How do most of your collaborations come about?
People either DM or email me or contact my agents directly. Actually, I have a book coming out in April which initially started from a DM. This girl who is now my publisher, sent me a message with a picture of her business card in it to basically say “I’m not a weirdo, I’m legit.”
How did you go about developing your aesthetic?
I was talking about this with my mom the other day, and she was saying “Oh, you’ve always drawn this way. If you look through everything you’ve given me, it’s always been very linear, and you always like the black line” Which is interesting because I hadn’t even noticed. But yeah it’s always somewhat simplified and then I have a few staples, I like to draw the top quarter of a person, and I’m a huge fan of cheekbones.
Also, my sister and I were always encouraged to draw as our parents didn’t want us to buy them presents because they were like we could just buy it ourselves, draw something. So basically, drawing has always been a part of my life in one way or another. Recently I’ve been painting with acrylic, but that’s just for me. I definitely have a strong aesthetic preference.
So your illustrations have evolved into a brand, do you make a conscious effort to separate your personal self from the Angelica Hicks brand?
I do separate myself, there is an element of me, but I like keeping my Instagram just drawings. I wouldn’t be like “Here’s my friends and me at the bar”.
Also since my profile picture is a drawing, some people who have met me are like, "Oh I thought you'd be like 50" Okay, no. One person once said, "Oh my god I thought you'd be 15." Which to me was more flattering than the first because I’m like "What about my drawings makes me seem old!?"
No I think it’s because you have such a strong and developed aesthetic, which takes most people a longer time to create.
It makes me so happy when people recognize when something's me. I did a drawing for this podcast and my name wasn’t next to my work but loads of friends screen grabbed pictures of it and were like, "Hey is this you?" I was like, "That is so cool.”
What interests you about pop culture?
I think its influence over everything is pretty fascinating. I know so much without actively reading any magazines or going on any websites. I think it’s crazy how pop culture can seep into your brain.
Yea, you’ll get half the story from Instagram and other half from a friend.
Exactly! I just feel that people are more pop culturally informed than they are about other culture. Like what is so interesting about the Kardashians? Why does everyone have this need to know about their lives? I think that’s super intriguing.
What’s your creative process?
I can’t explain how an idea comes to me. I have a notes section on my phone but I don’t really revisit it because I think of new ideas everyday. Occasionally I’ll go through the list though and be like “Oh, this was actually a really good one.”
Then when it’s fashion week I’ll go on Vogue.com and see what crazy thing has happened or I’ll respond to the shows. When Christopher Kane did his show last September with the model wearing Crocs I was like, “Oh, what’s up Croc.” That was instant. I didn’t force it because it’s a joke, you can’t force a joke.
And Grace Cloggington? That has to be my favorite.
Pandora Sykes when she was at the Sunday Times Style Magazine asked me to illustrate their back page and then that ended up turning into a feature on me, which was really cool.
Anyways, she gave me the names of people to draw and I was like, “I’ve done Grace Coddington and I don’t want to recycle,” but then I thought, “Grace Coddington. Grace Cloggington!” and I thought her hair would look good with those Gucci shoes with the fur that were coming out.
I remember when you posted it! Your Instagram is actually a really big conversation starter.
Yeah I see friends tagging friends saying “Have you seen this one?” I can tell which followers are groups of friends, which is also really cool. They’ll tag each other and I’ll notice the same names popping up that I’ve noticed before. I like making people laugh!
Then circling back to your collaborations, what was your creative process for the British Vogue animation?
Yeah so for that I worked with the director, Sophie. We had worked together before when we did something for Semaine, which was my first animation. For Semaine and British Vogue we worked with an animator. But for Missoni’s Christmas, I animated that myself. I personally prefer the stop-starty way that that worked in with my drawings. The problem with animation is that I can’t really animate. I can but on Photoshop, which means creating literally 380 slides. Which is a lot.
When you were working with an animator, how did you two work together, what's the collaboration like?
Never met. I’d send over slides and then they’d link the video together. I had to send over every different motion the character would make, they’d be like “Can you send me an open mouth?” and I would quickly do a little drawing.
What's been one of your favorite projects that you've worked on?
I really liked doing the Missoni animated Christmas card because they gave me free reign. I’m always really lucky with my projects; I’m given a lot of free reign. I also designed a chocolate bar for The Soho House Shop in Berlin, which was really cool.
You’ve done work for Net-a-Porter and Teen Vogue’s Amy Astley, how did those go?
Porter was one of the first jobs I did, which was doing illustrations for them throughout New York Fashion Week in September 2015 and then doing them on a weekly basis. That lasted for a bit and was really fun.
With Amy Astley, I did a drawing of her and she made it her profile picture on Instagram. There was a little speech bubble that I did on the corner of the drawing and I sent her a direct message being like , “Hey, thank you much for making it your profile picture. Here’s a version without the speech bubble so you don’t have a weird black thing in the corner of your picture.” She was like, “Thank you so much, I’d love to buy the original.” Obviously I went to One World Trade and gave it to her for free.
Do you have a dream collaboration?
Yes with Five Guys or Duane Reade, something so mundane or bizarre that I’ve never done. I like mixing high end with the necessities in life, so something like that. Actually Five Guys DM’d me the other day asking to repost my Chanel Number Five Guys so that’s a start.