100 Creatives

Charissa Lucille of Fem Static on Why She Surrounds Herself with Art by Friends

Every other year, New Times puts the spotlight on Phoenix's creative forces — painters, dancers, designers, and actors. Leading up to the release of Best of Phoenix, we're taking a closer look at 100 more. Welcome to the 2016 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today is 84. Charissa Lucille.

For Charissa Lucille, it took a village. 

It was her search for a creative community while in college that brought the 25-year-old to the handmade world of zines. 

"In my last semester at the Walter Cronkite School at ASU, I craved an outlet for my authentic voice, so I published my first zine," she says. "That helped me realize the power in created places where my work could be published and sold along with hundreds of other artists."

Perhaps the search for such an outlet — and circle — was rooted in the many moves she and her family made while she was a kid. (Among her childhood homes, she says, Maui, Hawaii, remains her favorite.) But it seems the literary artist found what she sought. Nowadays, she continues crafting her own zine, a fourth-wave feminist pamphlet called Fem Static, while running Tempe shop and library Wasted Ink Zine Distro and organizing PHX Zine Fest, which has a 2016 edition scheduled for October 23.

The DIY medium has allowed her to explore a variety of art forms. "I love light and shoot film photography and process and print images in my darkroom," she says. "I incorporate photography into my zine projects and do photo shows throughout the Valley. I participate in zine fests in California and Phoenix and write impromptu haikus on my manual typewriter."

Still, it all comes back to her circle of creatives. 

"I enjoy the work of Sylvia Plath, and a few foreign films," she says of the works that she connects with most. She adds, "Above all, I strive to surround myself with the writing and artwork by my closest friends and people I admire."

I came to Phoenix with a heart filled with adolescent dreams and idealistic expectations of what journalism was.

I make art because I find it cathartic but more importantly, I create art for people. I enjoy seeing how they react and heal because of my art.

I'm most productive when I’ve had a good cup o’ joe, jammin’ great tunes, and burning down a deadline.

My inspiration wall is full of photographs of my travels and friends, magazine tear-outs, flowers, cameras, bones, and butterflies. I hang art from the people closest to me in life so I can look upon them while I create.

I've learned most from my own path of small sequential failures: They all teach me something valuable.

Good work should always stick in your head. It’s something you revisit and remember after you have consumed it. Like remembering how your favorite meal felt in your mouth.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more opportunity.

The 2016 Creatives so far:

100. Nicole Olson
99. Andrew Pielage
98. Jessica Rowe
97. Danny Neumann
96. Beth Cato
95. Jessie Balli
94. Ron May
93. Leonor Aispuro
92. Sarah Waite
91. Christina "Xappa" Franco
90. Christian Adame
89. Tara Sharpe
88. Patricia Sannit
87. Brian Klein
86. Dennita Sewell
85. Garth Johnson