Illustrator and Muralist David Camisa is the creator of The Hive Collection. David lives in Vancouver, Canada and his love for art started with comic books and you can see that relay into his artwork today. You can see David's work in galleries and murals around Vancouver. Read our interview with David below and shop The Hive Collection here.
Who are you and how did you start making art? Why do you make art?
Hi! My name is David and I'm an artist, illustrator, and muralist based in Vancouver, BC. The event I can blame for my art obsession is my Mom buying me my first comic book, an attempt to keep me quiet while she waited for her order at the pharmacy, this ultimately backfired as she spent the rest of my childhood waiting outside of comic book stores :) I spent most of my time drawing my favourite characters and emulating my favourite artists, thinking one day I would pursue a career illustrating comic books. While my art goals changed as I got older, comics remain my first love and I think their inspiration is still evident in my work. I continue to create images that I describe as surreal, yet familiar; a place where reality is suspended and possibilities are endless.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
99% of the time, if I'm creating, I am listening to music. My passion for music parallels that of my passion for visual art, unfortunately I was not blessed with any talent in that department haha. Music allows me to shut everything else out and often inspires my work.
What is your inspiration? Or how has your personal experience influenced your creativity?
People, flora, and fauna are all elements that you will see regularly in my work and I would say they are a constant source of inspiration. Music and travel also heavily influence my work, they are two things that often allow me to clear my busy mind and find focus.
What is your most important artists’ tool, the one thing you couldn’t imagine creating without?
I'd have to say the mighty pencil - Whether I'm working on a watercolour painting, a large scale mural, or a digital piece, the first stage is always the same and that is to sketch out my idea. For me, that drawing lays the groundwork for the entire piece and is essential to my process.
How has your practice changed over the past 2 years?
Prior to covid, I would say I was singularly focused, primarily creating work for gallery shows. Most of the galleries I worked with were not close to home so this involved a routine of creating the work, packing it up, shipping it off, and repeat. When the world closed down and events came to a stand still, it became evident that I needed to diversify what I was doing and take my work in a new direction. In 2020 I was invited to paint my first mural, as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival, and this event really allowed me to expand my mind to new opportunities that were possible with my work. I'm very grateful the last two years have seen me broadening my horizons, continuing my gallery work while pushing myself creatively to work on a variety of amazing new projects like murals and this design for Wrappr :)
What is your dream creative project or dream team collaboration?
Ooh, that's a tough one! I would love to see my work on the cover of a Marvel comic one day - 10 year old David would be thrilled! Also, to collaborate with some of my favourite musicians would also be amazing - Kylie Minogue, if you're reading this, I'm ready :)
Who are your biggest influences (art, music, film, socials, activism etc)?
When it comes to music and film, there are just too many to name, as I spend most of my time listening to music and watching movies. As for visual art, traditional illustrators like Alphonse Mucha and JC Leyendecker have always been a huge inspiration to me.
What is the role of an artist in society?
I think that varies from artist to artist and depends on what they are trying to achieve with their art. For me, I hope my work is able to enrich people's lives and maybe give a small escape from reality when it's needed.
Do you have any tips or practices to share with people who are making the lifestyle shift towards zero-waste and sustainable practices?
Big thanks go out to my sister for sharing this tip with me a few years ago - move your compost bin into the freezer. While composting is essential, it can sure stink up your household, especially those of us living the apartment life, and this has kept my space smelling fresh.
What is the highlight of collaborating with Wrappr for you?
I have been a fan of Wrappr for quite some time so to be able to have my work featured in one of their collections has been amazing. The highlight for me has been taking one of my concepts and approaching the design process in a whole new way, creating a final piece that I'm very proud of and hope all of you Wrappr fans love.
What is your favourite way to use a Wrappr? Bonus points for originality!
Wrappr has become my new favourite art tote! The perfect little wrap to take all my supplies outside to the park when it's time for some outdoor inspiration.