Christen Hall (Long) is a Métis Graphic Designer working out of her cat-friendly home studio in
Edmonton, Alberta. Christen is best known for both surreal and realistic imagery, and whimsical fantasy depictions of wildlife, natural landscape scenes, and the quirky animal characters illustrated in her adult coloring books.
While studying Television Arts at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 2009, she specialized in motion graphic art. Known for organic shapes and natural textures in pen and ink line art, her process often begins with traditional techniques of drawing and inking by hand, then transferring the art to a digital format for final refining and vectorizing.
She also paints in acrylic; portraits, animals and landscapes, on masonite and canvas. As an animal lover, she has an avid interest in wildlife and in depicting how they interact with natural areas, as well as man-made in
semi-wild or overgrown structures. She is also fascinated with photographing urban decay and how nature reclaims abandoned buildings.
Born and reared in picturesque Edmonton, Alberta, Christen has always had a passion for the outdoor life. Mountain climbing, snowshoeing, skiing and hiking in the wilderness—she’s done it all. It was a natural turn for her to incorporate nature into her work.
Often using photographs for reference, she has an DSLR film camera and a digital still camera, which she takes on trips throughout British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Nunavut. She’s traveled to remote wildernesses, but sometimes finds an idea very close to her own backyard.
While first venturing into wildlife art she studied all manner of birds in both acrylics and watercolor. It got to a point where she moved on to coyotes, cougars, beavers, foxes and bears. To get close to the animals, it helps living so close to the River Valley park system, a huge, sprawling urban parkland.
She works on a drafting table and has a habit of leaning on the painting as she’s working on the details, and although she has painted in oils before and enjoyed it, she prefers to work in acrylic now because it dries so fast. Of course, she has to work quickly before the paint dries. If she makes a mistake, in extreme cases, she’ll scrape off paint, sand the area down and redo it. Otherwise, she just paints over it after it dries and tries to avoid too much texture in the paint.
She is a confirmed cat lover and the studio cats enjoy roaming the yard while she draws and paints. She is the author/illustrator of the adult coloring books, Spirit Bear and Halloween Cat Party. She is currently working on her second installment of a series, titled Christmas Cat Party.