it could be preventing it”.
What are your plans? Where can people find your work and find out more about you?
The rest of the year is about completing my graphic novel, the first 140-page book, and getting it epic for my backers and fans. I am also planning on exhibiting my work at several Australian comic conventions like Supanova and OzComic Con. These events are great experiences for the public and artists in comics’ popular culture art. If you paint anything that comes from pop culture I highly recommend exhibiting at these shows. The goal is to also create in total a series of 12 traditional and digital paintingsas fine art pieces to exhibit that are related to my comic book series.
This year I’ve been invited to New York Comic Con as a professional and I am exhibiting my art in Pennsylvania, at the show Illuxcon. So this is exciting for me. Going to the U.S.A. is scary and also fun at the same time. The great thing about being an artist is I get to travel so much, although it can be both exciting and tiring sitting on planes for like 24 hours! Illuxcon is an amazing show for fine artists who paint fantasy and realism. I want to take a whole bunch of my original acrylic paintings, show them off and see what happens. I am so blessed to be able to do what I love.
It is not easy doing this as you have the financial aspects to consider and selling art is loads of work. However, if you are an artist of some form I really urge you to follow your dream and never give up. Even if you have to take on a part-time job to pay the bills, still stick to it cause there are so many opportunities for creative people. Hey, when the computers and robots take over we are all going to need creativity!”
Any last words? We would love to see you do so many great things and as time goes what legacy will you leave us?
My big goals are to work on the card game Magic the Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons but the bigger picture is to keep on developing my own comic book stories, original paintings, exhibiting and creating card games or other cool creative products and merchandise for my brand that fans love.
Now till May 17th I am running my biggest crowdfunding project which is backed by the government in Australia. So it is double or nothing for me. Creative Partnerships Australia offers all Australian creatives who do crowdfunding a chance to double their funding up to $10,000 for a project they run from Feb-May each year. This project is great for all creative people: dancers, artists, musicians filmmakers, graphic novelists, visual artists and more.
So my focus is on hitting my $10,000 goal. Presently I am 63% funded which is awesome for 6 days. I am truly grateful and I have a funny feeling I can get to my goal with public support.