Art is where you hang your hat

Introduce yourself in two lines, more or less.

I draw animals with hats. I collect comic books. And I still believe in Santa Claus. In my eyes, the world is made of bright colors, cute animals and quirky characters. Should we meet, I’d probably peg you for a lion or a zebra (would you be a dragon, perhaps?).

What is the strangest product on which you have applied your designs?

Several of my animal characters were used on the packaging of a popular Japanese hangover cure. A very busy but happy octopus at the office, for example, was one design that appeared on the box.

Why are you so fascinated by animals?

Animals are so varied and rich in their colors, shapes and patterns. There is no limit really. They are very graphic and I love discovering how they are designed. I enjoy giving them human feelings - and hats!

Are there any other Camaloon artists that you like?

There are many artists that I like. Menu familiar, Maria Jose de Luz, tutticonfetti, Steffi broccoli, just to name a few.

Where does your interest in strong and bright colors come from?

They come from my interest in poster design. I have always been attracted to those huge and often minimalist high impact designs. Polish theatre posters, French advertising posters from the 50s and 60s, and posters by Montreal artist Vittorio for example. I love the silk screen printing process, too.

The project that makes you proudest.

One of my favorite projects was a beer glass that I did for Ritzenhoff in Germany. Two elegant penguins are sharing a beer while a third one is trying to get in on the action by offering a golden fish (printed in real gold!). It was done in a simple graphic style and told a little story with humor and elegance. This design has all the characteristics that I aim for. Also it was a best seller for the client.

How is your working process?

I often start with an idea by writing it down or drawing it in one of my sketchbooks. I can draw it over and over again with small differences. I also may draw it directly in the computer, quickly changing shapes and colors and adding objects that I have in my archives. A design is finished when I smile (a lot) looking at it. I also reuse my animal characters in different scenes for different projects at different times. Those penguins have been on plates, candy boxes, cards as well as on the beer glass.

What is Camaloon for you?

Camaloon is a wonderful place where my characters can live on everyday objects that delight their owners.

/ federico