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Orillia artist will be featured at Coldwater Steampunk Festival

Edwards, who comes from a family of artists, has been chosen as event's featured artist; 'I want to engage with people and have them engage with my pieces'

The Coldwater Steampunk Festival is pleased to announce Chris Edwards from Orillia, Ontario as the 2019 Featured Artist.

Edwards won the online Artist Competition in 2018 for his Oceanic Theme submission, judged by Likes on the Coldwater Steampunk Festival Facebook page. 

“My family has a lot of artists in it,” says Edwards. “My grandfather with art and woodworking, my mother with crafts and sewing, my uncle with metal work. I have always had family support and people to look up to when it comes to art.”

Chris Edwards was always given comic books as a child, which helped guide him towards art. He would stay up late making his own comics or be doodling in class at school.

“Shows like Beastwars and Dragonball Z gave me a variety of art styles to learn from and draw inspiration,” he says.  

As he got older, Edwards began to embrace the artistic style of his favourite artists. Todd McFarlane was his biggest inspiration. 

“I loved that he was great at detailing characters and scenes to look strong and sharp and menacing,” says Edwards. “I also loved the creepy style of Benjamin Roman but I found Alex Ross’s work on the DC series Justice and fell in love with his realistic use of watercolour. I wanted to lock down my art style that would distinguish me from other artists as much as Alex Ross did.”

Edwards was mostly self-taught until he attended Sheridan College of Art and Design in Oakville, Ontario. First taking Art Fundamentals and then Visual and Creative Arts. 

College gave him the experience with Photoshop and other computer programs as well as introducing him to his favourite medium, watercolor and ink.

“I learned a lot from my college professors, but I learned more from the other students around me,” says Edwards.

Edwards' goal when it comes to art is to have people connect on some sort of level, from the colours right through to the brush strokes, and to the story his art is telling.

“I want to engage with people and have them engage with my pieces,” he says.

For those of you familiar with Comicon’s and Steampunk Festivals, chances are you own something made by his mother, Angela Thompson of Christoria Creations. 

“My mom introduced me into, well…everything I absolutely love. Comics, sci-fi, kung fu, and Kaiju movies.” 

Edwards speaks proudly of his mom.

“She takes her craft in sewing, she is a great seamstress. My mom has a decent hand in painting and loves her craft, and that’s something that I myself look into," he said.

This story gets even better when Edwards talks about his sister, stating that she is talented in acting and music.

“She always could fake cry on demand or act out a scene with great body language and delivery,” he admits, “plus her vocal range is pretty great as well.”

Chris Edwards is currently working on a 2019 collectible button design to be sold at this year’s Coldwater Steampunk Festival, Aug. 9 and 10.

To meet Chris and his mom and sister, drop by the Christoria Creations booth at the corner of Mill Street and Mainstreet during the festival.