Tomopop: You've mentioned that your artwork was initially inspired by comics. Were you influenced by any comics in particular? What else inspires your work?
Camilla: Not just initially, it is continuous. I find so much inspiration in the art of various comic book artists and illustrators not only from North America, but also France, Italy, Asia, basically all over the world. That's actually one of the most interesting parts of what inspires me - the art and storytelling of artists from different countries and cultures really changes my perspectives. Its always refreshing to see international art and even photography, these are unbelievably inspiring.
Tomopop: Do you create your artwork primarily in acrylic paint form and then translate it into other mediums or do you approach each project differently?
Camilla: I do all my paintings with acrylics and water soluble oils (an amazing medium!) but i don't really take them into digital or other mediums from there, very rarely. I tend to use the appropriate media for each project, so comics are hand drawn and digitally colored and so and so.
Tomopop: On what canvases can we see your artwork other than bags?
Camilla: For starters, on clothing! I love working with local designers who will rock a drawing of mine with their creative touch or commission a new image to fit the theme of their collection or even an ad-hoc, special edition item. Fashion is something I am really looking to expand in the future. Having my own collection is one of the goals I am working towards. Jewelry would also be a ton of fun and that could happen too!
Tomopop: Your artwork takes many forms (bags, toys, prints, comics . . .) What is your favorite?
Camilla: Hmm...tough one. If I had to choose I'd say comics, mostly for the character aspect because I get to draw and live a character out, take them through a journey and develop them beyond just a single image. But every one of those art forms has its own good points that tug at my heart strings; I love prints and paintings because of the color and craziness, but having that art on handbags or clothes and actually walking around with "portable art" is pretty wild too!
Tomopop: I noticed that you’ve done several custom vinyl toys. Can we expect more of your artwork in toy form or, perhaps, a full-fledged toy series?
Camilla: Oh yes, you definitely will! Currently I'm working with ThreeZero on a figure that should release in 2009, and am developing some other projects with a longer time horizon. I can't say much more than that, but you can expect something toy and tangible from me in the very near future.
Tomopop: Simone Legno’s tokidoki line of bags has created quite a market for these types of bags. Were you influenced by the tokidoki popularity? Do you think that your bags compete with tokidoki or are you targeting a different type of consumer?
Camilla: I think that Simone really broke a barrier with his bags and brought funky fresh art and fashion into gorgeous symbiosis. I'm not trying to compete with Tokidoki or even mimic what Simone has done, but it is nice to see that the market has opened up and accepted this style. I'd like to think that my bags offer people another fun and fashionable accessory to enjoy.
Tomopop: Are you a toy collector yourself? And if so, what are some of your favorite toys in your collection?
Camilla: I do collect toys, in fact I have shelves of them! My favourite toys are from Kotobukiya (SYUNYA YAMASHITA) and I have many from Range Murata, of course those are my resin statues. I also collect Mindstyle toys (Scavengers Series), Devil Robots (To-fu Series) and Kid Robot (Dunny and Munny) just to name a few, but I have many more that I pick up when I simply must have that cute, awesome, amazing toy!!
Tomopop: We’re really looking forward to the release of your bag line this coming spring. What other projects do you have up your sleeve?
Camilla: well, upcoming projects ... let's see! Yeah I have lots in all kinds of spaces and places! I'll be working on a couple of comic and graphic novel projects plus painting for shows at Gallery 1988, Thinkspace and Opera Gallery. But that's my "normal" work :). I'm planning to have a couple more events like the Vancouver release party, except in other cities. I'm hoping to have one in New York during comic con in February and another one in Portland sometime in the Spring/Summer. So for those events we'll design and make special edition clothes just for those cities - one time only – on top of some of my standard things, including the handbags.
Next year, I'll be focusing on expanding my convention presence and introducing POKABE to the people. POKABE is my "outfit" for merchandise related to my IPs and characters like Tanpopo, Helmetgirls and The Pooks. This project is going to be huge but so so much fun and I've been having a great time with it already mainly because its a family affair! My sisters and I “are” POKABE and it makes it even more special. And last thing – I will finally have an artbook! It’s something I’ve been dying for and I’m working on it now. I’m also going to try to make a nice sketchbook with work from comics, videogames, and fan sketches I’ve done throughout the years. Also, I’ve still got some handbags available so if you don’t want to wait till Spring, hit up my online store now!
Tomopop: Thanks so much for taking time time to talk with us! We can't wait to see more of your work!
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