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Camille de Cussac interview

The creative world of Parisian illustrator Camille de Cussac is infinitely colorful and wacky. When Mathieu excitedly showed me some of her line drawings, we immediately pictured them as embroideries for our Guadalquivir collection. As time went by, we became more and more hooked to her style and her characters, comical and full of life. I even bought one of her children’s books for my niece last Christmas !

We wanted to showcase her work for the launch of our new collection. So in addition to creating som t-shirt designs, it was with great pleasure that we asked her to decorate the windows and walls of both our Parisien shops, filling them with the graphic joy she’s so crazy about.
Hi Camille ! You can’t imagine how good your colours make me feel, what with these grey skies and humidity. It’s like taking a big dose of vitamins, or drinking ten glasses of orange juice at once. Where does this passion for colour come from ? And how do you go about creating your illustrations ?

My eye has always been attracted to colours and patterns. I think that’s obvious in my work and even in myself, how I dress, what my house looks like, it’s quite overwhelming !
I use a lot of colours in my drawings, but I rarely draw things in their «true » colours, which gives me a lot of creative freedom. My characters are blue, red, orange, my dogs are pink, there is no logic… I choose colours very spontaneously. I rely heavily on instinct.

You mainly draw using felt-tips. Is there a link with your childhood ? Can you remember your first drawing ?

I like felt-tips because they are easy to use and carry. I love to travel. I love being able to pop a small notebook and a pencil case in my bag and work anywhere. My first drawings were of dogs, so I haven’t changed much.
Your style is incredibly unique and recognisable. Who or what influences you most ?

I look o to lots of people, especially since I joined Instagram where, every day, I discover fabulous new artists from around the world. I love, among many others, the composition work of Brecht Evens, Yann Kebbi’s notebooks, Ingela P. Arrhenius’ animals, the comic strips created by my friend Marion Chapuis, Jean Jullien’s characters, Magali Brueder and Beya Rebaï’s landscapes, Léa Maupetit’s colours, the frescos drawn by Broken Fingaz and also all the illustrators in my collective, Jaune Cochon !

As a whole, your atmosphere is incredibly theatrical, as if your were honoring the past, in a way. What do you enjoy most about that ?

I love old, majestically posed-for portraits. I love their garb, their hairstyles, their faces. It’s really something that inspires me a lot, and what I look for when visiting museums. It is true that I like old things, I enjoy integrating them into life today.
Travel is also one of your themes. I even gave you a few tips for your trip to Vietnam ! What inspired you most over there ?

It was awesome ! Everyone on scooters, kids, dogs, it’s great, everywhere is teeming with life. It’s a well organized chaos, a bit like my desk. It looks like a bloody mess, but everything is where it should be and everything works out fine !

Let’s keep talking about travel. You have just released a comic called KO à Cuba. I flicked through it and I find it visually stunning. What’s the story behind it ?

It’s the story of an American boxer called Marcel, the star boxer of the moment. He travels to Cuba for a fight where he meets a sausage dog on wheels called Pedrolito. This encounter will change his life forever.
To end on an Andalusian note, you told me you went there last year. Can you share an anecdote or something you really enjoyed over there ?

I loved the gypsy quarter in Grenada, as well as the cave houses carved into the rock on that beautiful hill facing the Alhambra. I love the gypsy world, maybe a source of inspiration for a future projet, who knows ?

Camille De Cussac's Instagram

- Interview by Valentin Porcher -