The playful side of color: interview with Camille Walala

Born in France and now based in London, Camille Walala studied Textile Design at the University of Brighton and began her career designing textiles. She soon extended her style to graphic design, art direction, interior design and – most importantly – urban design, now the focus of some important projects of hers around the world.

She has collaborated with brands spanning from Nintendo to Kopparberg, from Natuzzi to the Barbican Festival. Inspired by South African art by the Ndebele tribe and the Memphis Group, Camille has created works for the London Design Festival and the Clerkenwell Design District in particular. Her trademark is a hyper-saturated palette that revolves around bold hues of blue, red, black, white and yellow, with sharp lines and patterns. We had the chance to ask her a few questions, and this is what she told us...

What project are you working on at the moment?
I am about to fly to Mauritius to paint a huge wall for a five-star LUX hotel.

What was the biggest challenge of your professional career?
I remember when I was asked to paint my first building. I had no idea how I was going to translate a drawing I did on the computer into a two-sided building in the middle of Old Street. But the biggest challenge was when I painted a 4-storey building in London for the first time. I loved it but it was a massive challenge.

Tell us something about your most important collaborations with huge clients...
I recently did a collaboration with Giorgio Armani, which was really interesting as it took me out of my comfort zone. I had to do some illustration and animation for their SS/17. I was surprised they asked me as our aesthetic is so different. But the result was great!

How did you start your career in visual arts?
I started off selling my fabric patterns at the Broadway Market in East London. That’s when I got noticed and got offered my first commissions.

When did you develop a passion for colors?
I’ve always loved color, for as long as I can remember. I was always surrounded by color growing up.

How do you choose colors for your works?
I generally work with a standard color palette, and adapt hues to the surroundings depending on the brief and aesthetic.

What would you like people to say when they see a project of yours?
That it brings joy to their day…

Is there a company with which you would like to collaborate?
At the moment I’m quite interested in working with architects and producing urban projects, but I wouldn’t say there is brand in particular that I would love to work with especially. 

Can you tell us what kind of colors are in your home and in your wardrobe?
My house has white walls, but I accessorize it with colorful objects, plants and little flurries of patterns on the walls. In my wardrobe… you can find every color in there.

What do you think about “playfulness” in illustration and graphic design?
That’s what I design my entire aesthetic around. I love playfulness and a sense of humor in people’s work.

What would you say to young artists, to encourage them in their career?
Don’t give up, if you want it bad enough it will come, it just takes time.

Interview by Barbara Palladino

© Camille Walala

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