Speaking Up, Speaking Out: Christian Collier

"Being an artist means being comfortable with doing everything you can do, as much as you can, and being ok with not being enough." - Christian Collier

Many artists are known for their mastery of a particular form – an artist is a painter, or she is a singer, or they are musicians, or writers or designers or….Some artists though cannot be easily classified as their art is responsive, emotional, all encompassing and takes the form it needs to in order to make a point. Christian Collier is such an artist. He is known as a spoken word artist, a hybrid term in its own right as it encompasses poetry, memoir, storytelling, performing, music, and movement. Add to that a bit of drawing, a good dose of DJing and an enormous amount of skill, thought and feeling and you have the art of Christian Collier.

He began as a young teen dabbling with comics, writing, illustrating, dreaming . He became fascinated by music as his mind buzzed in micro analyzing variations in rap. This led to a curiosity about the written word and a passion for everything from the layout found in Shakespearean sonnets to the incredibly rich vocabulary employed by the great rapper Nas.  Christian, true to his DJ roots, dug for rhythm, feeling and words the way an MC digs for sound.

After composing privately he took his first step to perform fifteen years ago (appropriate to a man inspired by Shakespeare, his first performance was motivated in part by a desire to get attention of a girl). While he may not have found success that day wooing a woman with his words, he did find great meaning in sharing his art form with others thus igniting a passion filled career.

Today he is driven by the dual inspirations of audience and self. He writes honestly and openly and sets incredibly high standards for himself, always striving for new heights. He is excited by audience responses of all types just as he relishes his internal time creating late at night alone. As long as he is firing an imagination – his, others, preferably both – then Christian is in his craft and of his moment. And when a work is ready, and just right, he knows it and when the time is right, he releases it and shares it in the most public way, an openness that for many artists would feel too vulnerable and intimidating. But for Christian it is just how it is done, it is what feels right and it is how art comes alive.

Christian’s approach to his art also fits with his vision for Chattanooga. He hopes to see a Chattanooga that blends the arts, has a less disjointed creative scene and more unified and diverse audiences (a refrain I hear from most of the artists I’ve interviewed) and of course more diverse artist representation in terms of both artist heritage and artist media. Also like others he sees opportunity in non traditional spaces and new communities and looks towards traveling himself to seek out such spaces world wide. As he prepares for his big television appearance on a new performance based show for which he is one of a few select artists currently filming in Atlanta, he looks to sharing his art further and to growing with each new audience and opportunity. A sponge, an amplifier, a mirror and a giving soul, Christian creates relentlessly, listens deeply and stays “on fire” for whatever may come.

Feel Christian’s fire here - http://www.christianjcollier.com/media/

“He hopes to see a Chattanooga that blends the arts, has a less disjointed creative scene and more unified and diverse audiences...”