Christine Hale

Where are you from/how old are you?
I was born in LA but grew up in Missouri. When I moved to LA in 2005 I thought I was an LA girl, and I definitely am a little bit (the ocean), but last year I came to Montreal and fell head over heels in the love with the city. So, one day I hope to say I’m totally from Montreal. In the meantime---Missouri and LA (I still live/travel/and work between the three places right now).  I just turned 27 on October 27! My favorite number, so, I’m excited about this year. Ha.

I think it’s super cool that you do a lot of creative things... I can kinda relate because I pretty much do tons of creative stuff myself...but do you ever get overwhelmed?
Thanks! That’s great to hear! I think the possibilities are limitless when it comes to creative endeavors and what you can do; you just have to try it and see! Every now and then I get overwhelmed, but mostly because I want to do MORE!!! but I just don’t have the time to do it all – not all at once. The best thing is just to stick to what you’re doing and finish it. Try something else. Try a few things at the same time, but, get them done. 

Do you ever feel like you don't know whether you should draw a picture or make a piece of jewelry?
Hmm, sometimes, but that goes back to having so many ideas at once I don’t know where to start.  You gotta just start on something and then the ball keeps rolling, the momentum builds, then you’re off in another world.

What does a day in the life of Christine Hale look like?
It changes every single day. I have no idea what is going to happen – even how I get ready for the day. I just found out last week I was going to China to play music for 1 or 3 months, but I don’t really know the details yet. Sometimes I get up early, sometimes I sleep in. I pretty much follow my natural clock unless I have a deadline or a meeting. It’s easy to live this way because I’ve been living out of my suitcase for a while---ready to travel at any second, subletting out rooms/apartments/studios---working in a lot of different caf├ęs and friends kitchen tables.
One day I’ll be working on a comic, another design, or I’ll decide to write a song and spend the whole day writing it and then recording it, another I’ll have a show or be rehearsing for a different show (I have a few music projects happening) or going to galleries or seeing shows (Montreal is full of SOOOOO much good art and music!). I just moved into a shared studio work space today and I’m pretty excited about it: lots of plans to make lots of things and it’s good to have a place I can sit down at for a while and focus with other creative people. I guess I can’t answer that question too well. Usually I find out what I’m doing that it happens.

What's bumpin in your headphones?
Girls (so fun), Destroyer (such an amazing songwriter!!! I saw him play in October for Pop Montreal- just him, a guitar, a lil’ drunk, and playing to a theatre overflowing with people. I was moved.), The Mendoza Line, Bound Stems, Keren Ann, Elliot Smith ( been feeling nostalgic lately- something about winter.

How long have you been in the band The Hoof and the Heel?
We just started the band the second day I returned to Montreal in June! It’s a really crazy story. Harris and Farid (Shper, Rener) asked me to sing with them for a show but I could only fly into Montreal the day before, I hardly knew these guys but they knew I sang. So I saw them the next morning, got on a keyboard, made up parts for all the songs, got the lyrics somewhat down , and the next thing we know-the band was formed. We headlined a show the next night and then we went right into the studio and spent the next two months recording our EP then right after that took off on a 1.5 month long coast to coast US tour! It’s been crazy and soooooooooooo much hard work but didn’t feel so hard because it was SO FUN and fascinating. I spent almost every day with my band mates from the day we started up until a couple weeks ago when I returned to Montreal and it felt so natural.

and how did you start playing music?
I’ve always played music just like I’ve always done art or photography or anything – since I can remember. Luckily my parents encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do creatively, but since we didn’t have much money, I had to find creative ways to do them too which I think in turn let me have more freedom (internally) to just do a million things and never be afraid to put it out there. That is what keeps people from doing things-fear! Aww. It’s never too late to do anything you want to do. I’ve tried to just do music once without any art, and it was impossible. I started to feel empty and sad.  All of these things are the breath.

I've seen your posters all around the web...especially your tuna can poster ....and I could never figure out who the artist was until I miraculously fell upon your website a couple weeks did you get involved with making posters for bands...who was the first band you made a poster for?
That so awesome to hear! Thanks so much!!! Making poster is definitely one of my faaaaaaavvvvvvvvvorite things to do! I officially started making posters when Autumn Defense (John Stirratt  and Pat Sansone of Wilco , one of my favorite bands ever!!!)  asked me if they could use my artwork for a tour poster. During that time a lot of musicians were contacting me to do work for them; I have no idea why---like John Mayer! So I started to do t-shirts and albums and then posters for bands, a lot for my friends’ bands at first, for free for fun, and then people started to approach me. I have a pretty easy policy: pay me what you can. If you can pay me close to my rate, awesome, but if not, I totally understand. I know musicians don’t always have a ton of money, but if you love my work --then I will never say no to you.  I’m always flattered a band wants my art to represent their music-since I do both, it’s a big deal--I love it and I love helping out bands. And I love being able to combine my love for art and music.

Are there any artists in particular that really influence your work?
I love Dr. Seuss. Ever since I was little I always admired his work, it’s so creeepppppy and playful. Saul Steinberg is also one my favorites. I’m also really loving Marc Boutavant right now too, he is a French children’s book illustrator.