Shadow Hills, CA
Years Active: 41
How did you get your start? What was your first job/gig?
As a fourth grade kid, I used to ride my bike over to El Camino College after school, where my Dad was directing Shakespeare Plays. I’d hang out in the costume shop and do my homework under the cutting table. I was fascinated by the entire process, from the design renderings to fabric selection to the actor’s fittings and finally the glorious opening night when the concept and construction synthesized with the all the other theatrical elements to bring the story to life. Eventually, the ladies in the shop began handing me sewing tasks and I was hooked. In my early twenties, The Long Beach Civic Light Opera hired me as an instructor for its educational touring Shakespeare Company. On my first day, I heard they also needed someone to design and construct historically accurate Elizabethan costumes. That very night, after work, I stayed up all night and produced a padded & slashed velvet doublet and a pair of velvet venetians with silk inserts. Suddenly, I had two paychecks and zero free time. My next job was designing and constructing costume pieces, props and puppets for a zany comedy group who toured opening for rock bands. Over the next years I developed both my love of historical accuracy and a sense of fun and whimsy, which is a handy combination while working in themed entertainment. Over the past decades, clients have included the Getty Museum, The Autry Museum of the American West, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Bollywood Theme Park in Dubai.
Did you go to school or have any formal training that helped prepare you for your career?
I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Occidental College with an Independent Pattern of Study in Art History, Post Modern Theatre and Critical Theory. I took practical Costume Design classes at LACC, CSULB and USC.
What are some of the challenges you’ve had in your career? How did you overcome them?
It is challenging to have been brought on to a project late in the game. I love the chance to do exceptionally thorough research and create design concepts collaboratively with my creative partners in other disciplines. If a lack of time exists, I try to absorb the aspects and requirements of the project with as much focus and as quickly as I can. I ask questions and stay curious, paying close attention to how the costumes help tell the story.
What is your advice for those starting out in the Art Department?
Embrace research. Stay Curious. Support your creative partners. Let your work support the whole vision. Seek to understand how your participation creates meaning and interacts with other elements. Have Fun. Listen to good music. Introduce yourself to as many cultural events as possible. Love color. Read the arts section in your local newspaper. Love texture. Read books by authors from cultures other than your own. Take a good long walk when you hit a roadblock. Love what you are doing. Eat interesting food. Engage in lively conversations with your creative partners.
Website: www.christinacostume.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-wright-3751b78/ Instagram: @chuggywright Twitter: @chuggywright
Hello Kitty "Glampire" at Universal Studios Hollywood
"Coming of Age in Ancient Greece" at the J. Paul Getty Museum
"Escaped", a film by Ian Skorodin
Joy Harjo, (Poet Laureate) in her one-woman show "Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light" at the Autry Museum
‘The Quintet of the Astonished’ by Bill Viola.
"The Illusion" at the Open Fist Theatre Company. Winner of the LAWEE award for Best Costume Design of the Year Pictures shown above in interview (from top to bottom): Emmy nominated serial opera show "Vireo" Operational costumes for Bollywood Park in Dubai