Our Artist in Residence: Christian Early
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Welcome to your blog post. This is a biography of our artist in residence who has been painting for over 15 years.
Christian’s is an illustrator, a cartoonist, and a painter. He has illustrated three of his mother’s books. The first, Can You See Me? The second, Diary of a Crazy Woman: One Woman’s Fight to Help her Son with Autism Find a Place in the World,” and the last one; Now, You Can See Me.
Though you may look at Christian’s works and believe he is an autistic savant, the truth is far from it. Painting for this 36-year-old adult with autism, did not come easily. At an early age sharks captivated him, but his poor fine-motor skills prevented him from excelling in this visual art. At 17, when educators predicted grim prospects for his future, a friend of his mother introduced him to painting. For the first time, Christian focused more than two hours on something. He was fascinated recreating a vase. He then went on to fashion a primitive superhero.
With this discovery, his mother tried to place him in an art school but encountered deep opposition. Christian lacked a high school diploma so he could not enroll in a college style art setting. He also needed one-on-one supervision. Determined to get her son the appropriate art education, Christian’s mother set in motion an “in-home art academy.” Christian began his daily five-hour art training and has continued this rigorous undertaking for the past 14 years.
At the beginning, his paintings were simple exercises building his fine motor skills such as creating complete circles and straight lines, but through the years his creations have developed into funny cartoon characters full of whimsical storytelling. Today Christian has flourished into an artist who has succeeded in painting how he sees his world: funny and comical with a sense of laughter few of us possess. Though at its inception his art consisted of eyes of lions that jumped at you, eagles that looked deeply into your heart, and other heartfelt animals; it has now evolved into cartoon-like characters that strike a smile: funny and crazy ladies with long arms or pointed fingers, animals full of smiles and wonder, his striking cats with unique personalities and and unique cartoon stories of talking creatures alongside other colorful humorous creations.
We invite you to enter into another dimension, unknown until now, where through his strokes and colors, this painter offers us the privilege of discovering how a man who has autisms sees our world. And thus, remember, that it’s not the disability that defines a man. What distinguishes a man from others is his courage to scream his expression no matter the diagnosis or label. Without further ado, we introduce Christian Early and his unmistakable courage!