Italo-Canadian artist Camilla d’Errico is currently making huge waves across the world of fine art and comic industries with her gorgeous manga-influenced style. Currently branching out her enormous talent to fashion, accessories and toys and working on feature films and videogames with some of the biggest names in the industry such as Disney and Random House, she is one to watch out for with her seemingly unending talents. When she’s not creating, you’ll find her at comic con events across the world where she gets the opportunity to meet her legions of fans face to face, something she told me is a source of huge importance to her. While others are off being VIP’s Camilla is greeting every face that travelled to see her and her work. I was so thrilled that she was able to take some time out to chat with me one winters Friday evening, and, in all honesty, it took me just minutes to adore her warmth and passion for her life’s work. A true visionary and all-round gorgeous human. her success is secondary to her amazing down-to-earth nature. I am beyond proud to introduce Camilla to you. I know you’re going to love her as much as I did. Over to you Camilla…

So, CAMILLA, What’s your story?

I think the best way to sum up my story is that I’m a successful artist, author, and entrepreneur. I work in several industries: the comic book world, the fine art world, and the publishing world in addition to collaborating with many companies to license my artwork onto multiple products.

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At the heart of my story, is a girl who loves to paint and draw and never wants to grow up. I surround myself with colors, cartoons, and love. I spread my message of acceptance and unity with my art and in this little universe I’ve fallen I love with. I’ve managed to merge two art styles, manga and renaissance portraits, and made it my own. Through this new art style, I reach an amazing audience and find many people that respond to my message and artwork.

What’s your favourite thing about your chosen career as a creative and an artist? 

The adventures that I have are astounding. Every day feels like I’m discovering new things about my creativity and myself. What I love so much about being an artist is that I am always in touch with my inner child.

What’s been the most exciting project you have been involved with for your work?

There have been so many projects that I have loved and been excited to work on, so it’s hard to choose. I think, however, maybe one of the most exciting ones for me was the first time I worked with Disney on a project. Since I was a child, I wanted to be an animator for Disney but due to my lack of animating skills and love of 2-D art, I didn’t pursue that career. It was really interesting to work with the company on a Tinkerbelle project. I learned a lot of the ways Disney works and was really glad that I was able to give the little feisty fairy my special artistic twist.

How do you handle criticism?

My mother once told me a saying - “its like water off of a duck’s back.” Ducks feathers are waterproof. I try to let negativity roll away and not affect me. It’s very hard though since I’m Italian/Canadian and my Latin blood boils pretty hard and fast. My automatic reaction is anger but my Canadian side has taught me kindness and patience. I’d like to say that criticisms don’t affect me, but that’d be a lie. They do, they hurt and it’s never a nice feeling to read bad things about myself. However, I choose how to react and what energies I want to put out into the world. When faced with criticism I do one of two things: I either confront the commenter with my point of view and create a discussion or I delete the comment and move on.

What makes you happy?  

Success makes me happy; my home life does, my little potato, Loki, does. But I think what makes me really happy is acts of kindness and seeing smiles on other people’s faces when people’s compassion and generosity positively affects others. I try to do small things and big things for others every chance I can that will show the world there are good people in the world that care. 

How would your best friend describe you?  

They would say I’m stubborn, creative, and funny. But not in that order, I’m told.

What’s coming up for d’Errico studios?  

So many incredible things! My newest book, “Pop Manga Drawing,” published by Random House will debut in Summer 2019. I’m also launching my first ever vinyl toy in December with Toyqube. It’s very exciting to see my paintings come to life in 3-D. Next year, I’ll be focusing on my new solo show with Haven Gallery in May 2019 and also begin work on a new graphic novel series with Random House. Plus, I’m working on a new line of backpacks that I plan to debut in March 2019. So many fun things in the works!

Creative work is heart-led, do you find it difficult to release work to the world that feels so personal?

I do and I don’t. I think a lot of my hesitation with certain pieces comes from not knowing how the public will react and asking myself if I’m ready to face them. But other times, I stand so firm in my convictions that I almost challenge people to comment negatively just so that I can stand up for myself. For example, my solo show I displayed this spring was all about unity and diversity. It was my clap back to the intolerance and bigotry that I have seen rise up in the USA. I painted many people of color, same-sex couples, and even a voluptuous girl to show that no matter what shape you are, that you are beautiful. A few trolls came out from under their bridges to try to bring me and others down but I made sure to stay strong and show the world that what I painted is what I believed in and no one was going to take away my voice.

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What or who inspires you?  

I get this question a lot and it’s never easy to answer. One thing I know for sure, however, is that I do not have a role model or person who I aspire to be. My inspiration has always come from my own passions. I have fiercely loved art since I was a child and every time I thought about my life I knew that I had to create in order to be happy. Humanity inspires me. I know the world isn’t perfect and that humans are flawed creatures, but it is what we wish to be that makes me really interested in our species. “Humanity” as a concept is incredible. “Love” is captivating as a motivator. The most fascinating thing about love is that it isn’t necessarily a positive thing, it can be twisted, it can lead to heartbreak, it can hurt as much as it can feel amazing, and is the singular most incredible feeling in the world. Understanding love and the human heart is my biggest theme throughout my life. My inspirations and ideas may change over time but at the core of what I do that main theme is always present.

What’s your top tip for the awesome girl bosses reading this article?

Don’t let anything stop you but also don’t become someone you don’t recognize. It’s easy to get caught up in the world of business and the idea of being cutthroat and “playing with the big boys.” I’ve learned that my feminine side has actually been my strongest quality that has gotten me ahead. I’ve used my compassion, my multi-tasking, and my ability to listen to build my career and I highly suggest you play to your strengths as I did.

How do you handle the amount of travel you have to do while remaining creative (and sane!)?

I always bring part of my work with me when I travel. I have a constant stream of projects so in order to maintain my deadlines I have to balance my traveling with my workload by doing what I can on the road.

What’s the number one played song on your iPod?

Not surprisingly its “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran, it was my wedding song.

What do you know for sure?

I’m obsessed with vampires. Always have and always will be. I don’t know anything else in life that’s “for sure” but I know that much.

Do you have a book or favourite podcast recommendation for our Female CEO members?

I adore my sister’s podcast “Real Wealth Real Health” and I would highly recommend that for any woman or person who wants to become a successful entrepreneur and fulfilled individual. My sister AdaPia has been through a lot in her life and she’s learned so much about herself as she’s journeyed from being a successful hedge fund manager to being a spiritual guide. She has so much to share and teach others, it’s truly incredible. I have always known what I wanted to be but my sister, like many others, didn’t have that calling, so she had to navigate her life through other people’s expectations. Her life now is free from that and in a completely amazing direction. She’s an inspiration to be sure.

and finally, How would you like to be remembered?

Oh my. I hope that I’m remembered as a funny, compassionate, hard-working, and passionate person and maybe throw in a little bit of a weirdo to spice things up.

If you want to know more about Camilla, have a question about d’Errico Studios or upcoming events can visit her fabulous website here or catch her over on Facebook or Instagram - you can also read more via The members forum on The Community page.