Interview: Camilla d’Errico’s New Eyewear Collection, And Surrealism In Pop Culture

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Artist Camilla d’Errico’s adventurous pop surrealism has been seen everywhere: from convention halls to private galleries. Where some artists leave droplets that ripple onward to inspire, d’Errico has taken the reigns on where the inspiration from her art is directed by penning books on pop surrealism and encouraging a new generation of female artists to find their place in the world. Some of her biggest fans/clients include the likes of Stan Lee, Scream Queens’ Emma Roberts, Geek & Sundry’s Felicia Day, and legendary author Neil Gaiman to name a few.

Now d’Errico is branching out with a gorgeous eyewear collection in collaboration with Derek Cardigan.

We sat down with the artist to talk about the collection, her books, her inspirations and where things will go from here.

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“Growing up in the 80’s and the 90’s with He-Man, She-Ra and the Fraggles … from a very early age my mom would sit me in front of the TV, and it was kind of my babysitter,” said d’Errico “I was in such awe of all the amazing colors, and characters, and I think that has definitely transitioned into my work now. I’m a really big fan of neon colors, and really expressive, powerful women, which is where that all came from — the 90’s, She-Ra.”

d’Errico quickly discovered a new style of bright and colorful art with one of the most popular animated shows on TV:

“When I started watching Sailor Moon I transitioned — it’s not that I stopped being interested in North American art, but I was much more interested in Japanese culture and the Japanese art styles. So ever since Sailor Moon, I’ve used the Japanese culture as a huge inspiration for my art.”

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Her collaboration with Derek Cardigan was something of a fairy tale story — a call from the powers that be who came across her artwork.

“It started two and a half years ago. They actually approached me … I’m a local artist, so they were really excited about my artwork and wanting something kind of new and different. It was actually a really fantastic collaboration because they were so excited about the art, and I’ve worked with so many companies but they were just such big fans of mine. The hardest part about the whole thing was narrowing down with designs to use because we all wanted to pick, like, 20 pairs. It took two and a half years to come out but I think that it was worth it.”

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In addition to the eyewear collection, d’Errico has published several books including Pop Manga and the recently released the follow-up, Pop Painting. Both books act as an instructional guide for curious new artist.

“My experience has been — through college and high school — is that teachers kind of … don’t really branch into realism. They’ll teach you about it, but they won’t be able to teach you how to paint,” said d’Errico. “For me to be able to impart some of my experiences and my technique so that people can see how they can create oil paintings, you know, using their favorite pop culture character, is really important. Especially at the college level, they teach Renaissance but they won’t teach you what’s actually happening in the current movement. I would really like the new generation to learn from what we’re doing and create a new style.”

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d’Errico often appears at comic conventions, where her unique art style tends to stand out among the aisles — and she thinks new artist should do the same.

“The fact that there are surrealists like myself [in the artist alley] that are giving people the option to put real paintings on their walls too is really fun. I would encourage artists who paint surrealism to go to cons and show their artwork … I think it’s a really great introduction even for just comic fans. I have a lot of people that don’t know my art and they’ll come by the booth, and they’ll see my interpretation of a Guillermo Del Toro movie, and their eyes just light up. I think it’s a great way to show comic fans just what kind of art can be created.”

For fans curious about d’Errico’s art style, an all-new solo exhibition of her work opened in Los Angeles last week. Titled “Dances with Dreams”, the exhibition brings the best of d’Errico’s signature style together into a full presentation.

“I wanted to invite audiences to explore the hauntingly beautiful states of the subconscious mind – while awake and in dream,” said d’Errico. “ The feeling as though they were walking through a colorful and serene dreamscape when pondering whether the girl in each portraiture is dreaming or whether she is the viewer’s dream.”

The exhibition runs through May 21st.

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