Collection: Christina Hess

Animals from history.

Christina Hess is an illustrator and educator who combines an obsession with detail and a love of animals in pieces that play imaginatively with history. Working with oils, ink, Photoshop and Painter, she creates intriguing portraits of beloved historical figures, modeled on pets.

About the Artist

Christina Hess is an illustrator and educator based in Philadelphia. She earned her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and creates her illustrations from an orange-sherbet-painted studio there. An assistant professor and Chair of Illustration at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, she believes “it is extremely important to understand how to represent the basic fundamentals of a subject in order to abstract it. The strength in every project comes from being educated in the importance of drawing and design.”

Her popular “Animals from History” series explores animals as historical personalities in portrait form, pairing each with taglines offering insight into the character. It began in 2009 when a family friend asked Christina to make a portrait of his white cat, Lady, as Queen Elhissabeth I. At first, Christina was hesitant, as she did not want to be “that” person who painted animals in clothes. But it soon became a fun and satisfying project. She imagines some animals, while others are living or departed pets of clients. The artist’s own Basset hound, Roscoe, was the model for Napoleon BonEaparte. A lover of both animals and art, Christina continues to add to the collection.

Her work has been featured in magazines as well as books, including her first children’s book, “The Nutcracker,” released fall 2016. Her love of all things detailed has won her awards and admittance into annuals and competitions.

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