The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Meet SOTA art and design professor Christina Wald

Hailey Roden

Christina Wald is no stranger to art creation. What started as a career in industrial design later turned into a career focused in illustration.

Wald joined as a part-time faculty member back in 2013, and she hasn’t looked back since. You can find her teaching courses in illustration, sequential art and digital publishing in various classrooms and labs inside NKU’s School of The Arts.

Christina Wald

Professor of: Design

From: Cincinnati, Ohio

Time as a part-time faculty member at NKU: 10 years

At the start of her career, Wald pursued industrial design, which focuses on graphic design but for 3D items—things like cars, microwaves and toys among others. After beginning to create children’s books, Wald almost exclusively moved to creating art in illustration.

In 2023, Wald won the Part-Time Faculty Excellence in Instruction Award, which is an annual award given to one part-time faculty member, along with other awards gifted to NKU’s tenured faculty.

The Northerner spoke with Wald about her background as an artist and part-time faculty member within SOTA.

Q: Tell me more about your background in design?
A: “I did a lot of toy design in the late 90s and early 2000s, and then as I started doing children’s books, around 2005 on, I’ve gotten more and more work doing that type of illustration. Now, that’s almost exclusively what I do. I probably illustrate three to four books a year. In addition to some other illustration projects and teaching.” 

Q: Can you talk to me about the part-time faculty award you won in 2023?
A: “That was really exciting. I mean, it was totally unexpected. Somebody nominated me for it, and I’m very grateful to that person, and I was really excited to get it.” 

Q: Can you tell me what you like about teaching?
A: “One thing I really love about teaching is that it keeps me in touch with young people. I never had kids, I’ve kind of worked my whole adult life and it’s easy when you’re not exposed to people in younger generations to lose contact with them. I really enjoy working with the students. There’s a lot of really talented people, and I learn as much as they do when I’m teaching.” 

Q: What do you like about creating art?
A: “It’s problem solving, and that’s another reason why I like to teach art. You’re going to be running your own business, and a lot of illustrators that I know, even people that are professionals, don’t know how to run a business, don’t know how to get an invoice and don’t know what to charge. Perhaps the biggest thing is people don’t understand the value of ideas. And to me, that’s the biggest asset of any artist, one that has concepts and ideas.” 

Q: What professional work do you do outside of teaching? Do you just freelance?
A: “I have my own business, and most of what I do is illustration for various clients. I’m fairly booked for the next couple years.” 

Q: You mentioned that you’ve taught at the art academy. How does NKU differ? Why NKU?
A: “I liked the program. I liked the facility. I really liked the people I work with there, and I think they put together a really good program. I’ve always recommended NKU to my friends that have kids that are college age, because I think it’s probably the best value in town as far as its cost and the education you get. I know some really amazing artists that have come from NKU.” 

Q: Would you say that NKU supports you being able to both teach and have your own business?
A: “I think they’ve been very supportive. They were extremely supportive with me having to go to Australia last year.” 

You can keep up with Wald and her work by clicking here to view her website and portolio.