Camila Pino Gay/ Art / Illustration Image : Carlos Molina
Designer and illustrator Camila Pino Gay has come a long way since simply having artistic fun with a group of friends. Now, working with well-known brands on projects worldwide we discover how she’s combined her passion for art and fashion and nurtured it into a successful career in fashion.
“There’s something punk in some of the designs, an unbiased message with attitude which you can wear. That’s the irony of pop art.”
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you become interested in illustration?
I studied Fine Arts, focusing on painting. While I was at university, I also attended a few workshops on wood engraving, lithography, metal engraving and screen printing. I believe engraving is related in some kind of way to illustration, so I organically became interested in it.
There are some technical requirements – such as thick strokes or limited colours – when you screen print. These influenced and shaped my illustration style.
What made you start Pino Gay?
Pino Gay was born in summer 2007. I had always been interested in fashion design but not high-fashion really, just simpler clothes such as t-shirts, as I didn’t know much about patterns or fabrics when I started the project but I did know about screen printing.
I bought some plain white t-shirts and experimented screen printing different illustrations on them. I also realised that there were lots of young people interested in t-shirts at that time and that there was a market gap.
When I started, I used to work as a collective with a couple of friends and we shared a workshop where we opened a small gallery to showcase the work of local artists like painters, photographers and fashion designers. We had an opening once a month and social media wasn’t popular back then so we used to print our own flyers to give away in the city. That’s the context in which Pino Gay was born – a group of friends who wanted to show what was going on and have fun.
“My favourite projects are those in which I can reach a big audience or people I wouldn’t normally be able to reach.”
You first project was your t-shirt line with illustrations referencing pop culture. Could you tell us a little more about this?
Finding topics for the t-shirts was quite challenging. I decided to focus on current trends in popular culture, with a touch of irony. There’s something punk in some of the designs, an unbiased message with attitude which you can wear. That’s the irony of pop art.
After that, you’ve worked on lots of different projects related to illustration and screen printing. What are some of your favourites?
My favourite projects are those in which I can reach a big audience or people I wouldn’t normally be able to reach. Last year, for example, I made 10,000 bags for the Department of Agriculture in Chile, which were given away across the country. Some friends in other cities far away from Santiago have told me they’ve seen people using the bags.
I also enjoyed the t-shirts I made for clothing brand Americanino and the project I did for Grolsch beer, in which I screen printed live on location – it was great to see so many people coming to check and find out more about this technique.
Tell us a little bit more about the different workshops you run.
The main workshop I run focuses on screen printing and students can learn how to print on paper and fabric. The main goal is to make them feel excited and want to set up their own screen printing kit in their houses or studios.
Earlier this year, I was invited to run a workshop for children at Lollapalooza music festival. I decided to use rubber stamps and kids were really attracted to them because of the different colours and shapes similar to those of a puzzle.
Where do you find inspiration? Who are some of your favourite illustrators/artists?
I feel really inspired by space exploration, such as the Apollo program, the Voyager, the Curiosity in Mars… Science fiction films also inspire me.
David Hockney is one of my favourite artists, I love his pencil drawings and prints. I also like the ink drawings of Ray Pettibon and the advertising work of Andy Warhol.
What are Pino Gay’s future plans?
I don’t normally like to plan things much in advance. So far, everything has happened organically.
Camila Pino Gay
My workshop when it’s tidy
Stepping on snails without realising
A creative adult is a kid who has survived