Camilla d’Errico is an urban contemporary painter, illustrator, character creator and comic artist residing in Vancouver, Canada. With roots in comics, Camilla’s work is seen on toys, clothes, accessories and more. She has been published by Random House/Watson Guptill books, Boom! Studios, Image Comics, IDW, Dark Horse Comics and more, with self-publishing roots for her literature-inspired series, Tanpopo. Camilla has distinguished herself as one of the breakthrough artists in Pop Surrealism’s New Figurative movement through her ability to seamlessly weave manga and western styles with surrealist elements, wrapping it together with an extensive emotional palette. Camilla’s unique style bridges cultural and geographical boundaries, working with creative partners Hasbro, Disney, Mattel, Coastal and more, while remaining totally relevant to today’s varied audience. Ever the prolific artist, Camilla lives the double life of comic artist/creator and New Brow painter, while expanding her horizons to include fashion, music, merchandise and designer toys.
I sat down with Camilla during a brief moment of down time during Emerald City Comic Con, literally seated on this gorgeous, vintage looking, re-upholstered chair printed with her art.
L: Wow, this is just…beautiful. These chairs are for sale?
CD: Yeah, I would like to do two a year! I was talking to Rubbish Rehab, a local company that makes them, and this is the first time we’ve had them available at the show. They sold so fast, and we had people ask to do more, and I’d love to bring more vintage chairs, and have them every year from now on.
L: Would you do different styles of chair?
CD: All styles. They did a throne for me, and it was the nicest thing. I wish I had a promotional photo seated in it.
L: All of you art has this sort of wide-eyed doll-like appearance. Is this something you pulled from yourself? Now that I’ve seen you in person, I can see you in these!
CD: Oh, really? That’s so funny. You’re making me blush! No, I’ve had people say that I look like my art, which I think is a huge compliment, cause they’re like, big doe-eyed adorable girls! I do have big eyes, but you know, the only time I realized I had big eyes was when I went to Taipei and the people there would tell me!
L: Do you use yourself as a model?
CD: Noooo, no, no. Not at all. Actually, I try to avoid getting photographed or recorded or even like, mirrors. I’m just not…I just try to see the world around me, I don’t actually look at myself, like for inspiration.
L: I noticed you’ve done some fantasy art, some anime inspired art, is there a favorite genre for you?
CD: I definitely like the melting colors right now. I finished work for my solo show and I melted so many colors into these multiple paintings…I can’t get enough, I can’t stop. I’m completely inspired by seeing different colors blending together, or just in contrast! Seeing color with weight, um, it’s just part of my obsession with wanting to eat color, which you can’t cause it’s toxic, ha ha. It totally looks like candy. These girls are like the fantasy I want, they get to experience and taste melting color.
L: So, you use traditional mediums when painting! I don’t know why I thought you did it all digital. Do you prefer oil, or acrylic?
CD: I use oils AND acrylics. There’s also this brand I use called Holbein Duo and it’s oil paint you can blend with water. It’s unbelievable.
L: How do you determine your color palette? Is it dependable on the subject, or the individual piece?
CD: I’m always going for bright. I try to blend it, so that it’s in contrast. I’ll have my muted colors and then mix the rich and vibrant. If I try to do it all vibrant, it gets lost. You don’t know where to focus the eye, but if you use, like, the Paint Catcher, there’s lots of pinks and reds and her face is really muted. I try to keep it a good balance. I love hearing people’s interpretations of my art.
L: I know you’ve done some comic art for different publishers, but would you be interested in taking on one of the younger heroes from Marvel or DC?
CD: I’ve done SOME superhero stuff, but I haven’t been asked to do any lately. If Marvel was like, “Hey, let’s see your version of Spider-Gwen,” I would be like heck yeah! Spider-Gwen is right up my alley. I would die.
L: What other projects do you have in the works, aside from your upcoming show?
CD: In July, I’m debuting my very first adult coloring book! I’m so excited!!
L: How have your fan experiences been? Are there any particular memorable encounters?
CD: Yeah! People overwhelm me when they bring me presents, or tell me stories of how my art has affected them, and I have these two fans that are just the cutest. They are from Costa Rica and they bring me these chocolates and coffee. I’m always like, “YOU GUYS ARE THE ABSOLUTE BEST!” Two years ago at San Diego Comic Con, we did this Zombie Escape run together. It was amazing and I…I left them behind. Oh my God, I totally left them for dead! – laughs- It was so high intensity. There’s dozens of zombies, and army guys. I had to leave them behind. I felt so bad even though it’s like, the apocalypse.
L: You did what you had to do. It was a people eat people world!! Let’s talk about about the expansion of your art into various other merchandise. You mentioned elsewhere that your dream is to make clothes, and it looks like you’ve brought that dream to fruition!
CD: Goldbubble and Nuvango carry my stuff!! I would love to do a lolita dress. I would do the coolest lolita dress!! I would just love to do high fashion too, THAT’s my real dream project. The scarves we just put out are just beautiful. Every year I try to branch out and do something different, so I don’t know. Maybe next year I will actually get to do runway dresses. How cool would that be?
L: It sounds like it’d be pretty cool! I just noticed you did a Sailor Moon piece, and I’m curious as to what you enjoy or gravitate towards personally.
CD: In my personal life, oh man, I am super obsessed with anything supernatural, especially vampires. I wish I was vampire, and like if you ever meet a vampire, let me know. I would so turn to the dark side, which would go against my color palette, but you know, whatever! I love all of that. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts…all of it. I would turn my husband because we said, “Til death do us part.”
L: That is hilarious! Since we are out of time, how do you get yourself in the mood to draw? Do you find yourself inspired and immediately go to put it on paper?
CD: Well, it depends. Usually if I’m on a deadline, I put on audiobooks, like Harry Potter, or Driving Mr. Dead, an awesome vampire book by the way, and I’ll get my latte going. I’ll just start drawing and create.
Rainbow Children and Pop Painting are the latest books of art from Camilla, and are both now available on her website! If you’re local to Los Angeles, her solo show at Corey Helford Gallery opens April 23rd!