Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Christi Furnas.
I’ve been working as a professional artist since my teens. My life has had its twists and turns, ups and downs. At twenty-four, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. With help from my friends and family (including fur babies), some caring nurses and even doctors, I’ve been able to survive, keep my sense of humor, and thrive as an artist. So here I am.
I rely heavily on my imagination while drawing and let the pen take over, which it does, in a way. I use a smooth line with an emphasis on negative space. The white of the page is where I invite you to meditate on your interpretation of what my drawings might mean. I’ve worked with oil paint, graphite and pastels, I even tried watercolor but that pretty much failed. Working with charcoal is also wonderful, but now I’m focused on pen and ink. My most recent work has been a on graphic medicine narrative. My main character Fox (they/them) is a walking, talking fox who stumbles along, telling my stories better than me. Well, given I’m the one drawing Fox, I do have some influence over the story.
The story starts as Fox battles psychiatric symptoms and tries to stay employed. They navigate the health care system and attempt to maintain friendships, even as defining “reality” becomes a challenge. My goal is to keep my stories accessible, meaning that there is light to balance the dark. I want anyone living with mental illness to know they are not alone, that although no two stories are the same, it is possible someone might be able to understand a little of what their journey has been.
I invite you to be entertained, to have fun, fall in love with art and start what might otherwise be a hard conversation.
Christi Furnas is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Get In Touch
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