Christina Loucks is a creative powerhouse. In her professional life, she is a stylist, brand strategist and designer — in her personal life, a mother. She fills her busy days with creativity, a little bit of chaos and a lot of love. Most recently, Pinhole Press had the pleasure of collaborating with Christina on a photo shoot for Mother’s Day, where we learned more about how her daughter Mila inspires her creativity and her creative work.
Christina styled this shot for the Pinhole Press + Legacybox Mother’s Day giveaway.
Photo by: Anchors Aweigh
Photos of Mila + Christina by Haley Sheffield
As a stylist and designer, Christina has worked with big names: Prada, DKNY and Adrienne Vittadini, to name just a few. Her interest in design began when she was a small child exploring her mother’s gardens. “My favorite thing to do was play with flowers,” she recalls. “I would pick flowers from my Mother’s many gardens and arrange them throughout the house.” She picked so many that her mother arranged for Christina to have her very own cutting garden. Her first job was in a florist shop. She recounts, “Just being around flowers was a peaceful and enjoyable process for me, and I quickly learned that flowers can go from beautiful individually to unsightly when paired improperly in a vase.” In time, she came to realize that arranging flowers was not enough to satisfy her creativity. She needed to participate more in the “overall concept” of design.
Christina has a degree in business and communications. For 15 years, she worked in marketing and brand strategy in the corporate and agency world. She knew that she wanted to merge the marketing aspect of her career with design. Today she is a Visual Strategist, helping marketing executives bring their concepts to the world through imagery and visual content creation. “It really is the perfect blend of both of my passions,” she says.
She credits her success to the influences of “amazingly strong women.” Among them are her mother, grandmothers, sisters and her friends. “It is so important [to surround yourself with] people smarter than yourself; people you can learn from.”
How Motherhood Changed Her Style
As a designer, Christina’s style is open, airy and minimal. At home, motherhood has incited changes in her decor. Because the clutter of toys is often part of being a mother, she has become even more minimalist. In her mid-century home that “can only hold so much,” she strives to keep tones more neutral than before. In this way, her design elements don’t compete with the riot of color and textures in children’s toys.
Motherhood Brings Inspiration
An endless source of inspiration is Mila, Christina’s four-year-old daughter. Christina gushes, “She inspires me, period. Her joy for life, every day and every moment, is infectious.” How so? “She wakes up every day and says, ‘It’s sunny, time to get up!’ We say good morning to the day and then begin our day.”
Mila teaches Christina to slow down and enjoy life. “She is the definition of ‘stopping to smell the roses’ — and she does! And the trees, and the leaves, and the ‘dandi-flowers’, the clover, and so on.” Mila’s explorations remind Christina to be grateful for the day that surrounds them and to take time to savor it. “Looking at the world through her eyes daily is an absolute blessing,” she says warmly.
Even Mila’s failures have been inspiring to her mother. Christina muses that as children grow, “You see them fall countless times, but each time they get up again and keep trying – regardless of how many times they fail. They try again. That is a life lesson in its simplest form. Take on your challenges with strength and determination instead of frustration.”
Mother and Daughter Together
Mila, whose current aspirations include becoming a ballet teacher, is a quintessential little girl. In her sparkly tutus, she twirls, then enjoys digging in the mud. Christina relishes their time together. One of her favorite activities is to chat with Mila and enjoy her entertaining, youthful perspective. Together, they frequent vintage shops and fabric stores. Christina takes note of Mila’s developing tastes and what things attract her sense of style.
Another love they share is gardening. “My mother always gardened with me and it is so wonderful to be able to carry that process on with my daughter.” She and Mila have a large vegetable, fruit, herb and flower garden that they tend together. Mila has learned to care for the plants by weeding and dead-heading expired blooms. Christina strives to make gardening “a relaxing process” and “a ‘no-rules’ area, so she can just let herself go.” She teaches Mila that “Gardens are like magic … created daily before our eyes.”
What does Christina want to impart to Mila on a creative level? She encourages creativity by trying to hold back on creative rules. In their garden, Christina allowed Mila to curate her own seed selections and lay out a garden plot. Now the garden is full of various shades of purple and pink. Though Christina may personally prefer white flowers, she feels joy when she sees Mila’s creative handiwork.
Art is an abstract thing for four-year-olds, so when Mila creates a drawing or painting, Christina tries to never ask, “What is it?” Instead, she encourages Mila to talk about the thoughts behind the picture and enjoys the effervescence of her artistic vision.
Balancing career and motherhood is indeed a challenge. Still, Christina demonstrates that with a patience and determination — and just a little sparkle — a mother can have the best of both worlds.
Photos of Mila + Christina by Haley Sheffield