Crystal Orlando was born and raised in Texas. From an early age Crystal wanted to be outside, exploring the environment and spending time with animals. For several years she expressed a desire to be a veterinarian who specialized in equine medicine. While a student at North Central College Crystal worked as a horse trainer in multiple disciplines including hunter jumper, dressage, reining, cutting, and polo. She graduated with her A.A.S. specializing in Equine Science in 1999. Then her desire to travel and spend time outdoors overruled the desire to become an Equine Surgeon. She made the decision to accept a position with a public relations firm in Washington D.C. After a year and a half with the public relations firm, Crystal returned to working with horses. Both during college and after her time with the public relations firm Crystal distinguished herself as an accomplished equestrian trainer. She trained horses for several prestigious horse ranches in Texas and Oklahoma including a 4-time World Champion Cutting Horse Facility, and a United States Polo Association Certified Umpire. It was obvious to those around her that she had a brilliant career ahead of her in the equestrian world. However, Crystal’s heart pulled her in a different direction. All her life she was compelled to draw. In all her endeavors a sketchbook was never far away. She was able to accurately draw what was in front of her from an early age. Crystal has been showing and selling her drawings since she was twelve years old. Eventually marriage, motherhood, and the love of drawing pulled her away from horse training. She began to study other master’s art and to work on increasing her drawing skills. In 2012 Crystal Orlando became a full time professional artist. She explored the possibility of becoming an oil painter. For about a year she studied color theory and oil painting with world renown abstract artist Kay Griffith. Learning how to paint the illusion of 3-dimensional space was important to Crystal. She quickly excelled with oil
painting but realized that her first love was working in greyscales. Crystal is primarily self-taught in graphite and charcoal. In 2013, Crystal was awarded “Emerging Artist of the Year” presented by “Art Galleries and Artists of the South Magazine. In 2013, and 2014 Crystal was invited to participate in Gala Fundraiser events towards the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center founded by the former United States First Lady, Claudia Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was affectionately known as Lady Bird Johnson. In 2016, The University of Texas granted Crystal a solo show in the Wildflower Center’s prestigious Carriage House. University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the State Botanical Garden and Arboretum of Texas. The mission is to inspire the conservation of native plants through its internationally recognized sustainable gardens education and outreach programs, research projects, and consulting work. The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming has sold her wildlife drawings in their official gift shop. She is represented by Amaran Gallery, also in Jackson, Wyoming. In Texas, Crystal Orlando is represented by Griffith Fine Art Gallery in Salado. In 2018, she joined Art London Dubai, curated by artist of the Queen of England, Darren Baker. In October of this year, 2 of her drawings were auctioned at Kensington Palace in London for a fundraiser benefiting The Leanne Baker Foundation, founded by Darren Baker for mental health awareness. More About The Artist Crystal Orlando is an avid outdoors woman with a love of hiking and studying wildlife behavior. She enjoys spending time with her family and two female hybrid wolves. Crystal is an advocate for wildlife and horse rescue, and nature conservation and education. Whenever possible, she visits and volunteers at rescue facilities. She is passionate about observation and interaction with both wild and domestic animals and the perspective they bring to this world.