Camilla d’Errico is a Canadian Surrealist artist who takes the pastel colors you love with the animals that make you want to squeal. Her style is Margaret Keane meets Claude Monet. She creates beautiful big eyed creations in multiple mediums. So when we at Temple of Geek were given the opportunity to interview her on her art and how her style has developed. Strap yourself in for Camilla’s answers to our questions.
JR:What was your introduction into the art world?
d’Errico: It was Robert Bateman. He’s a Canadian artist that paints hyper realistic animals in nature. I was in love as a child looking at his art. I couldn’t believe that a person could recreate animals in such a magnificent way. It sparked the first creative bug in my life.
JR:You are known for your surrealist style involving animals, is there an animal that you most enjoy painting?
d’Errico: Probably bees. Those fluffy butts are adorable and fun. I’ve been incorporating bees into my paintings for 10 years or more now. But it wasn’t until recently when I partnered with a bee conservation organization that I realized I could, and should, paint bees on their own too as tiny portraits. They’re so much fun to make, and I can see they bring a lot of joy and brighten people’s days to see a fuzzy, colorful, or sassy little bee in their feeds or at one of my events. So I’m sharing my love for bees and decided to include them in my next Solo show in April too!
JR:Do you believe talent is something certain people have a natural leaning to, or is it something that has to be cultivated over many years?
d’Errico: I think it starts with a seed. Like anything it needs to be nurtured. Having an idea or a drive or an ability is a good start, but we need to work hard to take it places too. Lots of young artists or students ask me for tips or insider info. And honestly, one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to practice a lot and stay committed to working hard at building those skills.
JR:How does your daily life affect your art?
d’Errico: I made art a part of my daily life from a young age, and vice versa. Art is a big part of my day, but even the little things play a role in my artwork. Some of my best ideas have come to me while I’m walking my dog Loki or on a jog.
JR:What memorable responses have you had to your work?
d’Errico: Fan reactions surprise me and move me. I think the most memorable ones are when people come up to me and tell me how my art has positively changed their lives. Probably the most recent and amazing one was in Palm Springs for the Palm Springs Comic Con. Two girls actually screamed when they saw me, which totally shocked me, then they told me the story of their friendship. They met because of me. Both of them had been wearing one of my designs, one a purse and the other a shirt, and spotted each other in public. They then told me how they became instant best friends because they bonded over their love of my art. Now they are moving in together and starting a new journey and they wanted to thank me and squeal over how it had been so many years that they’d wanted to meet me and tell me their story. I almost cried, it was so touching.
JR:How do you think computers and digital art has affected the art world today?
d’Errico: It’s given us a new form of art. I love the crazy imaginative images that people can create on a computer. I use it for my comic work and I’ve hired other digital artists to color some of my drawings. So I think it’s a beautiful thing. Some people are snobby about it, but let’s be fair, it’s art and it doesn’t matter what tool you use to create it, if you have something to express, you should.
JR:What are you trying to communicate with your art?
d’Errico: I’m hoping that people see beauty and joy and love in my art. I try to balance it with an equal amount of cute and a little creepy and engage different emotions with one image. I also want to spread acceptance and show how united we are through my artwork. My next solo exhibition at Corey Helford Gallery in April 2018 is something I’ve been putting a lot of thought into to share this message. I’m calling it my Sky collection, because it’s inspired by a saying my family in Italy shared with me that “we all live under the same sky”. Even though we’re different, we’re the same too. So my paintings for my solo are going to feature figures of all different shapes, colors, sizes, and imagery from many different cultures all together under the same sky.
JR:How do you overcome creative blocks?
d’Errico: Mostly I give myself a break. I try not to push myself in creative directions if I’m having a block. I’ll take my mind off of my own art and watch an animated movie, or I’ll go exercise and fill my brain with endorphins. If the block goes on for a while I’ll try to root out the cause. My biggest blocks happen when I’m not happy with certain aspects of my life. Negativity can drain my creativity but once I understand what’s going on internally I make a positive change. I choose to redirect that energy into art.
JR:What artist influences your work most?
d’Errico: I try not to look at other artists to take inspiration or influence from. But I am very fond of movements such as the classic renaissance artwork and anime and manga. From a young age I was drawn to the Japanese storytelling sensibilities. They were so romantic, and full of character development. A lot of Japanese artists think outside the box that way. Their artwork can be so fantastical, creative and beautiful. But at the same time have graphic or strange imagery. Artists like Terada Katsuya, Red Juice, CLAMP, and Audrey Kawasaki opened up some creative pathways I had never seen before, and encouraged me to forge my own paths.
JR:What does art mean to you?
d’Errico: It means expressing the soul in a unique way.
To see more of Camilla’s beautiful art or to purchase her prints, visit her website at camilladerrico.com. Or to check Camilla out on social media, visit her pages at:
And as always,
Have a Geek filled week!