A beloved member of the Christy Dawn team, Jennica Atkinson is a talented artist, graphic designer, art director, and soon-to-be mama. Together with her husband, Noah, Jennica took these photographs to capture a moment of time in her family’s home during the last few weeks of her pregnancy. We talked to her about art, photography, and the importance of working for a brand committed to doing the work of Honoring Mother Earth.
You’re the Graphic Designer and Art Director for Christy Dawn (and we love you!). What first drew you to Christy Dawn?
Haha, and I love you all and your big hearts!
Christy Dawn came on my radar a few years ago when I was just beginning to learn about what slow fashion is, and I was making big changes to living a more eco-friendly life. The unique way that Christy Dawn makes dresses and the ethical way they treat their workers caught my attention.
It soon became a dream to work with the brand because I was striving to find a way to apply my design skills with a company that is focused on making real regenerative changes in the world. The field of graphic design can so often become a trap for creating work that doesn’t put the needs of the planet first.
And then there is the imagery! All of the dreamy, free-spirited photoshoots in nature captured through the eye of James our photographer. It all just felt like something really special to be part of.
You’re a multi-talented artist, a beautiful photographer, and you even directed your own photoshoot for this feature! What was the first camera you ever owned, and how
did you get into that art form?
I started documenting my life through photos in a visual diary sort of way back in middle school using polaroids and disposable cameras. But, it wasn’t until high school that I started to understand how I related as an artist and that I wanted to learn as much as I could about the arts. I’ve always struggled with the term “artist” and if I am worthy to call myself one. I’ve also struggled with calling myself a “photographer” even though it’s been my lifelong obsession and my minor in college. But, I just keep honing my process, honing my eye, questioning my intention, and my place in the art world so really, I feel like my journey is just beginning all the time.
During your time at Christy Dawn, you’ve done a LOT of design work - including creating a series of block prints for our custom-made fabric. What is that process like?
Drawing, painting, and sketching flowers to create patterns while getting to work with the block print masters in India on hand blocking has been one of those rare dream creative projects! There’s nothing better than learning through the process of working on something new. And I’ve learned so much about the artistry of block printing that has been passed down through generations in India. I am in awe of the manual detail that goes into each block - from the hand carving of patterns into the wood to the precision of hand stamping of each layer until the full pattern is created. Learning the process and adjusting the patterns to best showcase the master artistry feels like the best kind of collaboration.
Since starting working on patterns with Christy Dawn last year, every flower I now cross paths with in the world catches my eye in a new way and becomes a candidate to be drawn in this way. This connection makes brainstorming while on walks or hikes so heightened and has in turn connected me even more with nature.
How do you Honor Mother Earth?
By continuously honing my curiosity in nature. To see the beauty and the wonder in all of the details in the world that can so often become peripheral sights.
Shopping second hand wherever possible. If I need anything new, I generally check to see if I can find it second hand first before purchasing it. You’d be surprised what you can find on eBay!
And now that I am bringing this new child into the world, I strive to create a life for her where we can live regeneratively in the space that we take up. Through the lifestyle decisions we make, how we take part in regenerating the community around us, and how we can continuously improve our footprint as a family.