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Camilla Teodoro

Camilla Teodoro

Meet Toronto-based illustrator, Camilla Teodoro.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Camilla Teodoro and I am a Filipina illustrator based in Toronto, Canada. As a recent graduate from OCAD University in 2019, I have been spending a lot of time reading tons of books, completing freelance work, and creating personal work. Currently, I am sharing a lovely studio space with four other talented artists. I truly enjoy producing work in a very creative environment because it inspires me to create more and more illustrations. My work which includes a lot of whimsical and playful elements are deeply inspired by children’s toys, vintage books, as well as medieval art.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I live around the Greater Toronto Area but work in Toronto. The commute from one place to the other is not so terrible and I much prefer having one space dedicated to my personal life and another space that is meant for my creative work. The suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area are your typical suburbs. Since there are a lot of families living in the community, there are recreational centres, tons of grocery stores, and parks. The city where I live is also a drive away from a smaller town that has lovely trails that are popular places to hike during the summer and autumn months. The city of Toronto, like many other cities, is constantly under construction. The creative and buzzing energy of the city can be both thrilling and exhausting. I do enjoy working downtown but I often find myself strolling around the quieter, less industrial neighbourhoods in Toronto.

 

I truly enjoy producing work in a very creative environment because it inspires me to create more and more illustrations.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing about Toronto is its diversity. The worst thing about Toronto is the construction.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Inviting, diverse, & inspiring

 

How did you start your career in art?

As a child, I used to watch many children’s television shows revolving around arts and crafts. While watching these programs, my parents would encourage me to draw. I very much enjoyed drawing but only thought of it as a hobby and not so much as a career. During high school, I took a huge interest in English literature and planned to become an English high school teacher. While this is still a goal of mine, I knew that pursuing the arts was also a career I thought about but was too hesitant to pursue. Eventually, I decided to choose an art university over other universities where I would have been studying English.

My time at OCAD university was very special to me because it allowed me to recognize that illustrating can be a career. This opportunity allowed me to hone in my skills and interact with other artists who also have the same passion. By the end of my university experience, I knew that illustration is an industry I was eager to pursue.

 

My time at OCAD university was very special to me because it allowed me to recognize that illustrating can be a career. This opportunity allowed me to hone in my skills and interact with other artists who also have the same passion. By the end of my university experience, I knew that illustration is an industry I was eager to pursue.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

At first, my parents were a bit wary of the industry but eventually became super supportive about everything that I do in my career. Both of my parents came from an artistic background but ended up pursuing jobs outside of the creative field. Family friends and other relatives, on the other hand, were not as supportive but I believe their judgement came from not knowing much about the business aspect of art. I am happy that my immediate family along with my very close friends are highly encouraging about my work; they are always curious about my job and love to hear about the new paintings that I create.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

Currently, I am trying to gain more experiences as a freelance illustrator and connect with more clients in the field. Eventually, I would love to create a series of board books and I would also love to illustrate children’s books.

 

Currently, I am trying to gain more experiences as a freelance illustrator and connect with more clients in the field. Eventually, I would love to create a series of board books and I would also love to illustrate children’s books.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Carson Ellis

 

How would you describe the women around you?

The friendships that I have with women are so dynamic and special; they are all talented, caring, and inspiring individuals. Illustration may be a common thread that I have with my female friends, but my friendship with them goes beyond this commonality.

 

Illustration may be a common thread that I have with my female friends, but my friendship with them goes beyond this commonality.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

My passion for illustration happened much later than most of my friends. I did not expose myself to many illustrators, local or global until I began university. Many of the art classes that I took in high school were very limiting. Unfortunately, most of the creatives that I know are men but I am currently immersing myself in work that is made by female creatives!

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I have not experienced any challenges yet as a female working in my industry.

 

Be kind to yourself!

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Be kind to yourself! Carelessly experiment with different styles, techniques, and mediums without worrying if something turns out to be “bad”. Take critiques from classmates and peers as signs of encouragement and improvement. Most importantly, do not underestimate or undersell your work.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Camilla Teodoro.

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