Today we'd like to introduce you to Christopher Chan.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working with wood while in art school cause I wanted to make a stop-motion piece with custom puppets.
I never finished the stop-motion piece, but everyone liked the figures. I ended up showing them at a gallery and up to that point it was the only thing I'd ever sold.
This was around the same time I accepted a summer internship with Nike. It ended up becoming a full time job, which was cool - but I always felt like I sold myself short with the figures. I'd make a few a year, but after a while the truth comes out. Fuck a job, be an artist. Quit being a pussy. So I left my dream job...
.... and started doing freelance design for Nike. Which paid a lot more but was equally as disatisfying. I would challenge myself then to go 3 months without a job, then 6, then 9 ... to force myself to make art. the footwear sculptures are basically my failed attempt to make a lifesize figure. in a way, it's a more powerful image, less is more. I moved to new york 3 years ago. This year I've cut the design work down to 1 month.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles you have faced?
Smooth? FUCK NO, it's 40 grit sandpaper. I'm just insecure and just have an ego, I like nice things and essentially Michael Jordan myself into finding dumb shit to trick myself into going all out all the time. It's fucked, like absolutely fucked. Everything is a failure and a triumph at the same time but risks are what get you where you wanna go. If you look at things that way, you'll never really fail. You only fail if u don't try.
Debt - mentally coping with passing up thousands of dollars from design to live your "dream" - scaring away anyone who would wnat to date you because your'e just obsessed and will probably never live a 9-5 life. It's a 6ix9ine and Celine Dion duet.
Walk us through your creative process.
It's a challenge mostly, I just have to feel like the image I wanna make is gonna make me feel something. The labor is actuall theraputic but i just observe people's fashion around me and try to construct a narrative around it and go to town. The louder it makes me laugh or the harder it hurts - I know it's gonna be fucking great.
Out of everything you’ve accomplished what have you been most proud of ?
Turning down dream job #2 just so I could spend the summer in Berlin with a girl I just met. While i was there, I learned what it meant to be a real artist... ALSO - being commissioned by GUCCI for their most recent sneaker campaign cause it prob won't ever happen again.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Getting thru this interview. I wish you would've just recorded me talking, I can write forever about myself.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
All my exes and my enemies. My studio manager Megan for getting me on TikTok and getting thru this interview.