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Interview: Camille Walala

All this week, Kopparberg are hosting a series of workshops, talks and events with mind-boggling creative talent including Margot Bowman, Hattie Stewart, Pothole Gardener, Pure Evil, and more, to celebrate the DIY culture and get you all a bit creative! All the London events are taking place in Shoreditch. We chatted to Notion contributor Camille Walala, ahead of her session to get a little more acquainted with what she does and how she does it.

Planet Notion: How did you become interested in print and interior design?
Camille Walala: I have been fascinated by bright patterns since my teens. I grew up with two different styles: with the Memphis-style design pieces in my Dad’s house in Paris, and my Mum’s Provence house which we decorated with warm, Mediterranean colors and African patterns. So in my head I think I’ve always mixed the two together.

PN: Who and what inspires you?
CW: I got really inspired few years ago by Hassan Hajjaj, Moroccan artist based in London, at the time I was working in his Cafe as waitress. Everything he touched, made, created was really talking to me. He started to make clothes, then moved to interiors and now doing amazing photography. Everything seems related and it’s all pop, bright and bold. I am also massive fan of Nathalie du pasquier, who is the main textile designer of Memphis group from the 80’s. She created some amazing patterns. I love mixing all my inspiration together to create my own Walala tribal pop designs; it goes from Ndebele tribes from South Africa to Memphis to Bauhaus and De Stijl and a bit of pop culture.

PN: How did you decide to design the new layout/décor of XOYO the way you did, and what was it like doing that project?
CW: It was a wonderful learning experience as I’d never worked on such a big scale before. The owner, Cymon Eckel, contacted me and said liked my work. He gave me complete “carte blanche” on this project and trusted me from the start to the end. The biggest challenged was to mix all those patterns, colors and scales and to get it right! I absolutely loved the result; it was so nice to see the buzz and energy it gave to the venue when the night came!

PN: What form of media do you prefer working with?
CW: Everything I can print on or make patterns with, from fabric to ceramic and I’ve been doing some big wall paintings recently too. But from now on I’m going to work a lot with vinyl and a vinyl cutter, I’m going to apply vinyl patterns to every surface I can! I’m also working on making some glow-in-the-dark optical / tribal patterns for club nights and bring back the 90’s glow stick vibe!

PN: Where was your first job/internship as a print and/or interior designer?
CW: I haven’t really done much interning; I got quite frustrated working for free and doing boring task when I always knew what I wanted to do. It also has to do with the fact I was a late student and was much older than everyone else, I had already worked previously and so I didn’t want to waste anymore time, I just wanted to go for it and think my own way.

PN: How did you get involved with ün-establishment? What was your first reaction?
CW: The agency, Margaret, contacted me and asked me to do some designs for the interior and walls for the ün-establishment pop-up. I am really excited about it and I’m really pleased to be working with them. It was also a challenge though as it’s the first time I’ve had to do a painting 4 meters high! Next week I’ll be painting an 11 meter long wall on Bishopsgate to fit alongside Kopparberg advertising and I can’t wait! Watch this space; it’s going to be bright and bold!

PN: Do you know any of the other creative individuals involved with the ün-establishment project?
CW: Not personally but there are many people there I like, especially Hattie Stewart’s work.

PN: Would you like to work with any of the other artists that are involved with ün-establishment?
CW: I would love to do a collaboration with Hattie Stewart as I love her use of Patterns. It would be really nice to meet her and the others!

PN: What advice would you give to any starting up/learning artists and designers?
CW: I read this text one day and it felt so relevant to my own doubts and I loved it! I don’t have the name of the writer but here is it:


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Full details on Kopparberg’s Facebook and Twitter here: facebook.com/KopparbergUK / twitter.com/KopparbergUK

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