For our second annual artist-designed t-shirt, the School of Art enlisted the help of alumna and illustrator Christina Lee (BFA ’14). For her design, Christina drew on some common motifs across her work, including flowers, a pencil, clouds, and a mouth.
“I’m drawn to bright colors and objects that have strong semiotic qualities,” Lee said. “I like to employ a wacky sense of humor that’s relatable and fun while also commenting on quotidian universal truths.”
Lee said she developed her bright and fun aesthetic through her printmaking and animation classes at the School of Art, in addition to Professor John Peña’s course “Expanding the Graphic Novel.” These classes also encouraged her to consider storytelling an important part of her work.
Lee’s work has been published in The Los Angeles Times, Vice, Teen Vogue, and NPR, among other publications. She’s also done work for nonprofit and corporate clients including Converse, American Eagle, Google, Penguin Books, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Comic Arts Brooklyn, Small Press Expo, LA Zine Fest, and Feminist Zine Fair.
In 2018, Lee co-founded PULLPROOF Studio, a membership-based screen-printing studio in Pittsburgh, with fellow CMU alumni Aaron Regal, Anna Shepperson, and Charlie Barber. In addition to providing affordable access to studio space and screen-printing equipment, PULLPROOF hosts rotating exhibitions in their storefront gallery.
Lee currently teaches an undergraduate course at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she is also pursuing her MFA in Illustration. In addition to continuing her freelance and teaching work, she hopes to also publish a longform graphic novel.
Image above (left to right): Eugene Kim BFA ’25, Jamie McArthur BFA ’23, and Eric Lin BFA ’25. Image below: Christina Lee