Session 12: Camilla Engman


This February’s dröm sessions calls for Swedish illustration goodness! This session, we speak to Swedish illustrator/artist – Camilla Engman! Let’s start our little adventure with her as we find out a wee bit more about her as we go behind the canvas of her art pieces.
Distant Friends, postcards - a collaboration with Ana Ventura
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A collaboration piece with Karin Eriksson.

Hello there Camilla! We’d like to know how did art/illustration became a part of who you are, what started your passion?
I love to create and to make up stories, always had. It has always been easy for me to get lost in images and imagine what will happen next. I get emotional attached with the characters. Also I think that drawing was the only thing I was really good at when I was a child, it makes it easier and more important to continue.camilla2 camilla3
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You express yourself through various mixed mediums (seeing that you paint/draw/do collages and even hand made some crochet plushes), is there an all time favorite medium to use and why?
I like to change medium to surprise myself and to find new ways to approach what I do. I also love that when you are a beginner in something you think everything look good. Like learning a new language – you are so happy and proud about your first words, but then you realise how much work you have to put in to it to learn to communicate properly. My favorite material is paper. Paper for the smell, the touch, the sound and all its uses.
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Per Agélii and Camilla Engman’s collaboration.
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How does an idea or inspiration hit you, what motivates you to create the way you do?
I have no idea…. inspiration has never been a problem, it is almost always there. It is a matter of choosing what to make. To constrain myself. I try not to think to much and to just make, and to have fun.
Pia König's and Camilla Engman's collaboration
Pia König's and Camilla Engman's collaboration 2
Pia König and Camilla Engman’s collaboration

How we wished that there was a Camilla Engman workshop here in Singapore! Through your workshops, what do you hope to impart to your participants? Were there any special moments where you get inspired yourself?
I would like them to go home happier and more brave, not to try to hard but play and fail. It is supposed to be a pleasure in a way or another to create. I get inspired and more hopeful about the world (!) meeting all these fantastic and lovely persons! When they leave I feel love for each and one of them, that is very inspiring for me.
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Snippets of Camilla’s workshops

You also started “Curious About“, where you visit the studios of various artists, what were some of your favorite moments/highlights in snooping around these inspiring studios? And will you be publishing a book out of this in the future?
The best part is that I have a reason and get opportunity to meet new people that I don’t really know anything about. I just moved to this old epidemic hospital (called Konstepidemin*), that is a place for over 100 different kinds of artists since 25 years, and it is a great place! I wanted to try to show that for you and also for the artist themselves. It is a fantastic place and I am thrilled to be part of it.

*Konstepidemin, or Epidemic of Art houses studio space for more than 100 artists. Located in the former epidemic hospital are also galleries, a restaurant and more.
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Curious About – Camilla’s studio visit to Marthe Roosenboom & Michiel Brouwer’s atelier
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Curious About – Camilla’s studio visit to Johan Lagergård‘s workspace.studio
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Nooks and crannies of Camilla Engman’s studio/home.

May we also have some sneaky peaks of your own studio/home? What are some of your favourite spots within your studio/home?
Windows are my favorite spot 🙂 both in my home and my studio. I like very much my living room because it is very light and airy.
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Morran is a Danish/swedish farmdog, Camilla’s trusty companion.
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When we think of you, it is hard not to get reminded of your lovely and very brave dog – Morran, who has fought all the way against her illness. We hope you feel the pain a little lesser now. Morran has definitely portrayed the true spirit of a fighter and adventurer and has inspired many! I know we were touched and inspired 🙂 You started a Morran Book Project, where you showcase the collection of all your fans’ artworks of Morran. Can you show us some of your personal favorites or where there any favorite stories of Morran told by your fans?
I can honestly say that I love one and each of them! It is such a precious book in so many ways, a book of love, dogs and art/illustration. What more can you ask for 🙂
They didn’t tell so many stories about here in words mostly in pictures. I’ve got e-mails where they’ve told me about a dream where Morran appeared, but that’s all.
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Above 3 featured illustrations are fan contributions of Morran! How awesome are they!

Please share with us an all time favorite Camilla Engman creation, and tell us what makes it your favorite?
The last one is almost always my favorite. Because it is now, where I am now and hopefully it tells me something about the future, or gives me a dream about it.

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“Vi ses i kyssrummet” – acrylic on board 100×60 cm

Apart from creating art, what are some of your other favourite things to do?
Walking is a very important thing for me, maybe even more than creating (if I have to choose 🙂 I love to walk, to walk long and fast. I also like very much to take a cup of coffee at a café with a friend. So walking and fika is two other favorite things I like to do.
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Camilla’s little collections of odds & ends.

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And here’s Camilla herself, the face behind the canvas!

Lastly, is there anything that you can say to advise or encourage all new/aspiring artist out there?
Have fun! Don’t try too hard to find your own voice, it will come when you least expect it if you just let go.

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The Suitcase series – Camilla’s Engman, a book featuring her work, studio, and of course Morran, is available at the little dröm store. Each book comes with a bookmark, a set of postcards and a little booklet of Morran and her adventures!
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