Humor Has a Place in Fashion – Angelica Hicks Put It There
09.06 / MISSBISH Artist Series
Fashion, puns, and cheeky humor all collide inside of the world of Angelica Hicks. An illustrator originally from London, she has created countless hilarious fashion and pop culture drawings that all live inside of our phones. You’ve probably seen some of them around Instagram, her clever puns play on brands that include “Lana Del Ray-Ban” and “Th-Ugg Life.” She has also collaborated with Gucci and most recently, Twyla x I am Other. Her illustrations are being celebrated in both the art and fashion worlds. Aside from being talented and hilarious, she is also easy to talk to and genuine.
Angelica got her start in the arts after studying the History of Art in London. She was doing what was expected of her; what everyone else around her was doing and initially thought she was going to work in an art gallery. During the last year of her studies in between writing her thesis and completing finals, she started her illustrations. They were very therapeutic and became her passion. “I never thought that it was going to become my profession, but I get to draw every day. That’s pretty cool. It's weird that when you hear people say ‘do what you love,’ they actually mean it,” she explains. "I would wake up every day and be like, 'Yes! I get to do a drawing!"
In a world where there are thousands of creatives all working to get noticed on social media, Angelica does so with ease. Her creative process for an illustration all occurs during a few hours in a day, keeping her consistently working and thinking of the next funny post. "Conceptualized and also drawn--the whole process happens in the same day. I come up with the joke, come up with the visual, execute it, and post it all in the same day. It doesn't take me super long. I'm nervous that otherwise, I'll get lazy if I save it all up. It's a consistent challenge to force my brain to be funny but it feels good to always be working," she says.
Humor comes to her easily but it hasn't always been that way. "I used to take things very seriously when I was younger and I would end up getting very offended. I was a very serious child and then I started to learn that if I don't take things too seriously, life is more enjoyable." She proves that life is definitely more enjoyable with her new mindset--as seen with her art that brings on laughter.
"Do what you think you should do, not what you think people want."
Her successful collaboration with Gucci--which sold out unsurprisingly--is something she is very grateful for. "They genuinely liked my voice and what I was doing, and that was very flattering. Especially because some people feel like I'm being too risque." She also just recently worked with art company, Twyla, who collaborated with i am Other on creating prints of her work. The collaboration is especially exciting for her due to the scale of all the prints. Her work is usually seen on Instagram, and the originals are on small pieces of paper meant for watercolor.
However, social media has allowed for Angelica's art to be spread quickly and seen by millions, resulting in her collaborations and major exposure. She says, "Something like this wouldn't have happened before the internet." On the flip side, she struggled with changing her account into a business account due to the fact that she didn't want to label herself as an artist. Yes. She's that humble. Angelica's favorite artists that also can be found all over the web are fellow Brit, @pollynor and the hilarious @jooleeloren.
As far as inspirations go, she reveals, "Every single brand that has a recognizable logo inspires me. As a culture, we are obsessed with logos, even car logos. I think it's funny to manipulate those and make jokes about these recognizable images. To work with the ones that would never go together. I love when I can combine a high and a low--like Tom Ford and using the Ford car logo, that is perfect for me."
She also values authenticity and tells young artists to keep doing what feels right. "Do what you think you should do, not what you think people want. Don't just do what you think is going to be trendy or cool. I never thought my drawings would be received well, I was too nervous to just be confident. As my roommate says--and I should mention that he likes his own comments on all of his own Facebook posts, 'If you don't like yourself, who else is going to like you?' He takes it literally and it's just so true. Do not set yourself up for failure. Put yourself out there, do not worry about being judged. Someone is always going to talk sh*t, but who cares?"
With such an artistic talent and an honest, genuine point of view, it's easy to see why Angelica is so successful. Her easygoing attitude and humble character are hard to come by and make her a rarity. She believes that "confidence and the belief in the power of your own voice" make up what a MISSBISH is today. If anyone would know, it's her--a bonafide MISSBISH in her own right.
Photographer: Valine Brana