Apr 02, 2019 | By Joanne Thomas
Here at Stylesight, the Active Team comes across a wide range of incredible artists, directional brands and inspirational athletes…that is par for the course and part of the job. But, every once in a while, we are reminded that pure beauty and talent are sometimes literally right under our nose — give or take a few thousand miles. Our friend, Barcelona-based photographer Crista Leonard, embodies that dynamic combination, making her not only amazing artist, but also a visual poet of sorts, chronicling subtle details and capturing moments worth reflecting upon. As an ambassador for some of our favorite companies like Les Ettes and Element Eden, Crista is constantly on the move with her trusty camera and enigmatic smile.
We got a chance to catch up with her between some intense travels, and her sense of humor and positive attitude reminded us how lucky we are to work with awe-inspiring women season after season.
SS. How do you find your travels effect your work? Are there certain periods that you feel more inspired?
CL. I feel really inspired when I’m in shut in spaces I can’t get out of…buses, airplanes, cars. So I travel with a notebook and write pages and pages of inspiring “stuff”, that I then go back to and try and make sense of. Traveling is very inspiring, but I need that happy medium of being able to stop in a place for more than a week to spread photos out on the floor and plan a little, otherwise I just feel like everything goes a little hyper and I can’t remember where to start.
SS. How did you get involved with Element Eden, and how has that influenced your recent work?
CL. I got involved with Element Eden thanks to an exhibition I had with the cosmetics brand Les Ettes for whom I am also an ambassador. They saw my work and asked me to join the advocate family and I said yes! The rest is history…
Crista for Element Eden
SS. You recently spent some time Stateside, any highlights that stick out?
CL. So many. LA for being LA, the drive from LA to San Francisco via Big Sur (check out some of Crista’s pics from Big Sur for Element Eden), catching up with long lost friends, meeting new ones, freezing in San Francisco, biking and buying way too many vintage trinkets in Portland, being stalked by a coyote in Wyoming… and falling in love with New York.
SS. On a completely visceral level, what are some colors and techniques that you are really drawn to right now?
Cl. Actually that brings me back to traveling, I’ve been so busy documenting my travels and not having access to photography paraphernalia that I’m really only interested in the camera as the immediate tool, the immediate observer. All this to disguise the fact that I’m being very boring and currently not experimenting with any techniques or colors.
SS. You are an avid snowboarder correct? Where are some of your favorite places to ride?
Cl. I grew up in between Andorra and Switzerland. I love the Pyrenees, for their wild side and for being my home mountains, Argentina for sheer beauty, major change of landscape and pretty unusual riding conditions (the first year I was there the chairlift broke and went careening backwards) and I love Switzerland for those quirky little chalet-restaurants in the middle of nowhere, refuges at twilight, weird, little retro resorts, hot chocolate, those hearts they carve into anything wooden and amazing snow.
SS. What are the key pieces of Technical apparel/hardgoods that you cannot live without?
CL. really good jacket, one of those warm when it’s freezing, cool when it’s too hot, cozy when you’re stuck on the chairlift and the wind is turning your tears into icicles (yes I love the drama). Does that even exist? I’m still searching for it…the one. Oh and socks, never underestimate a GOOD pair of socks, I’ve found that my dad’s Canadian 70’s ones are the best.
SS. What are some brands that are inspiring you right now in the Skate, Snow or Surf Markets?
Cl. I’m finding new beanie brand La Xavala really inspiring right now, they produce all their beanies and hats in Barcelona because they believe in building their brand in a sustainable and responsible manner. Same goes for neckwear brand EMA, sustainability and local is the future! Austrian, Vienna based brand BLV/NTHNG is doing some pretty interesting stuff too.
Crista Leonard for LXV HDWR
Crista Leonard for Les Ettes x Spy Optics
SS. Who are some athletes you admire or that you would like to shoot/ work with?
CL. It’s not so much about admiring a person as admiring a person’s passion for what they do. I find that with everything, when there’s passion and depth then there’s an intensity that I find magnetic. That passion manifests itself in those who do what they do because they are driven by something deep inside, not exterior motivations like money and fame. Cliché, but true, for me at least.
Nicolas Müller and Freddie Kalbermatten
Check out our brand profile of Les Ettes in the Active Section as well! High fives and hugs for some of the most inspiring women in the industry! – Jeanine Pesce
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