Photographer : Jessica Louise Thompson

Hey! Welcome! My name is Christiane Shillito and I'm a British artist and illustrator residing in Los Angeles, CA.

I was raised in a working-class family in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. The first in my family to go to University, I got my BSc (hons) Biology degree from Durham before taking time off to travel and have some fun exploring the world with my Ulorin Vex modeling persona, which I had just started to do for fun as a way to help come out of my shell a little. What began as a temporary short break from academia somehow turned into over a decade-long career as a model, playing muse for other people's art while travelling the world, and giving me a flexible schedule to work on my own artwork in a way I'd never had time for while studying full-time. It also began to sink in that an artistic career was actually a realistic option; something I'd been talked out of in favour of the sciences previously.

I grew up with a nerdy love for anything fantastical, whether it be folklore and mythology or science-fiction, comic books and fairytales. My other great love was nature and natural history and of course all of these things have shaped me. 

While I recently semi-retired from modeling in order to focus on my art, the influence of that facet is also still clear in my figurative work. Rather awkward in person but comfortable being more of an extrovert in front of the camera at least, I used to use my own body to express myself with dramatic dance-like gestures on film. I enjoy being somewhat of a chameleon; as equally happy being bizarre or creepy as being conventionally attractive. It's not always about being "beautiful". I'm now trying to take that self-expression further and find myself drawn to using more twisted and stylized figures in my artwork.

Much of what I create is quite personal and often cathartic, reflecting an amalgamation of my interests, personal experiences, emotions and dreams. Thankyou for taking the time to look!

Online interviews: Beautiful Bizarre magazine (2014)


All artwork and content Christiane Shillito 2004-2012All Rights Reserved