We had the good fortune of connecting with Cristina Tudor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cristina, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Today, as a fashion illustrator, I paint live bespoke portraits of guests at in-person and virtual events in retail, fashion, weddings, etc. I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing clients such as Chanel, Ferragamo, Piaget, David Yurman, The Ritz Carlton, Google, Warner Bros., Diptyque and Sephora, among others, many of them on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. But my road to my illustration business started a long time ago, with my love of fashion and drawing going all the way back to growing up. As a kid, my school notebooks were full of fashion drawings, and I was constantly designing and making my own clothes, jewelry, and even shoes. I’ve always been a creative person, which eventually led me to becoming an architect. After 15 years of practicing architecture, I realized I wanted to take a chance and follow my dream of painting full time. In 2017 I quit my corporate architecture job as a project manager and became a full-time fashion illustrator.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My clients are delighted by my custom portraits, and their strong reactions when they first see their portrait, the surprise and excitement, even tears of happiness, always thrill me. I love capturing someone’s likeness and a special moment in time with my brushes and paints and to have them see themselves through my artist’s eye. Each time, I witness a unique experience of self-discovery, like an awakening. It’s incredibly fulfilling to know that my artwork makes a difference in someone’s life, and I love the special emotional connection I form with my clients as we share this experience. Building my small business wasn’t easy, and it still brings challenges every day. My biggest challenge is pushing through the fear of the unknown, and the way I move forward is by taking action every time I feel that resistance. On the other side of my fears awaits my greatest reward: connecting with my clients through my artwork on a personal level, in a meaningful way, which is extremely important to me. It’s what guides the way I run my business, one client at a time. Art, as essential as breathing, by its very definition exists to evoke emotion, and I’m grateful I can create artwork that touches lives and reminds us life is an experience to be lived to the fullest.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s no secret I love Los Angeles, my favorite home, more than any other city in the world! Simply walking around, looking up at my beloved palm trees silhouetted against the blue skies or the gorgeous LA sunset, is an experience in itself. We also have some of the best beaches (like Zuma Beach and the secluded El Matador) and hiking trails (my faves hikes are in Malibu and at Sturtevant Falls in the San Gabriel mountains). Before quarantine, my boyfriend and I loved exploring new restaurants and old favorites all over LA on the weekends. Now we try to support some of our favorite spots with takeout as much as we can. After a good hike, there’s nothing better than a cappuccino at Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena, lunch at the Grand Central Market or Guisados in DTLA and dinner at Milo & Olive in Santa Monica.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am very fortunate to have a long list of people in my life who help and encourage me along the way, and I am so grateful for each and every one of them. But most of all, I’m thankful for my mom, my boyfriend and my best friend! Their unconditional love and support feed my soul every day, especially during these challenging times. They make me happy and my life complete – I couldn’t do it without them!