Camila De Gregorio
Originally from Chile and now living and working in Australia, Camila De Gregorio has a talent for producing work which makes you think. We love the clean lines of her designs and her ability to convey striking messages with striking simplicity. Camila designed Busted Bunny, The I Don't Care Bear and Coming Soon for Momiji in 2009.
How did you begin exploring your ideas for your Momiji dolls? My first collection with Momiji was a very special story. In 2009 I entered a competition in which we had to design a range of dolls based on a theme. I really liked art toysand wanted to create characters based off social behaviors, so I submitted them but didn’t get enough votes. Then I remember getting an email from Momiji saying they really liked the characters and almost a year later I got an email saying they were interested in producing them. That’s how Coming Soon, Don’t Give Up and Busted Bunny came to life.
What’s your usual way of working; do you sketch first or immediately create digital files? I rely on pen and paper when I’m in the process of coming up with an idea. I need the immediacy and the freedom of being able to scribble over and over again until I feel I’ve found something. Computers and design programs are incredibly helpful tools but I don’t let them define my work.
What was your favourite part of the design process? When we’re working on 3D projects the most exciting part is to see the drawing come to life and be just like I had imagined it.
Tell us about your workspace. Do you design in a specific place or do you find it easy to work anywhere? I currently work with my partner from our home studio. Here we do the majority of our work, from designing new collections, illustrations, making models, moulding and casting our products. An important aspect of our daily work routine involves getting out and exploring nature as much as possible. We have a small obsession with birds so we go out to all different national parks in the area and try to spot as many birds and wildlife as we can. With design you need a sense of freedom and we find that small moments in the day immersed by nature can help bring about new ideas.
Tell us about a typical work day. I wake up and make a big breakfast to start the day. My partner and I discuss our roles and goals for the day and then we get things done. At the end of the day we go for a long bay walk and I’ll take my binoculars to see what birds we can spot.
What would you say are the most important characteristics for anyone wanting to work in design? To be perseverant, have strong convictions and go a little wild.
In the kitchen, what’s your specialty dish? Steamed mussels in white wine broth, Chilean style.
If you could live in any other city in the world where would you choose and why? I’ve had a life long attraction for Africa. I would choose to live in Nairobi, Kenya and would love to run workshops and work in collaboration with the National Museum, it’s on my bucket list.
Friday nights or Sunday mornings? Friday nights, a prelude to our Saturday adventures.
Who are your design heroes?Jaime Hayon, Kaws, Piet Parra.
What are your favourite magazines? Colors, Collect, Made, Monocle, Desktop, National Geographic.