Born in 1973 in New York City, Bryan Christie grew up around artists. His mother was a painter and his father an illustrator. At 11 he began playing saxophone and went on to graduate from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts. He shifted from music to the visual arts when at 20 he began interning for his father’s illustration and animation studio, SlimFilms. At age 24 he was hired as an art director for the magazine Scientific American and fell in love with science and its visual communication. He discovered a similarity between the magazine’s editors and the artists he’d grown up around; they both had a passion for seeking reality. In 2002 he started his own scientific illustration studio, Bryan Christie Design. The studio specializes in medical, anatomical, and architectural illustration. His studio’s work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, WIRED, Esquire, and National Geographic.
In explaining his painting technique, Christie says, “Using 3-D software I create renderings that are visually similar to MRIs. To create the imagery I pose an anatomically correct human model with its internal system in virtual 3-D space. These models are the same I use for the medical and anatomical illustrations my studio creates. I spin the camera around the figure and make renderings at every 15 to 30 degrees. I then composite three to 12 layers in Photoshop. From there I print each individual layer on silk. Covering a panel with encaustic I lay a layer of silk on it and then weld it to the encaustic using a blowtorch and heat gun. I then add another layer of silk and repeat the process.” Christie lives in Maplewood, N.J., with his wife and two children.