December 9, 2015

We love the vivid and playful illustrations from surface designer, Camilla Perkins. The London based illustrator’s work is packed full of popping colours, interesting textures and a lotta animals. We caught up with Camilla about drawing inspiration from the countryside, clashing patterns and her favourite projects.

UO: Do you come from a creative family?

My mum is a knit and homeware designer and my Dad is a journalist. I think most of the people in my family are much better at 3D design; I’m not really sure how I ended up being able to draw. My sister does draw an amazing horse though; she’d be really angry if she saw that I wrote this and didn’t mention it.

UO: Where does your fascination with zoology and botany come from?

When I was a child growing up in Brighton I always used to go to the Booth Museum on school trips, it’s basically a series of dark corridors filled with these crazy taxidermy animals that are both terrifying and fascinating. I’ve always really loved being around nature; I spent half of my childhood living in the countryside where I enjoyed exploring the woods and spending time with different animals; at one point my neighbor had a pet fawn which was amazing!

UO: What is it about surface design and textiles that has attracted you?

I remember going to an exhibition of Matisse’s textiles when I was about 13 and I found it really inspiring. I’ve always loved clothes and clashing patterns and so it seemed like a natural progression for me. There have been times when I’ve taken the clashing patterns too far within my own fashion choices and caught a glimpse of myself as I left the house and thought, “what the hell am I wearing”.

UO: If you could use only three words to describe your style, what would they be?

I would probably say: bright, playful, pattern.

UO: What’s been your biggest artistic challenge to date?

I created 50 paintings for a pop up shop that I did with Furbish Studio, which was really challenging. I tend to make things up as I go along so to do that 50 times on the spot was pretty hard mentally! It is however some of my favourite work that I’ve produced so the headache was worth it.

UO: Project you’ve had most fun working on?

I’ve worked on some really great projects this year and have genuinely had fun with all of them. However I have to say that my self-initiated ongoing project on Sapeurs is something that I have really enjoyed working on. I’ve loved researching African sub cultures; it’s been really visually inspiring.

UO: What’s your favourite tool in the artist’s box and why?

It’s hard to say what my favourite tool is as I use quite a lot of different mediums. I would say that my favourite process would be painting on to acetate with acrylic paint and scratching through with a craft knife. It creates a texture that is really important to the look of my work.

UO: What’s your favourite way to spend a lazy weekend in London?

I really enjoy walking along the Southbank in the summer, going to exhibitions and maybe seeing a film at the BFI. I moved away from London a couple of years ago so I like to make the most of it when I go and visit.

UO: What’s next on the horizon for 2016?

Lots of big projects coming up but nothing I can talk about at the moment! I am thinking about producing a line of shirts so that could be fun!