URBAN ARCADE

Artist Colony // Camille Olsen-Ormandy

artist colony, art, artists, interviews, interviewCamille AllenComment
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In what ever you do, if you work really hard and with passion, anything is possible. 

Apart from the fact that Camille has a really great name, *cough hmhmm*, she is also crazy talented, creating bright, colourful portraiture with a quirky edge. Inspired by some incredible sights as well as her artistic parents, Camille's artwork showcases a variety of different experiences all through the one face.  

With her impeccable eye for colour and the coolest style *ever*, Camille is one groovy gal'. She was kind enough to let me steal some of her Instagram pictures, as well as letting me ask her a few questions. Thanks Camille!

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Hey! How are you? What have you been up to lately?  Hey! I am good, I have just finished high school! Lately I’ve been juggling between working as a Christmas casual at Dinosaur Designs, working both retail and warehouse, while of course painting as much as I can in between.   

You come from an incredibly artistic family. How has this helped you develop as an artist? Coming from an artistic family, it was almost impossible not to be an artist. As hard as I tried, my inevitable path was creative. From a young age my appreciation for art developed as the endless cycle of bouncing from gallery to gallery, seeing and meeting eccentric artists all exuding their own contagious passion for art. As a child I always looked up to my parents, as I observed their own passion. I was instantly enthralled; opening my eyes to a world of colour, playfulness and absurd messiness, the endless conversations between colours fascinated me.

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What inspires you?   My inspirations generally come from my own experience and observations. My trips to Japan and New York from a young age have always inspired me. Colour is a large facture in my art. Seen through the colourful contemporary culture of Tokyo and the street art of downtown Manhattan. I’ve always made connections to Shibuya station as the inside of my mind. Flashing bright screens, neon colours, Harajuku fashion, loud voice-overs and the neat organised chaos.  

I also take inspiration from both my Mum and Dad who both live for colour. My father constantly talks about the conversations exchanged through colour, such as a dark navy and light purple pink construct a sharp yet harmonious conversation. On the other hand my portrait inspiration is generally from the renaissance, including 16-17th century Dutch and Pre-Raphaelite.

Describe your workspace…  My workspace mainly exists in a spare bedroom, a single table with my oil paint, loose canvas, disposable palates, brushes and speakers pumping out all kinds of genres ranging from French rap, Korean R&B soul, as well as notable artist David Bowie, Gorillaz, Sticky Fingers and Metronomy to name a few.

So I’ve been stalking your Instagram and am a little jealous of all the amazing galleries you have been to all over the world. Which one was your favourite and why?   Each gallery and exhibition has its own unique interpretation. Instead of having a single favourite gallery, I really enjoy the Chelsea gallery area in New York. Ranging from the Gagosian Gallery exhibiting modern masters, Marlborough Gallery showing abstract and representational paintings to the Andrea Rosen Gallery displaying a variety of media by contemporary artists. The area allows you to spend a day discovering known and unknown artist with a multitude of mediums and expressions in a single area.

How would you describe your painting style?  My style is constantly developing and changing, mainly focusing in portraiture.  At this point in time I see it as both quirky and naive in it's approach, which I really enjoy. I am completely infatuated with the human face and the fun of tackling such a complicated form. Such as battling a wonky eye or a 3-quarter turn, the imperfection fuels my passion. Through trial and error I may change the way I tackle the face, either through starting with tonal contrast then adding colour. I always start with straight oil on canvas, sketching out the face as I go, shifting and moulding the face.

What’s the next artwork you have in mind?  I find many of my portrait inspirations off Instagram, I have a huge album of photos on my phone filled with interesting faces. I never truly know what my next work will be as my choices are always based on how I feel on the day. I might want to challenge myself with a complicated perspective or maybe a clear front on which is relaxing.

What are your plans for the future?   Since I just finished high school, this year I will be going to Art school, where I plan to learn more about art throughout history and continue to explore new mediums, subjects and generally have fun making art.

If you could be one artist for a day, who would you choose?  I would love to be apart of the Japanese based group Teamlab for a day. Their effortless connection of traditional Japanese art and culture mixed with digital interactive projections creates a poetic approach to moving art, combining both the old and new. I would love to learn more about digital art and how I could incorporate it into my own.

5 quick facts about you:

1. I love film, such as the visual richness of Wes Anderson and Hayao Miyazaki

2. I live by the sea.

3. I have a dog called skipper, his star sign is Leo, which makes him think that he is literally a majestic lion, when in fact he is a short and stubby sausage dog. 

4. I’ve only been painting portraits for 2 years now.

5. I could eat sushi for the rest of my life and not get sick of it.

What is something you would tell your younger self?   In what ever you do, if you work really hard and with passion, anything is possible.