Christian Cimoroni is a pop queer icon. The artist knows how to serve queer aesthetically high work while challenging masculinity, gay culture, gender identity and pop references with his distinctive, fun, sexy and playful style. From pop divas like Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande to queer icons like Cody Fern and Troye Sivan, Christian sets the bar high.
Christian Cimoroni is a queer artist and illustrator from Columbus, Ohio and he knows how to capture the human form. His art is meant to uplift, support and bring nice feelings, making it easy to understand why he has taken over Instagram and has such a big fan base.
Who is Christian Cimoroni? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 28 year old queer illustrator from Columbus, Ohio. A lover of cats, queer/pop culture, and fashion. I went to art school at the Columbus College of Art and Design for Illustration. I currently work as a content designer for a T-shirt company.
How did everything start? When did you realize you have a talent in drawing?
I’ve been drawing since I was small, probably like 3-5 years old. I would draw on everything, computer paper, notebook paper. I sketched and scribbled on the back of plate mats or on the table sometimes when I would go out to eat with my family.
What role have social media played in your work?
Social Media has allowed my work to be seen by so many different people. It’s allowed me to meet tons of unique and talented artists. Some in which I’ve been able to collaborate, work with and or for and in turn grow myself as an artist. In general it’s raised my visibility and validity in what I create.
Who and what do you like to draw? What are your biggest inspirations and influences?
I like to illustrate pop culture moments. I’ve always loved Pop Art because it’s fun and innovative but also has some sort of message behind it. I also love to illustrate other artists. The Queer Art Trades are some of my favourite pieces to create! Probably because I get to meet and interact with a fellow queer creatives and often learn something new in the process of illustrating and exchanging.
Do you think the LGBTQ+ culture is unrepresented in the are world?
Yes, definitely. However representation is slowly but surely changing. That’s why it’s important to try and be as visible and queer as possible! Supporting other queer artists and making others visible is just as important too. The more of us there is supporting and connecting and collaborating, the stronger our presence and visibility becomes.
What have been the biggest difficulties you have faced along and the most unforgettable moments you have experienced?
Biggest difficulties I would say would be keeping up with content. Being an illustrator is not an easy job. It means you are constantly being and thinking creatively. Which can be exhausting. It involves many late nights, hunched over a computer in order to meet tight deadlines. But the rewarding part is growing, and meeting so many new people and getting insane opportunities. I think one of the most unforgettable moments was being included in OUT magazine’s100 most eligible bachelors list in 2018. I was amazed that they included me on the list with so many important, talented queer people. I was noticed for my art and queer art trades on the list. It’s so awesome and insane that I ended up on there. I still can’t believe I was.
What are you most proud of?
The Queer Artist Trades. Providing visibility for other queer artists is so important to me. Through my own visibility I want to pass that on to other artists who may be lesser known. Not that I hold all this power or an insane amount of followers compared to others. But, I do receive tons of messages that often say, “I find out about so many awesome queer artists because of your trades and posts”. Hearing that makes me feel so proud because it does help more queer artists be seen and recognised and feel valid.
Did you expect the huge fame and popularity that you gained through your social media accounts?
Not at all. I still don’t feel like it’s a huge amount of fame or followers I have. I see some fitness Instagram’s that have way more followers than me lol. I am so thankful for everyone who does take the time to follow my work and support me. It’s insanely gratifying to know that there is a huge group of people that care about my work.
Who would you like to draw that you have not done yet?
I’d love to draw concepts designs for Barbie dolls/toys. My dream is to design dolls for the BarbieDesigner label at Mattel. Actually just do any sort of illustrative work for the Barbie label really.
Nowadays that a lot of people promote their work through social media and digital platforms do you think there is a lot of competition? How do you stand out and what makes you different?
There are so many different and super talented artists. An overwhelming amount. It’s easy to get competitive and be jealous and compare yourself to others. Everyone does it. That’s why I like to collaborate with others. That way it helps connect the community and creates a less competitive energy. It can be hard to find your own voice when there is so much out there, but I think through working and collaborating with others it makes things feel less intimidating.
Is there a specific technique you follow in your artwork process?
Yes I start with line work -foundation. Then add all the layers. First with a solid block of colour, usually work light to dark and then layer and layer and layer until it’s fully rendered. It’s always a growing and learning process. So I feel like my technique changes quite often. That’s common with art. You’re constantly learning and surprising yourself.
How do you imagine your future as an artist?
I’m not quite sure. Hopefully to just keep creating and collaborating and growing.
How do people usually react when they see their drawings?
Usually, if all goes well. They are happy with what is made. I usually get excited emojis and hearts and OMG’s! Those always make me happy. Making people feel good with my illustrations is my greatest joy.
What are your dreams for the future?
My dreams are to just be able to keep creating and have time to do artwork that makes me happy. Doing work that pays the bills is necessary and I’m so grateful and thankful for it. However, doing that all the time can take away from the joy in creating. So just being able to stay happy with my work, is my ultimate dream.
Are you happy?
That’s a difficult question to answer, but I’d say I’m pretty happy with my life right now. There’s always ups and downs you know. But I get to make a living making art so I’d say that makes me pretty happy most of the time.
What is the best thing that has happened so far in your life?
I have so many things to be grateful for. I think my relationships with my friends and family. I’m super lucky to be so close with my family and friends and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without their love and support.
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*all images are courtesy of Christian Cimoroni