Biography of Artist Chris Pein and Entry Descriptions

For IDAA 2005 Call for Entries/Print Submission

Starting out as a traditional fine artist, Christina transitioned into Graphic Design and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design degree from the University of Illinois in 1999. She worked for Motorola as a designer and illustrator for three years with its engineering and technical publications groups.


Desperately missing creative and conceptual freedom, Christina moved to southern California to pursue graduate study and focus on integrating her traditional artistic visions into digital contexts. Since July of 2001, she has been a full-time faculty member with the Art Institute of California–San Diego teaching courses in advanced image manipulation, graphic design, and advertising design.


With strong spiritual interests, she continues to develop and exhibit integrations of traditional and digital mediums into her own work, with great emphasis on personal expressions of past experiences and validation of spiritual turning points. Christina specializes in the simulation of traditional artistic techniques and alternative process photography via digital tools and software applications. She has a specific motivation to create visual commentary on social and political issues and their deeply personal effects on the human spirit.


From her own autobiographical introduction in The Chicken Book; “The events of this life occur in a full circle. The beginning is the same as the end, yet there is no end. And everything in between is a moderate pattern of change, progression, and regression. In a sequence of events, it is not as versatile, productive, or truthful to follow a linear process. A straight line is superficial in any sense of the word. It is far more reliable to account for the past events or thoughts as a key component to reaching a resolution, even if they are seemingly disregarded. They must exist to make the whole.”


Trouble Valley is the product of a lifetime of art collaged into a symbolic representation of sprituality. The background is a crayon drawing created at age 5. The pessimistic misfortunes in the original drawing were digitally removed. The main character is a paper doll received at the age of 9 from an overseas penpal. It is intended that what she represents when considering her surroundings be determined by the viewer. Also in this composition are a collection of original pencil drawings, all three symbolizing dimensions of the spirit, antagonistic greed, immesurable love, and the eternal presence of warfare wounds (which repeats in many other works by the artist). The lotus contain original love letters received by the artist during her early twenties as a single mother. Finally, the foliage is composed of layers of digital painting referencing a pond where the artist currently frequents for ‘spiritual comfort’. The final composition was completed in 2004. Its original size is 30 inches in width by 20 inches in height, and was produced via Giclee process on archival watercolor paper. (IDAA entry composition size modified as per requirements).


Hale der Unterdrucker, (Hail the Oppressor) like Trouble Valley, is an integration of traditional mediums and digital painting. It too contains a combination of deeply personal symbolic elements expressing the artist’s response to current political conditions. It references dual heritage, deluded beliefs, repeated mistakes, immense fear of an over-empowered government, and being torn between patriotism and resentment. The final composition was completed in 2004. It is 18 inches in width by 24 inches in height, and was produced via Giclee process on archival watercolor paper.


The third entry, and most recent work by the artist included on CD is a culmination of digital painting tools and applications titled Grandma’s Doll. The painting is an original digital photograph manipulated into a layered,‘hand-rendered’ finish using custom digital paint brushes based on traditional brush marks. The composition is 17 inches in width by 12 inches in height and was produced via Giclee process on cotton canvas.

Contact Information:





Chris Pein

2675 W Canyon Avenue 540

San Diego, California USA 92123