Vision 21 - Christine O'Malley: Find Yourself In The Little Moments

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Christine O’Malley is 22 years young from the Chicagoland area. She has a passion for the arts, specifically in the visual and literary mediums. Christine currently works for VEQUE and Odyssey creating meaningful content for both platforms.

Ben: Before we get into questions, can you give readers a brief introduction of yourself?

Christine: My name is Christine O’Malley I am a senior at Illinois State University where I study Art Technology and have an Art Emphasis. Some specific things I study in Arts Tech is sound design, 3D modeling, graphics and UX design, to web coding. With my emphasis in art, I am able to take classes like mechanical motion, mixed media, and sculpture. I am passionate about all aspects of the arts including writing. Throughout the past two years, I have been Creator, Editor in Chief, President and even am serving on the Leadership Council for Odyssey. Odyssey is a platform for college students worldwide to write and publish content on a nationwide platform that has over 30+ million unique viewers a month. Additionally, I am VEQUE’s Audience Manager. VEQUE is a women-owned startup in Seattle. I work remotely with the CEO creating assets to brand and reach out to the audience in unique ways. I am currently working on an ambassador program and creating animations and graphics to be used for advertising.

Ben: When and how did you discover your passion for creating art?

Christine: There is no specific time that I remember finding my passion for art. There were many times in my early life where I felt uncertain of who I was. I have always been a very curious person. I always want to do and learn so many things. Around age 15 and since then I have started realizing more and more how beautiful life can be. Especially how beautiful the art of communication is. From words on paper to paintbrush on canvas. Eventually, I started creating art to fill up spare time. I didn't realize it then, but I was slowly finding my passion on the different canvases and sketch pads that I was making. It’s cliche, but I found my passion for the arts most when I was finding myself. I find that looking at a piece of art often feels like finding a piece of myself that I didn't know I lost or never had. I have come to the conclusion that I will never truly know who I am. I am always changing; growing. Once I’ve finished a piece, I feel like I am expressing a part of myself. This gives me a sort of comfort seeing something tangible the moment a piece is done because it is a reflection of who I am, who I aspire to be or grow into. I discovered my passion for art more and more every day because it makes me feel like I am not just consuming in life, I am also creating and giving back to this beautiful world.

Ben: What type of art do you typically create?

Christine: I create art that is seen in both the visual and literary world. My preferred medium is pen on paper, but I do enjoy converting drawings I make into Adobe Illustrator. I also enjoy digital and film photography. The type of art I create is not dictated by the medium, however, I always make sure that my art has an underlying meaning. I don’t create just to create, I create to influence. For instance, when I was assigned to create a video game, I created a video game that had a deeper meaning than just being a video game. The video game consisted of a game character drawn in meditation that you can move with your arrow keys on a computer. There were orbs flowing around and bouncing on the screen that this game character had to collect in a certain amount of time to reach “zen”. The deeper meaning in this is that when one is feeling overwhelmed, there often feels like things are constantly being thrown at them from left to right. This yoga person keeps their peace by remaining calm and collecting the orbs.

Ben: What progression have you seen throughout the years of creating?

Christine: One thing I have realized is that I will never be one certain type of artist. I have fallen in love with web coding, designing virtual realities, developing film in a dark room, to charcoal on sketch paper. I have also found that I am often combining my art with writing. Many times a person might not understand the full meaning of my work until I explain it with writing or vocally. Also, I have realized that creating things that aren't that great, is better than creating nothing at all. I used to find myself holding myself back from realistic art because I felt like it wasn't good enough. Now I know that drawing anything, is always better than nothing at all. With consistency and practice, you can master anything you can imagine.

Ben: What advice would you give to someone following their passion?

Christine: Advice that I would give anyone following their passion is to take it day by day. Some days you will think to yourself; is it worth it? And some days you will feel like you have everything together. Especially in the arts, it can feel like you will never have your big break. Realize that you might not ever have that big moment when you’re like okay, this is it, I have succeeded. Instead, you will find yourself in little moments with yourself like working on a project so passionately that you forget that you were ever even trying to make this this passion a career. Those are the victories artist have to start off with. Lastly, I would tell anyone following their passion to just be. Just be who you are, don't try to be like anyone. Sometimes you get so lost aspiring to be like someone that you forget that you were always special in the first place.

Christine is creating her future day by day. Her passion for the arts and bringing her creations to life is inspiring for anyone who knows her. You can find her on Instagram @christineomalley and Twitter @christineo17