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Meet the Artist: Camilla Engstrom

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Take a quick browse through the online portfolio on Camilla Engstrom’s website and you’ll find paintings of dicks, sketches of poo being penetrated, and a voluptuous pink character named Husa that gets herself into all kinds of predicaments. They’re provocative images that will definitely make you smile, but the Sweden-born, Brooklyn-based artist uses her sense of humor to tackle more pressing issues of sexuality and gender. Camilla, who first moved to New York to study fashion at FIT, applies her playful-yet-profound approach off canvas, too, and onto her quirky textiles and her personal style, through which she combines minimalist and bohemian aesthetics. Now, along with working towards a solo exhibition at Long Island’s Deli Gallery, Camilla’s stepping in front of the camera modeling our exclusive collaboration with designer and fellow New Yorker, Ilana Kohn. The Gary Jumpsuit, made in a special French Terry fabric, is effortless and easygoing — just like the girl who wears it.

“Ilana and I found each other through mutual friends who have a brand called Cold Picnic,” she explains. “I love the jumpsuit because it’s so comfortable. It feels like I’m not wearing anything. It’s durable yet light. Perfect for hot summers in NY.”

Here, we go behind the scenes with Camilla to learn more about Husa and her world.

Camilla Engstrom

"I think I'm a pretty curious and sexual person so it comes naturally."

WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHERE DO YOU LIVE, AND WHAT DO YOU DO? I’m from Stockholm, Sweden. I live in Brooklyn, NY. I’m an artist and designer.

YOUR PORTFOLIO AS AN ARTIST INCLUDES ILLUSTRATION, PAINTING, TEXTILE ART AND MODELING. HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN EACH? Once I quit my job as a fashion designer it all sort of happened naturally. I needed to make money and I always thought of different ways to do it while still having fun being creative.

DOES EACH MEDIUM SATISFY A DIFFERENT SIDE OF YOU? I sort of approach them in the same way I think. It depends on what mood I’m in. If I paint too much I miss designing products for my brand and vice versa. It’s a tricky balance I’m still trying to figure out.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION? My customers, celebs, myself and other artists.

TELL US ABOUT HUSA. She’s a plump little figure I created about 1.5 years ago. She’s a crazy version of myself.

Camilla Engstrom

WE’VE BEEN OBSESSED WITH BODY PART MOTIFS LATELY. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INSPIRED TO INCORPORATE ELEMENTS OF SEXUALITY INTO YOUR WORK? I think I’m a pretty curious and sexual person so it comes naturally.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU RECOGNIZED A LOVE OR AFFINITY FOR FASHION? Probably when I was about 8 years old. Before that it was a daily struggle for my mother to dress me. My mother and grandfather loved to dress up and their style always stood out. I think I dress like a mix of them both.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Comfortable!

WHAT’S THE BEST STYLE ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? Oh I don’t know. I kind of try to avoid listening to advices in general and just go with my gut instinct.

WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE STAPLES? I’m not sure. My wardrobe shifts a lot. I just try to be comfortable.

VITALS

HOMETOWN: Stockholm.
ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Virgo.
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: Keep it fun and simple.
MATERIALS OF CHOICE: Cotton.
FUN FACT: I’m from Sweden but I can’t stand cold weather.
INSPIRATION FOR SUMMER: Nature.
GO-TO OUTFIT: Jeans and t-shirt.
DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION: Sicily.
STUDIO SOUNDTRACK: Fela Kuti.
DRINK ORDER: Anything with Mezcal.
STANDBY SNACK: Fruit.

For more, visit Camilla’s website or follow her @camillamengengstrom.

Shop Camilla Engstrom

Previous
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Summer dreaming with Fieldguided
Summer dreaming with Fieldguided

Perfect Palettes

Guest Editor — Anabela Piersol

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Meet the Boutique: Umeboshi
Meet the Boutique: Umeboshi

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