Today we’re excited to introduce you to Craig Thornton. Craig is a Visual Artist and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Craig below.
Hi Craig, so great to have you join us again. For folks who might have missed our earlier conversations, can you please take a minute to briefly introduce yourself?
I am Craig Thornton, an independent visual artist living and working in Mesa, Arizona. I specialize in dark and surreal fantasy drawings.
Why do you choose drawing as your preferred medium?
I have always loved to draw ever since I was a child. It allows me to directly transfer my thoughts to paper. I bring my ideas to life by using lines to create shapes, forms, and texture.
What are some of your primary influences in your art?
Some of my primary influences have been Greek mythology and European fairy tales. I have loved to read books and watch movies about these stories ever since I was young. Some of the ones that were most influential to me were The Abduction of Persephone by Hades, Theseus and the Minotaur, Perseus and Medusa, Rumpelstiltskin, and Hansel and Gretel. The heroes and monsters contained within provided themes and archetypes that sparked my imagination. Surrealism has also been a huge influence. I connected with their exploration of the subconscious through dreamlike imagery which also often contained mythical beings. Some of my favorite artists from this period are Max Ernst, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo, and Leonora Carrington. All of these artists have intense and often very dark personal mythologies which resonates with me.
What is special about your art that people should know about?
One of my biggest challenges in life has been to live a unique and authentic life as an artist. I have faced a lot of external and internal pressure at various stages to not pursue art as a living and to do something others consider to be more practical. Each work I do is a testament to my own identity and journey as an artist. My work is figurative in nature and each figure is an exploration of identity. I depict unique figures who are the masters of their own destiny in an otherworldly environment. I take inspirations from various sources, mix in my own ideas and emotions and place these figures into a framework of my own personal mythology. Everyone has their own journey to take, but we are all connected. The more people who choose to live an authentic life, the better the world would be. My aspiration is to connect with others who feel the pressure to live inauthentic lives. I hope people can see themselves in my figures and discover the courage to keep on their journey to self-discovery and self-acceptance.
Why should people collect art?
People should collect art to bring a more intimate and personalized artistic experience into their lives. Most people think of art as something they see in a gallery, museum, or publication. These are all great venues to experience art. However, this art has been selected by specific persons for a specific theme and broader audience. An individual becomes an active participant in the curation of art for their own life when they collect art. The process of selecting a piece of art helps a person to identify themes that resonate or inspire them. Placing a piece of art in a specific space can bring new energy and transform the environment. It furthers the expression of the individual’s identity. It also creates a deeper connection between the collector and the artist when an individual collects works by independent artists.
How would someone go about collecting your work?
People can see featured works and purchase t-shirts from my website, www.craigofthorns.com. People can also connect with me and see recent works on my Instagram @craigofthorns. They should contact me through either my website or Instagram to purchase original works. I have original works at varying price points. I am also working on a coloring book to be published this year.
Why do you feel that art is particularly important in these uncertain times?
Art is important more than ever during these times. Right now, many people are feeling a lot of stress due to isolation or other pandemic created hardships. Anything that inspires and brings joy to our lives is worth pursuing. On one level, art can bring a new aesthetic or energy to a space. On another level, art can connect to a deeper part of ourselves that gives us strength and uplifts us.
Alright, so before we go, how can our readers connect with you to learn more and show support?
Your readers can see some of my work and follow me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/craigofthorns/. Positive comments, shares, likes and follows on social media would be a good way for people to show support and appreciation for works by an independent artist like me. They can also learn more about me and my work by visiting my website – www.craigofthorns.com. Visitors to my site can see featured works, read my blog where I write about my art, and buy t-shirts and upcoming products. They can also connect with me through the site with any feedback or inquiries about my work.