Artist Portfolio: Camilla d’errico
Garrick Webster talks to the Canadian artist who’s turned her skill with oil paints into a successful creative brand
We talk to the Canadian artist who’s turned her skill with oil paints into a successful creative brand.
Camilla d’errico is all for diversity in art. “I can’t be pigeon-holed and packed away neatly in one box,” she says. “I love putting my art on clothing and products, and seeing people experience it as part of themselves.”
And for 2020, the Vancouver-based artist will be carrying right on in that vein with the release of custom handbags featuring her Pop Surrealist manga characters. “I fulfilled a lifelong ambition of creating kimonos in 2019, and I’m hoping in 2020 to create a line of high-end handbags – because I’m a total bag-lady!” she laughs.
The list of items that Camilla’s work has appeared on is a long one. Her paintings are on snowboards and scarves, mirrors and backpacks, stickers and totes. There are limited-edition necklaces, lapel pins and lanyards, and she’s written and illustrated how-to art books as well as graphic novels. Her character designs feature in mangabased app games and she’s also produced some limited-edition figurines. There are the comic books where her career began as well, while today she devotes much of her time to fine-art paintings.
In fact, while Camilla is talking to us, she’s busy preparing for a solo
I can’t be pigeon-holed… I love putting my art on clothing and products
show at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. Her exhibition starts in May and will showcase a new approach she’s been taking in her art. The series is called The Color Wheel, and with it she places her rainbowdripping effects within wider monotone images. The excitement is building as the show draws nearer.
“This is a turning point for me where I’m expressing a lot of emotion, taking a big risk by doing the body of work in greyscale with some rainbow,” says Camilla. “The rainbows express parts of their personality. Usually it’s my characters commanding the attention, but now the separation of the colour and combining it with greyscale takes the stage.”
OVER THE RAINBOW
The Color Wheel follows on, in a sense, from her Rainbow Children series, produced in 2012. Including images such as Dream Melt and Beyond the Rainbow, it’s the collection that Camilla feels put her on the map in the world of fine art. Although she was already exhibiting at that point, requests from galleries had been stipulating what she should and shouldn’t paint. Then, Tara Mcpherson invited Camilla to create images for the Cotton Candy Machine Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, and everything changed. Tara encouraged Camilla to pour her true feelings into the art. The result was a series depicting crying, melting rainbow girls.
While she responds to our questions, Camilla is busy working on a painting
I’m taking a risk by doing the body of work in greyscale with some rainbow
which she confirms is destined for The Color Wheel exhibition. The sketch is of an apple with a bite taken out of it, from which a rainbow is dripping, while eight of her trademark Fuzzbutt bees buzz around excitedly. With a gloopy rainbow created in Camilla’s inimitable style and a chorus of furry bees to accompany it, the image couldn’t be more fitting as she discusses her career.
The Fuzzbutts appear on a whole range of Camilla’s merchandise, from petite art prints to jewellery and from bags to scarves. She sells them on her Etsy store, and at comic book, manga and fantasy events she attends around the world. Her Fuzzbutt bees have appeared in a self-published art book and have become a standalone brand.
“The Fuzzbutts are a perfect example of merchandising success, and also stand out for me creatively,” says Camilla. “I get to have so much fun with these. I did a Bee-rah and Sailor Buzz-inspired one; these things are like an unstoppable pun force. It’s endless how much fun I can have with