West Granby artist Christy Tortland is a talented and creative illustrator who combines technology, mythology and art. Her renderings of mythological beings are prominent in many of her pieces and have always been a part of her focus.
Imagine Tortland’s surprise when the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s 323 TES (Test and Evaluation) Squadron contacted her asking to use her art to commemorate its 70th anniversary. The piece titled Diana, Goddess of the Hunt features the mythological Diana and is now emblazoned on the tail of an F-35 A fighter jet, currently stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The empowering image of Diana, Roman goddess of wild animals and the hunt determinedly gazes upon her target and is fitting for fighter jet.
“It’s exhilarating to know my ‘Diana’ is going to be soaring through the skies and breaking the sound barrier,” Tortland said. “It’s incredible.”
As a lifelong resident of the Farmington Valley, Tortland attended art classes at a young age, eventually pursuing her BFA in illustration at Leslie University, and her MFA in creative writing for children at Simmons University.
Tortland’s favorite inspiration for her creations? Fantasy, folklore, science fiction, and mythology. Classical and instrumental soundtrack music are her background mediums. Her skills absolutely shine in her creations. The vibrant colors are enchanting and the moods of the subjects in her work are captured brilliantly. Other major influences in her creations are Charlie Bowater, Donato Giancola, Greg Manchess, Lois van Baarle, and many more.
With artwork featured in ImagineFX magazine, a YouTube event in Los Angeles, and many other platforms and venues, Tortland is a global artist with connections worldwide. Tortland is also a freelance writer of children’s books for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Comicker Press.
When asked about the best part of being an artist Tortland said, “Seeing your creations come alive,” adding that there are no solid rules to art, “It’s personal…it’s you…it’s individual.” Her pieces are truly unique with a diverse range of subjects for people of all walks of life – there’s something for everyone.