A few years ago, one of our employees had a great idea: to partner with local artists who could create prints and designs for our exclusive glasses collections. That one bright spark has erupted into the final product you see here: an otherworldly collaboration between famed Vancouver manga artist Camilla d’Errico and the supercharged vintage aesthetic of Derek Cardigan.
Camilla’s style is known for blending contradictory themes like the natural and the mechanical, the melancholy and the elation, and the innocence and the complexity of her wide-eyed cartoon creations. Before the official launch date of her first-ever eye wear collaboration, we sat down with Camilla to talk to her about the major inspiration behind her style, her experience working on this collection, and her plans for the future.
Camilla’s earliest aspiration was to work as an animator for Disney. But like most artists, her tastes evolved with time. She came to love the style of well-known graphic novels and cartoons like Sailor Moon and Astro Boy, along with some of the biggest and most influential names in manga and comic book illustration, including Ashley Wood, Joe Benitez, Michael Turner, and Range Murata.
Despite her love for the medium, she assumed that manga and comic book art had nothing to do with the world of canvases, oil paints, and gallery walls. A fateful trip to Vancouver’s Ayden Gallery — a space that prides itself on showcasing contemporary fine art from both established and upcoming artists — changed her mind.
“I’m part of this movement that blends pop culture and surrealism with oil painting. Manga is very much pop culture, so it’s all one beautiful amalgamation.”
In a sense, collaboration is at the heart of everything d’Errico does: whether it’s working with other artists, writers, brands, styles, mediums, or celebrities.
I’ve worked with Disney and I’ve worked with Neil Gaiman in the past. Each collaboration is unique in how you approach it. The challenge is finding a voice that speaks for both parties. You have to be flexible, but you can’t be a pushover.
Speaking to the collaboration process with Coastal, d’Errico talked about the challenge of whittling down her extensive portfolio into just four final images: Xiomara, Water Wheel, Neo New York, and Loveless Bird: two minimalist prints, and two vibrant and saturated prints. In short, something for everyone.
We couldn’t narrow down the choices. There were too many. It was so much fun and so creative.
Finally, what’s next? Camilla is excited to turn her popular Helmet Girls (Xiomara and Water Wheel are two of many) into a narrative graphic novel series, along with a stand-alone novel featuring an as-yet unknown Helmet Girl inspired by the Bride of Frankenstein in what she promises will be a space horror. We can’t wait.