DesignerCon 2018: Camilla d’Errico On Developing Vinyl Art Toys & More

by Gary Catig

Camilla d’Errico is a talented artist who expresses her creativity through different means including painting, comics and vinyl toys. She has a very distinct style that combines comic art and manga with surrealist elements. During this year’s DesignerCon, she graciously took time out her schedule to speak with about her process and inspirations and her new and upcoming projects.
Gary Catig: We’re currently here at DesignerCon. What drew you to the show and what’s your favorite part of it?
Camilla d’Errico: I really like DesignerCon because it’s all original content. Or it’s intended to be a place where artists can just do their own thing and showcase their own creativity and artistic soul. I really love that about this. It was in Pasadena last year and it was very quaint and felt really homey. It’s a change to have it in the bigger hall. It feels more like a convention. I’m getting used to that. The thing I like the most is that the artists are still here. Getting to meet everybody is like a little family reunion. You know?
GC: Your work as an artist has you in different mediums including paintings and comics. Another area you pursued, which is quite prominent here at the show, is vinyl toys. How did you get into this field and what can you do creatively in toys that you can’t in other types of art?
CdE: Well, with toys you are creating a physical being, like a little character. It exists in the real world in our space so you can interact with it, which you can’t do with a painting. You can look at a painting but you can’t really touch it. You shouldn’t touch it. Don’t touch it. When you have something that you can actually look at in our dimension, it becomes, I think, very real. I really like that about them. Being able to work with Kidrobot, Superplastic, and APPortfolio and ToyQube is amazing because I get to see my works come alive.

GC: Speaking of toys, you have a cool pop up gallery of Kathy Olivas and Seulgie vinyl figures that you customized, recreating portraits you have done. Can you describe your inspiration for this gallery and the process of determining which characters and portraits you chose to mimic?  
CdE: I am a huge Kathy fan and I love her platforms. They’re the Wandering Misfits. They’re little characters and I love how they’re chibi. Chibi is the Japanese style of character. I love the fact that I can take them and then I can make them with my big eyes and I can give them cute little pouty lips. My melting rainbow effects are one of the things I have really kind of taken off with since 2012. For me to make them like they exist, basically that they’re made of paint, is something I did specifically for this convention. All the Kathy ones are all painted like melting rainbows and colors. I really love that.
I’m really obsessed with butterflies right now. Butterflies are transformative and they also represent the delicate nature of a person. The wandering nature because butterflies are travelers. They go very great distances. I love butterflies right now. I feel they are part of myself at the moment. Adding them with my melting rainbows is really cool.
The Seulgie, I lover her. I love her cute little characters. With those ones, there was one specifically I did that had two love birds on it and it had a jar with keys. It was about unlocking your heart to the right one, the right person. I’m obsessed with them. I’m hoping to work with Kathy now to make my own line of vinyl toys.

GC: You also had a panel earlier today about the release of the follow up to Kidrobot’s Arcane Divination. Can you tell us about the series and the approach for the designs?
CdE: Last year was my first time doing a Dunny. When Jesse asked me to do it, I was obviously over the moon. I love Jesse, he’s frickin’ amazing. I wanted to customize the Dunnies and I love tarot. It was kind of like this trinity of awesome, so of course I was going to say yes. That was my first time designing them. This year, I went even further. I pushed the design more so that the characters actually have my faces. Not my face, but my artwork’s face. We’ve sculpted hair and sculpted pouty lips. I even got to design my own tarot, my own card in the series, which is nature. That one is about the human nature interacting with physical nature. How we really need to respect the planet and live in harmony with it because human beings don’t really do that. We treat our planet really badly and we need to understand we are a part of it. I’m hoping people can see the new series and can see how much we’ve pushed the platform and appreciating all the little details that went into it.
GC: Finally, we’ve covered a lot of your work so far and what you have coming. Is there anything else you would like to plug that you have coming out? Maybe even in the comics world because I know you just did the variant cover for The Nightmare Before Christmas.
CdE: I did the Tokyopop’s The Nightmare Before Christmas cover for Zero’s Journey, which was really awesome. I love The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m hoping to work with them again. I love Tokyopop and I love The Nightmare Before Christmas. Yes, hopefully more of that comes along. Now, I’m also pitching Helmet Girls, a graphic novel series based on my acrylic paintings that I started fifteen years ago and I’m just going to bring it back. It’s a book that’s been in progress for ten years and I’m finally ready to bring it to print. That one’s going to come out and I also have my book, Pop Manga Drawing, which is going to debut next year. It’s a follow up to Pop Manga and it’s a how to draw manga with graphites. Right now, what’s real exciting is Pop Manga Mermaids, which is a coloring book that just debuted. As well as my book of bees called The Fuzzbutts.

We are very grateful that Camilla could join us for an interview. If you would like to know more about her or her art, please visit her website which can be found here.

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