Chrissie Abbott is a designer, art director & artist from London. She creates bespoke content, imagery, and animation for brands utilising mixed-media for online & print. She also exhibits artwork internationally and make zines.
Some of Chrissie’s recent clients include ASOS, Nike, Vans, AnOther Magazine, The New York Times, Wallpaper*, Sony BMG and The Ace Hotel.
Give us a bit of background on your career.
I studied graphic design and illustration at LCC, in Elephant and castle. My first job was at a design studio in North London called Zip, who I basically owe all my Adobe skills to. I’ve been working freelance for the last 9 years.
My clients include Universal music, Vans, Adidas, Absolut, New York magazine & Dazed.
How would you describe your style? Has it changed over time?
Hectic and colourful? It’s definitely changed over time, I think the running themes and concepts are still sort of the same, but as I’ve grown up and my interests have evolved my work has changed with it.
I used to draw a lot more but I stopped enjoying it as much so I phased it out. I still use a range of media but I’m less afraid now of being a ‘digital artist’ I guess. A digital artist with hippy tendencies.
Which themes do you pursue?
Finding the magic in everyday life, creating your own reality, escapism, nature, metaphysics.
What’s your process for forming concepts and ideas? Is it all very experimental?
Yeah it’s pretty experimental, I usually start with a theme, or something that I’ve been inspired by and work from there and see where it goes.
Are all of your works digital or do you used mixed mediums?
It’s a bit of a mixed bag, I still make collages in the traditional cut and paste physical way, and paint patterns and textures. But there is nearly always a digital process involved too.
You’ve collaborated with other digital artists like Christie Morgan, what’s that process like working with other creatives? Do you find you challenge each other to push boundaries?
I love working with other people, it’s really exciting to talk through ideas and get to different destinations and unexpected outcomes. It’s refreshing to see what’s inside other people’s brains!
Sometimes working on your own can be a bit repetitive so it’s great to collaborate. Working with Christie (@teachesofpeaches) was really cool because we have the same mindset about a lot of stuff so it was pretty easy and organic.
What other artists / designers have inspired your work?
Where else do you look for inspiration?
I try and read a variety of different things, to keep my brain thinking and not just turn into a pile of mush. I also find music really inspiring, I think I’ve gotten a lot of ideas whilst watching bands. Watching bands and being on trains seems to be my time for optimum inspiration. Not watching trains and being on bands though.
What have been your favourite projects to work on? Tell us about them!
A lot of the music projects I’ve worked on have been my favourites, I enjoy the challenge of converting sound into a visual realm.
Working on the RvsVR zine with Christie is one of my recent favourites, getting so many incredible contributions from amazing artists and meeting new people because of the project was really inspiring.
What kind of brand collaborations have you worked on?
I’ve done a few over the years, my most favourite was for Australian sleepwear label Alas, I designed a repeat mushroom pattern that they made into pj’s and a robe, and we shot a video in Sydney on a super 8 camera.
I love the Alas ladies and their approach to ethical fashion is really helping to change the consumer mindset. Plus everything they make is incredible.
Are you seeing a growth in brands wanting to create unique social content with artists like yourself?
The world is definitely becoming more digitised every day and that naturally is how marketing and advertising is going too so yes social content is a big thing now for artists!
What makes great content?
Something clever that makes you think about things in a new, engaging way.
You’re based in London, do you work with many international clients? How do you find the different requests, are they pretty varied?
Yes I’ve been lucky to work with people all over the world, I’ve also spent a fair bit of time in other countries like Australia and America.
I guess the scale and format of things is varied, but I also think that the internet has made the world a smaller place so I don’t notice a huge difference in project briefs from Japan to London for example.
How has social media played a role in your career? Do you get approached for opportunities via Instagram?
Yeah its a game changer! Part of me wishes I was just starting out now and I was a savvy tech forward millennial with 100k followers.
When I first went freelance the world was a very different place and having a blog was the old version of Instagram.
Social media makes it so easy to get your work out there and to connect with different people and be seen.
I once woke up and looked at Instagram, and fitness guru Tracy Anderson had posted some of my work so I had a lot of new toned and muscular new followers, which was fun, I don’t know how she found me or my work so that felt a bit cosmic.
What advice would you give yourself if you started all over again?
Don’t stress out as much. Don’t do any kind of public speaking (I’m terrible at it).
Do you have anything exciting in the works?
A show of all new work coming up in LA in December at H+ which I’m super excited about.