Lieutenant Uhura – Christian Newell‏

After a satisfying morning of ‘Trolling’ through cyberspace (just kidding…kind of) I came across Christian Newell’s work through one of my favourite sites Pretty Real. Here he talks charcoal and acrylics, work flow and secret projects…

How was your recent solo exhibition? Seeing the culmination of so much hard work in one space with people you know must have been amazing?

The exhibition went exactly to plan! I really have to thank t-co-se for allowing me to exhibit in their gallery. But ye it felt real good to have all the work that was pretty much lying around my room and scattered around my house in one space, framed and looking sexy!

How much do you think your time at Camberwell helped you and do you think the South London artist community motivates you to keep evolving being alot talent?

Out of 10 I would say around 6 and I wouldn’t say it motivates me i’m a pretty self motivated person. But living in south for most of my life I have noticed a lot more so called art students and creatives around the place. But there is a lot more happening now than ever before, galleries and cafes are popping up everywhere, everything’s livening up! Peckham is the place to be.

‘Sibling’ is gorgeous how long did it take and how big is it in real life, even on the internet is seems to have a huge presence?

Thank you :) well i did it back in 09’ took me roughly 8 hrs to complete it was a pretty quick piece I really wowed my art teachers. Its 90cmx120cm and yeh I guess so its quite a punch in the face.

Are there any themes behind this piece that would be a running theme throughout your work?

To be honest I wouldn’t really go too deep into it because its pretty simple. It’s all to do with the process, if you get that right then its all pretty self explanatory. I wanted to portray youth and sum up my brother in a single image. I put a lot of energy into that piece and through my mark making I feel that it shows that energy.

Could you describe for us your typical ‘start to finish’ workflow when working on a something?

I always research into my subject matter to the extent were like a jedi i feel as if I am at one with it. Then if its a commercial piece i prepare numerous sketches to show to the client. However when I am painting I don’t really plan instead I develop my work from start to finish through trial and error all done straight on the canvas. Ive never really been a fan of planning, its something that i’ve had to pick up over the pass few years.


‘Sibling’ – Christian Newell

What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?

Paint brushes, rags, my hands, fingers, bits of card? On the computer I use photoshop and illustrator.

Are there any common obstacles you run into as a result of your process?

My mother, I love her to bits but she is my biggest and harshest critic. I’m always afraid of her words of wisdom.

How important is your work environment, do you have music and ladies or friends turning up with beer or is it closed down operation until a project is finished with full focus?

A good working environment is important but not always necessary. I prefer to work by myself, surrounding my environment with objects, random pages from magazines a lot of photos for reference and so on.  Most of the time I would have music playing out loud while logged onto facebook and the TV on while I am working, i’m not a fan of silence. Need those positive vibez. Recently I have been taking my sketchbook along with me even if were just chilling at a homies house banging out tunes and it would just become natural for me to engage in a full force conversation while banging out a rapid drawing, guess i’m good at multitasking

Have you ever had to walk away from a project because you perhaps found it too difficult to realize it exactly as it appears in your head?

Never that!! I hate walking away from a challenge, when something seems to difficult to realize its a good indication to stick to it!

What are you favourite mediums do you like to use to create some of you work?

Aerosol and acrylic are my main mediums alongside anything i can grab my hands on. Graphite is a medium which has always been too familiar with me and charcoal is an awesome medium, which i feel is very underrated I NEED TO USE MORE CHARCOAL.

“London’s Ninja Cats crew have added Christian Newell to their roster of steeze oozing fixed gear freestyle riders. He recently had a date with the business end of a car so he’s out of action for a while” hahah…Are you okay now and how long have you been riding?

HAHA Ye i’m ok now! been riding for around 2-3 years now, gonna give it another month and jump back onto the tricks, see if I still got it!

What have you got coming up next for you this year?

Well i’m working on a project with the cut magazine, and the rest is a secret ;) ima keep ya posted!!

Interview by Von Von Lamunu

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