UNDER THE COVERS: KRISTINA BAUMGARTNER
Kristina Baumgartner, now residing in Montreal, is originally from Edmonton where she was close to its tightly knit music and art scene. While frequenting downtown venue Hydeway in Edmonton, Kristina met Corin and Megan, a duo more commonly known now as Purity Ring. Kristina, who has no formal artistic training outside of a high school art classes, illustrated some terrific artwork to accompany Purity Ring’s stunning music for their debut album “Shrines”. In the past she has primarily made art for herself but since “Shrines” release she has been making art more and more, and Corin and Megan continue to be very supportive of her.
Freq: Besides Purity Ring, what music do you currently find yourself listening to?
Kristina: I’m currently falling in love with Ariel Pink’s ‘Mature Themes’. It’s pretty dreamy.
I live with 3 boys and we are always listening to music together in the house. The new Rick Ross and 2Chainz have been on heavy rotation. I feel like I never end up getting through the day without hearing Usher’s “Climax” at least once.
Freq: Did you primarily draw inspiration from the music on ‘Shrines’ when creating your illustrations?
Kristina: I listened to the album pretty much constantly while making the artwork. Megan has books and books of lyrics that she draws from, and I felt really inspired to the imagery created from her words.
The band didn’t really give me any direction at all on what they wanted the artwork to be. All I had was a paper bag with all the lyrics written all over it. I would read it over and over again until I started coming up with my own interpretation of the songs and then started making illustrations. It wasn’t till I had made most of the artwork that Megan shared some of the meanings of her songs with me. The last illustration I made, which is a girl sleeping under the tree that carries her mother’s coffin is entirely based on the lyrics for “Crawlersout.”
Freq: It feels like there is a narrative flowing throughout the various illustrations found within the album’s art, what is the underlying idea here?
Kristina: There was an underlying sheep theme from the beginning. I made a collage of a girl and a herd of sheep for their first 7”. Their first t-shirts had a sheep illustration done by my friend Olivia Forsyth.
I had the idea of a girl lying with a sheep for the cover right away. As I started coming up with ideas for the rest of the illustrations, I created this story in my head of this young girl born and raised by sheep. She lives in her own world and spends her time watching over the spirits of her loved ones. She’s kind of like my own little Petit Prince heroine.
Freq: Are you currently working on any interesting projects that we can look forward to?
Kristina: Lately, I’ve been spending most of my time making vegan baked goods. It’s a delicious hobby, and one that I want to see grow into my full time gig. Art wise, I am working on my first zine of my own drawings of men and their cats. It’s this obsession I’ve had for ages and I am really looking forward to how it turns out.
By: Jarett Sitter