Christina Artwell is in the thick of Brooklyn’s flourishing art scene. The CEO and founder of The Artwell Creative has a magic touch for connecting local artists and art lovers.
She organizes popup galleries, fashion shows and open mic events at various venues throughout Brooklyn. Increasingly, you will find her speaking at art events, like the Destination Bed-Stuy: Art, Hip-Hop & Murals, a quarterly art symposium that celebrates the neighborhood’s contribution to hip-hop culture through the lens of art.
A Brooklyn native of Caribbean descent, Christina took to art, music, and dance at an early age. She’s now a sought-after representative by creatives who want to promote their work.
Christina sat down with Inside Brooklyn Podcast to share her entrepreneur journey.
“The Artwell Creative focuses on artist representation, connecting artist to community and community to artist,” she explains. “We produce quality creative content and nurture long-lasting business-to-business and artist-to-business relationships.”
Like many entrepreneurs, Christina started her journey on a traditional path. She attended Baruch College but felt uncertain about what career to choose.
Her future came into sharper focus when a friend who was a fashion designer in France encouraged Christina to use her creative spirit to pursue her interest in fashion.
That advice led her to take sewing and patternmaking courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Christina decided to specialize in spandex fabrics. She created a Caribbean-style clothing line that was true to her eccentric taste and love of vibrant colors.
As she developed her skills, another friend invited Christina to introduce her work at a fashion show. That ultimately gave birth to her fashion company MaaLeo.
Christina describes her fashion design as the “intertwining of funk, class, art and style.”
“I love – and at times hate – what I do, but I am completely grateful that I have the ability to take part in something so great as creating art with clothing and accessories,” she says. “I’m deeply passionate about my designs, and truly wish to touch others with my vision of what fashion is to me.”
About three years ago, a house fire destroyed Christina’s sewing machine and inventory. That setback slowed down – but didn’t stop – Christina’s passion for entrepreneurship.
After coming to terms with the tragedy, she took some time to figure out how to navigate the future. She decided to create an agency to not only bring her creativity to the forefront but also to help other artists to flourish.