ABOUT The Artist
& the creation of Two Squares
Christina Villa is the artist and founder of Two Squares.
The oldest of nine children, Christina grew up in a world of imagination. It was the best way to entertain siblings and neighborhood friends alike. Mud castles, plant potions, make-believe play, and art were an instrumental component of her childhood.
Art, children, and imagination have always seemed to go together. Upon receiving her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Christina accompanied her studio practice, teaching K-12 art. In 2013, she became the high school Program Director at Metro Achievement Center for Girls. Amidst the exuberant energy and mayhem of working with incredible teens and volunteers, Christina was incubating a dream.
In 2017, she resigned from the center to break ground on her dream of making art as a full-time artist. She works under her clay signature, Two Squares.
Designing a Signature
Q: So why two squares?
A: I was in one of my first throwing classes (throwing is the name used to describe work created on a pottery wheel). I recall sitting in the middle of a long row of wheels. My goal for that day had been to make a series of mugs. Throughout the class, the lumps of fresh clay diminished as I grew increasingly frustrated. Each piece kept finding a way to slump. I swiped each failed form off the wheel and slammed it dramatically back into a bag on the floor. This was the last thing I needed, more failure.
At the time, my personal life was a mess. I had recently broken up with a serious boyfriend, started dating someone new and with in a month, the new guy broke up with me with out saying as much. I had never been broken up with before. I was usually the one that left first. On the spiritual plane, I decided I believed in God but was unsure which religion I wanted to prescribe to. A childhood friend had recently passed away. Every deadline under the sun was upon me, I was juggling homework and two jobs. Like a classic millennial, I was having a "premature mid-life crisis." Then there was the clay to contend with. Working in clay was a challenge; it did not come naturally. I have to pause because the guy that "broke up with me" walked into the class to talk to another girl. Insert the head slap emoji here.
Taking a deep breath, I tried again. This attempt resulted in a form that was a bit awkward, but it was standing up and could actually be used functionally! Wrestling with whether I should try to smooth out the walls or quit while I was ahead, I decided to let it be. I did my best for the day and there would be other days to make a new best. With the close of that thought, a light bulb turned on.
I'm here on earth, journeying and attempting. God is at the center of being (the big square) and each day I attempt to get closer to that being (the slightly off center little square). Attempts get fired in time and clay. Each day is a new opportunity to give all that I can and become the best version of myself. In one fell swoop, the clay became a metaphor for my whole life.