• About A Girl: Christina Hicks

    We were first introduced to Seattle creative Christina Hicks by her own work, the beautifully intriguing way she captures her off-the-cuff observations and daily surroundings. Interested to know more, we flipped the lens on Christina, documenting a bundled-up fall day in her Pacific Northwest life and discussing the myriad influences that inspire her.
    Photos by Ryan Patterson

    Who is Christina Hicks? 
    I’m a 29-year-old art director and photographer living in Seattle, Washington, but I’m originally from Virginia. I’ve been working in media / fashion / photography for the last two and a half years, but before moving to Seattle I was in a totally different field and profession. My background is originally in landscape architecture and urban design, which I was practicing for the first few years I was out of college and living in NYC. A layoff from my architecture job spurred me to do something completely different, so I began freelancing as a photographer in NYC.

    After 2 years in Brooklyn, I wanted a change in scenery— I was getting kind of burned out on the city. On a whim, I booked a one-way ticket out to the West coast to check out the pacific northwest. I was freelancing at the time, so I was able to pack up and spent almost two months just exploring Portland and Seattle and meeting people I’d connected with on Instagram — I ended up falling in love with the area. That winter I ended up getting a temp job in Seattle and at that point I just packed up my life on the East Coast into a couple suitcases and flew out to start working. Seattle has been my new home ever since.

    When did you first start shooting photos?
    I first started shooting as a teenager— I bought a 35mm Kodak point-and-shoot when I was living and going to school in England. I took my camera everywhere on trips with my family all over the UK and Europe as a way of processing my experiences. I more seriously picked up photography in college when I bought my first DSLR and really started to teach myself the technical side of photography.

    What's a day in the life like for you? 
    I’d say my “routine” is more of just a daily ritual— I love making time to just enjoy a pot of tea in the morning when I get up, putting on some music, maybe flipping through some magazines or journals for inspiration, and enjoying some solitude before working. I think carving out quiet moments free of having to work, communicate with others, or have any outside distractions is so important. I love having this little sense of peace to start the day with.

    How does living in Seattle influence you creatively?
    I’d say the biggest influence for me is the Scandinavian feel of the city— the moodiness, the grey skies, long mild winters, the lush landscapes, the feeling of always being near the water. It’s a very pragmatic city but also extremely progressive. There’s a quiet, unostentatious beauty about the city that inspires me to create work that’s intentional but hopefully not attention-seeking.

    Can you share more about your photography and overall aesthetic — how do you describe it? What are you most drawn to photographing?
    It’s so difficult to describe your own work! I shoot a range of subjects from portraiture to editorial fashion to landscapes. I would describe my aesthetic, or at least what I strive for, as minimal naturalism— seeking moments of quiet and natural beauty but trying to isolate them from the noise. I definitely think there is a difference though between a “minimal aesthetic” and “minimalism” as a lifestyle or an artistic pursuit. I’m hoping to explore simplicity as a way to get to the core of what I’m trying to communicate but also a way of life. A quote I love that really resonates with me is by the architect John Pawson— “Minimalism is not defined by what is not there, but by the rightness of what is and the richness with which this is experienced.” This idea expands into a whole lifestyle, where living minimally is about achieving a proper balance that enables the things which we deem most important to have adequate space in our homes and lives to be able to fully appreciate and enjoy them.

    Your boyfriend Ryan is also a photographer; how do your styles differ? How do your styles compliment each other?
    Ryan and I have known each other since 2008, when we both first met in college. He was studying architecture and I was in the landscape architecture program, which was a really pivotal time in our lives when we were both just 21 and really figuring out what we were into artistically and aesthetically, meeting new friends together and exploring photography more seriously. Ryan’s ways of seeing the world were so inspiring to me —everything he does graphically, architecturally, and photographically has had a huge impact on my own work. I’ve always been inspired by his natural, honest ways of documenting people and spaces. Because we’ve been bouncing ideas off each other for so long, I think we developed parallel perspectives. We’re both trying to be honest about what we communicate and aiming to going beyond surface level.

    In his photography, Ryan has a knack for seeing a space and finding some perfect vantage point that flattens elements into a really graphic composition. Or capturing some reflection or detail that no one else would notice. He’s so good at seeing, and I’m learning from him all the time.

    What are some of your favorite things to do in the fall in Seattle? 
    Fall in Seattle is really magical and is what made me originally fall in love with the Northwest. I love the hiking here and just being outside enjoying the fall colors.

    An ideal day trip for me would be exploring the Olympic Peninsula, the huge piece of land (mostly national parkland) between Seattle and the Pacific ocean. I’d wake up early and start with coffee in Pioneer Square, then take the ferry from downtown Seattle out to Bainbridge Island to drive out to the Peninsula, taking highway 101 towards the coast. There’s so many amazing spots along the way, popular ones are the Dungeness Spit, Hurricane Ridge, Crescent Lake, and the Hoh Rainforest. After making it to the coast for sunset, drive back towards Seattle and stop at the town of Port Townsend for a late dinner before catching the ferry back to the city.  

    Can you share a favorite fall recipe?
    I love baking, especially in the fall and winter. One of my favorite recipes are for vegan Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles via Isa Chanda Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero of the Post Punk Kitchen. They call for cayenne pepper and at first glance you wouldn’t expect them to be spicy.

    What’s your fall uniform?
    I think my “uniform” has subconsciously developed from my actual English school uniform growing up. I typically wear lots of black and white: dark wide-leg pants or a pleated skirt, a white blouse or sweater, and black ankle boots or platform derby shoes. Layer a wool blazer or long trench over top. And a wide brimmed hat if it’s raining… which in the fall in Seattle in is pretty often.

    What are you most looking forward to this season?
    Ryan and I just moved into a mid-century duplex and we’re finally feeling like it’s a place we can call home. It sounds really boring but I’m just looking forward to using our new kitchen! I’m envisioning lots of baking and cooking at home, and sharing meals here with friends.

    Quick fire:
    Time is the new wealth.
    Style is dressing for yourself and skipping out on trends.
    I always… desire change.
    I never… eat meat.
    Something you don’t know about me is… my first job was on a horse farm in rural England.
    The best thing I recently read?  Jason Fried’s book Remote: Office Not Required
    …watched a music video by Shai Langen ("Run Away" by Jo Goes Hunting)
    …listened to a song called "The Search (Mate 006)" by Dikkens
    ….saw Malcolm’s Smile and Ecdysis, by Ishmael Butler and Nep Sidhu at the Frye Museum in Seattle.
    I am always interested in… plant life.
    My favorite possession… my cameras.
    I am passionate about… continuous growth.

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