Eaten alive by an animated career

A professional illustrator and animator from Warrington, inspired by everything from The Simpsons to 60s psychedelia, is bringing his debut solo exhibition to Pyramid Arts Centre.

Christian Monaghan creates vivid cartoon and comic book-style pieces using the name ‘Eaten Alive Illustrations’ and his work is so well regarded that he has had commissions as far away as Australia.

But this will be the first time the digital artist and former Great Sankey High School student has exhibited his work physically.

Christian said: “It feels really good to have a high profile exhibition like this in my hometown. Most of my stuff is digital so it’s really nice to have the chance to get some of my work in front of people in the real world. I’ve not done that before.”

The eclectic showcase will include about 12 of his ‘melty, colourful and weird’ pieces under the title, Demon Candy. It will open in Pyramid’s Atrium on Friday and run until 1 July.

Christian added: “I’ve created some new pieces especially for the exhibition and I’ve done some digging to find some old ones as well because a lot of my stuff is ephemeral – it exists as either prints or just posts online.

“So I had a bit of a panic about doing a physical exhibition. I was wondering how I could do it but there’s enough stuff there to make an interesting show I think.

“I really appreciate the support of Pyramid and Culture Warrington as illustrative stuff like comic book art can get pushed aside and overlooked by mainstream galleries sometimes.”

Growing up with shows like Samurai Jack, Christian has loved cartoon-style art since he was young enough to draw. He did a degree in graphic design and illustration at Liverpool John Moores University when he decided to pursue a career in it.

And about a year ago, the 25-year-old fulfilled his dream of working full time as an animator thanks to an opportunity at IAM Productions at St James Business Centre in Wilderspool Causeway.

Between that, his own art projects and his band Pray for Mojo, Christian is constantly in demand.

Some other recent highlights have been working with YouTube sensation Internet Comment Etiquette, which has one million followers, and creating a mural in Warrington as part of the National Trust funded Time Machine festival.

The mural in Barbauld Street features the Augustinian theologian Friar Penketh and ‘Old Billy’ from Woolston, the world’s oldest horse, who died aged 62.

Christian said: “It was cool to get something so visible where I live. That was awesome.”