We had the good fortune of connecting with Cris Hamilton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cris, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
My storytelling at least aims at a way of nudging people to look at the world differently, even feel differently in it. It might be a very small difference in perspective, but any moment that we feel pure delight is a moment of great power. People remember those moments forever and return to them and, if they get some creative fuel or feel newly … inspired, take that back into the bigger world. I think that helps.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Long time friends are always surprised by my work. It is so not what they would have expected of me. I’m painting small watercolors – tiny monsters, tiny imaginary creatures, women. It’s whimsical work and I began my creative career as a writer with a focus on cultural criticism – not a critic, to be clear. From the beginning, I’ve loved exploring cultural habits, but my work was serious, even when I wrote comedy and comedic things. Eventually, I became an animator and learned that people could embrace ideas and topics so easily through a whimsical lens. And it was fun. So. That helped guide me. And now, even when I’m tempted to go ‘literary,’ I just ask myself: why? My ideas are no less, no more sophisticated than they’ve ever been. Why wouldn’t I create them in a way that might feel more delightful. Some people think it’s the size of my art that makes it different, but I think it’s that I put so much storytelling inside each piece.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d re-create an old-school, literary experience of discovering LA, before the internet and 24-7 availability of recommendations. There are so many stories, so much cultural and literary history. So, we’d visit old Hollywood, old hangouts … look for and meet good real life conversationalists and when possible, I’d tell them ‘how it used to be.’ So: Musso and Frank, the Roosevelt Hotel, Boardners. A walk in the foothills. We’d visit friends who don’t spend a lot of time on social media but are reliably witty and fun and interesting, who’ve done a lot, created a lot, made LA a place with texture. Of course, along the way, we’d pause at the new joints and try out new things. It’s a favorite thing of mine to do with a visiting friend, wherever I’ve lived: do something new together.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Flying Edna company. Andrew Earl Webb. My mother. The Knock, an internet group. Animators in general – an incredibly generous group of people. So, a lot of people. Really.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.