How long have you been designing and creating jewelry?
I have been creating jewelry since January of 2008. I started because some of my favorite jewelry pieces broke. In order to fix them I bought some basic tools, fixed my things, added new components, felt empowered, and expanded.
What is the artist community like in St. Louis; it doesn’t really strike me as a very progressive town?
Hmm... That's a tough one. It's not very cohesive. It’s hard to penetrate, even harder to link up, share ideas and build. Sort of a crabs in a barrel mentality. I tend to keep to myself, and do what I do best.
What are some of your inspirations?
I find inspiration in nature, in parks and on my hikes. My hometown San Diego, CA is a big inspiration to me; incorporating elements I used to find when I walked along the beach. Shells, mother of pearl, leaves from kelp, water, etc. I am also inspired by the music and style of Erykah Badu, India Arie and Jill Scott. I design with them in mind. I use materials that look beautiful against black skin; brass, sterling, wood, etc. I also flip through Vogue magazines, I constantly scan Google images and study other cultures to be influenced by their simplicity and use of color and texture. I often times purchase accessories from discount stores, break them apart to make new, original pieces. Textiles also influence me, food influences me, stories influence me, and emotions influence me. I feel everything and put it all into what I make.
You've been known to snap photos and DJ, what other art forms do you
indulge in and how do these affect your jewelry?
I love, love, love photography. I work everyday to get better at it. And, naturally, taking great photos helps me market my jewelry. People do not have the option of holding and touching my pieces before they purchase them, so they rely on an expressive photo. Photography teaches me to see things from various angles, and to detect beauty that isn't so in-your-face. It teaches me about lines and composition, texture and color. I am grateful to my fiancé for teaching me how to DJ (DJ Trackstar).
DJing involves the use of the ears, eyes, soul and technique. When making jewelry, technique is important. How you hold the piece you are working on, etc; and I am guided by my soul when I create. I rarely sketch. I am very much hands-on.
Check out Camille's online store: PEACE IMAGES