3 Questions with Sandy Christ, the German-Nigerian Designer & Illustrator We’ve Fallen For

“Creativity needs new perspectives and different backgrounds to thrive and come up with new innovative ideas.” – Designer and illustrator Sandy Christ

Sandy Christ
Sandy Christ

The internet is a big, wonderful place, and magical things happen when we find kindred spirits! One such is London-based designer and illustrator Sandy Christ, who we chanced to e-meet last year, and have only fallen more in love with since – no explanation needed, you’ll totally get it once you start scrolling!

We asked her to share a bit about her journey and share some of her work with you lovely people in our community, so get to know her below and make sure you’re following along wherever you can find her!

Sandy Christ
Sandy Christ

Hi, I’m…

…Sandy Christ, 26 years old, and I’m a German-Nigerian Designer & Illustrator who packed all her belongings to make my way to London in the middle of a pandemic and Brexit. 

Describe your illustration style…

I really love mixing objects and topics to create very surreal imagery that inspire the viewer to start seeing things from different angles. I’m very concept-driven and can get very frustrated if there is no catch or twist that I can incorporate within my creations. For me, illustration is a tool to portray and talk about things and topics in a way that images of reality can’t provide. The surreal and dreamlike character forces people to escape real life for a second and stir up their fantasy.

I love that not everyone takes away the same meaning or subjects from my images. It is really exciting for me to see how people connect their own experiences and meanings to them instead of me predefining what some illustrations mean. Every time I create a new illustration my mom asks me “But what does that mean?”, and I always ask her back “Well, what do you see in it?”.

Where do you get your inspiration from? And how do your illustrations connect to female empowerment?

I’m still trying to use illustration to find my identity and define the fields I’m most passionate about. I love to draw inspiration from music, especially overly thought through metaphorical song lyrics and concept albums. Also, science funny conversations with friends, situations and the atmospheres I find myself in (especially on long London walks), but also fellow illustrators and artists inspire me and every now and then I also encounter a tiny illustration idea epiphany.

Although there is a lot of controversy surrounding the ability to build your own “knowledge and influence bubble” on social media I’m really inspired by surrounding myself with fellow PoC with various different passions ranging from the culinary industry to fashion and beauty. *I’m going to touch upon why this is really important to me later in the text.

Also, coming from a Biotechnological Highschool background I’m very much inspired by science and really interested in astronomy and everything the vast mysterious space has to offer.

Sandy Christ
Jungleleg / Sandy Christ

The topics I address in my illustrations are very varied but also sometimes feature female empowerment and body positivity. My illustration called “Jungleleg” is the most popular illustration on my Instagram feed. I think it is really interesting that a lot of people resonate with it. The deforestation of our bodies begins as soon as the first rays of sunlight hit our faces in spring. Not only is this illustration talking about women being pressured by society to remove their body hair, but it also draws a connection to another huge topic, which is the destruction of our forests.

I saw that the combination of these two topics also gave people a different view of their own body hair. Some started seeing their hair more as “growing trees” than “unwanted weed”. Which gave them the perspective to start to embrace how nature formed us with all the hair that comes with our bodies. 

Another illustration I created during a collaboration with Adobe Germany features lemons in panties. The collaboration was based on words both our Instagram communities submitted. Then, I had to form word associations to create illustrations from. The words that inspired this illustration were “Lemon tree”, “Body Positivity” and “Underwear”. No lemon has exactly the same shape. Nothing in nature is 100% the same and that is why we can’t expect that all human bodies are able to attain societies ideal of beauty that is physically not possible for most people.

How do you see yourself as an illustrator in the creative industry?

Since I’m fairly new to the illustration industry I’m still on the search for my style and how to position myself within the industry. But I already know that I want to inspire young females especially PoC females to follow their creative hearts and venture into the creative industry.

*Growing up in Germany as a female PoC without any role models surrounding me in film, Tv, magazines, or other media I had nobody to look up to. From kindergarten, all the way to university I always was the only mixed-race person. When I started studying my BA I was wondering why, when you look at the creative industry, there are predominantly men but when you look at the universities there are mainly women studying. White men are dominant in this industry and it’s about time that this changes. We need more females and also PoC represented in our field. Creativity needs new perspectives and different backgrounds to thrive and come up with new innovative ideas. 

Sandy Christ
Sandy Christ

This is why after my BA I packed my bags despite the pandemic and Brexit and took the opportunity to start my MA in London. I’m happy to be part of a huge diverse creative community that allows me to be myself and also get inspired by all the different backgrounds and perspectives that I longed for as a kid. Although this city harbours various people from different backgrounds, I don’t want to paint a picture where it looks like London is the perfect multicultural hub. This city still has a number of issues to deal with but it’s still a great place to be surrounded by and intersect with an array of different voices and cultures.

sandy christ

Get into Sandy’s work and universe at her Instagram @sandychristillustration

Photo: Sandy Christ by Andi I. Cristea

…and psst, are you an artist? Want to see your work and story on our platform? Get into our inbox here: girlsareawesome.com/contribute


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