Christina Lonsdale is a conceptual artist who came to prominence through her photography project, Radiant Human, where she explores the connection between energy, identity, and aura color. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, iD, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Domino, Nylon, and Time Out. She lives in New York City.
Q: What are three words people use to describe you?
A: Open, energized, and passionate.
Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
A: An aura photograph represents so much for people. To have your energy reflected back to you in a physical photograph can be a pretty incredible experience. It can be a confirmation or, in some cases, an intervention. My favorite aspect of this job is that in my own small way, I am making a difference in people’s lives.
Q: Name a hobby you’ve had since you can remember?
A: I love to cook and I love to eat thoughtful food. I have a neurological condition called synesthesia where your senses cross-wire. When I taste a flavor, my mind assimilates a sound, so both music and food have been strong interests (maybe obsessions?) of mine.
Q: What is your favorite home-cooked meal?
A: My go-to comfort meal I like to cook is pozole, which is a hearty chicken (or pork) stew. I use a combination of hatch, poblano, and jalapeño peppers—this way the soup has some beautiful complexity, and I take out all the seeds so it’s not too spicy. I serve with lots of lime, avocado, shredded cabbage, and chips or tostadas.
Q: What does your power outfit consist of?
A: Lately, I’m wearing more color and getting more into fashion—not trends, but true fashion. My daughter is helping me a lot. I’m constantly reminded of the purity of child-like curiosity and playfulness, and how much fun it is to play dress up! I think any power outfit for me is about protecting that joy.
Q: What is your favorite hostess gift to give?
A: My new book, Radiant Human! It’s a great ice breaker and really opens people up to talking about something more genuine like energy and identity instead of water cooler talk.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from your mom?
A: My mother is a very passionate artist. The below is a quote I pulled from one of her Instagram videos, which I think really captures the guiding force that I grew up: “In our society, we’ve made creativity such a precious term, like only exalted people can be creative when that is so not true. Every child flourishes with creativity and we only learn to judge ourselves and limit our creativity when we adapt to the status quo as we get older.”
Q: If you could be born in any decade, which would it be?
A: Now! This is one of the most important times in history. Never before have BIPOC communities, LGBTQ communities, and women had this much access to making true, lasting, positive changes. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot more that needs to be done, but I wouldn’t trade now for another decade.