Azzara Amoy Christie: The UAL Graduate With Wings

After graduating from London College of Communication in 2012 with a BA in Magazine Publishing, Azzara Amoy Christie, has lived in Tokyo, designed for Pop Brixton, Ted Baker and is currently showcasing work at the Black Blossoms Exhibition.

We caught up with her and find out how she is spreading her wings….

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What have you been up to since you graduated?

I have been doing a mixture of things. I was working in Bangkok and I loved it. However,  I didn’t like my job this pushed me more to pursue and focus on my passion for art. Since then I have mostly been freelancing and collaborating with brands/ organisation.

Can you tell us some of the brands and organisations you have worked for?

Art meets music, Squire and Partners, Pop Brixton, Blanks magazine, Ted Baker and Ellesse.

Wow really inspiring, tell us more about what you did for London Design Week:

I created an outdoor Mural entitled ‘Brixton Wings’ for the Brixton Design Trail (BDT) during London Design Week. The Street art gallery was hosted by Squire and Partners Architectural practice. The gallery covered the Brixton iconic Bon Marche Department store and was up for 3 weeks.

What is the process of making art on a large scale?

To begin the process I started off with a rough sketch of my idea. Then I researched the visuals and created a mood board, for example, the BDT mural featured different textile prints from different cultures. Then I designed the final sketch and sourced all the materials. l created stencils before hand to save time with drawing outlines on-site.

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Creating the physical piece takes time and patience, outlining and drawing everything out. When you create something on a larger scale, I tend to tweak, add to the design and go with what I think looks better.

I will be doing a live mural at Unmasked Women (an exhibition exploring Black Women and Mental Health in the UK) in September, sign up for the event now.

Why are you drawn to a career in the arts?

I’ve always been creative drawing, painting, and making my own clothes from a young age. My family is full of creative people so I’ve been exposed to different creative forms throughout my life. I also wanted to choose a career that I could see myself doing every day and being happy. My worst fear is to be stuck in a restrictive job that I hate.

What is the most positive and the frustrating thing about the arts and creative industries?

I see the arts and the creative industry as two completely different areas. The arts is free and self-expressive, no one can stop you from creating art. Once you add ‘Industry’ to, it becomes an economic activity, which unfortunately comes with restrictions and barriers. You have to find a balance that works for you personally as an artist.

You are currently exhibiting work in the Black Blossoms exhibition, tell us a bit about your piece:

My piece ‘ Black Woman are Superheros’ explores motherhood and I was inspired by the quote “With great power comes great responsibility” which is said at the beginning of spiderman.

Describe your mum in three words:

Strength, power and uniquely complex

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Fans of Feminism visited the Black Blossoms Exhibition recently and they said,  “there is a strong sense of sorority”.

What does Black Sisterhood mean to you?

Black Sisterhood is a blessing that has been bestowed on me. To be born with the ability to connect with other black women without saying a word, sharing inner strength and support. When a black woman loves herself she is showing me that she loves me.

Black women, you are my connection to the universe.

Beautiful.

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Lastly, You have taken part in many exhibitions and events.

What advice would you give to students and new graduates?

Create an online portfolio/website, get business cards and use social media to reach your audience. Research events related to your field and network. If you can, organise a solo or a collective exhibition. It doesn’t have to be a big space or an official gallery, hire a retail space and showcase your work.

Great advice and thank you for talking to Shades of Noir. Where can our readers see more of your work?

Website: www.azarraamoy.com

Twitter: @Thisisazarra

This interview is part of the #BlackBlossomsExhibit series.

Black Blossoms highlights the voices of Black Women in Higher Education and creative industries. The exhibition is open from 11 July – 2 October at UAL Showroom.