I normally start my day pretty early, waking up at around 7.30 or 8.00am. However, I don’t like to set an alarm as I prefer to work on my paintings if I’ve woken up naturally, it means I know I’ve had enough sleep!

Cristina Banban by Sonya Hurtado

Cristina Banban by Sonya Hurtado


After breakfast I normally try to get over to my studio to start work by about 10 in the morning. I tend to do all my work in the day to try to catch as much natural light as I can. But, if I have a deadline then I can end up staying in the studio for as long as I have to, to get the painting done in time- which is always quite stressful.

When I start a painting, I always try to have a strong image of the work in my mind before I start on the canvas, that way I know I’ve found the right composition before I start painting. I’m not too sure how I get inspiration for my pieces; sometimes I’ll search online for new music/artists/fashion etc. it works kind of like a mood board to give me new ideas.


Normally I work straight through the day and the only times I stop are to eat. But, because I share my studio with other artists, it means that when I do decide to take a proper break I can always have a nice coffee and a chat with someone.


I usually finish painting at about 6 in the evening, but I don’t really have a proper finishing time, as I don’t like to stick to a strict routine. If I think my work is going well, I don’t like to stop. I’m much more motivated to work if I think a piece is going well, so I try to keep that positive energy going as it produces the best results. If I don’t think my work is going particularly well one day, I find it’s better to let the paint dry, and come back to it the next day with fresh eyes.


After working in my studio all day I like to spend my free time seeing friends, cooking and of course, eating pizza! I’m not very good at relaxing, so I also try to go out and see shows that I feel interested in, as they’re also a great way to get inspiration for a new piece.

Cristina's work, along with the other nine finalists of the Griffin Art Prize 2017, is currently on display at the Griffin Gallery.