open the pages, read the words, savor the magic
CAMILLE ROSE GARCIA
The LA-born Alice In Wonderland Snow White illustrator talks to Total Film Indonesia about art, films and fairy tales.
WORDS AMANDA AAYUSYA
Tell us of your background.
I was born in Los Angeles, raised by a single mother who was an artist as well, she painted large murals. My father was a filmmaker. I studied in Los Angeles at Otis/Parsons art institute, but I really learned the most from my mother as I worked for her as a teenager. As a child I drew and watched animated cartoons constantly, and I thought I was going to make animated cartoons like Walt Disney. That was my dream mostly. When I got older, I realized how time intensive animation is and I realized that painting and doing narrative illustration could convey the same thoughts so I turned to painting.
Your illustration is very unique. It’s edgy but also very colorful…
I guess it is really a distillation of all of the things I like. I like illustrations from the late 1800s in England, but also growing up in California I think I also have a slightly psychedelic vibe as well, playing with color and pattern.
Which artists inspired you?
I have a lot of animated film heroes – Walt Disney, Max Fleischer (Betty Boop, Popeye) and very strange outsider artists like Henry Darger, Edward Gorey, comic book artist Chris Ware. Also Mark Ryden, The Clayton Brothers.
How did you get involved with the Alice and Snow White book projects?
I am a fan! I collect illustrated children’s books and I always thought it would be great to do a series of illustrated fairy tale books. HarperCollins contacted me about doing Alice in Wonderland. At first I turned it down because I thought there was no way to improve upon the original illustrated version. But the more I thought about it, it seemed like I could give it a shot. I had been wanting to do Snow White for a while and luckily these two movies were in production when I started illustrating Snow White.
What was the process like?
I do a lot of research first, I look at as many versions of the illustrated story as I could find. In both cases, there are also film references, both stories of course were done by Walt Disney. Mainly I am checking to make sure I don’t do anything that was done before, but also to see how other illustrators interpret the stories. Then I do the character design, and move on from there to doing pencil sketches. When those are approved by the editor, I move on to inking and coloring, which is my favorite part! At this point, all the hard work has been done.
What do you think about the two Snow White movies released this year, Mirror, Mirror and Snow White And The Huntsman?
I am a big fan of Tarsem Singh’s other films – they are very theatrical and strange. I haven’t seen Mirror, Mirror yet but I am looking forward to it. I love how he keeps a sense of his Indian heritage while making something completely new. As far as the Snow White and the Huntsman, it looks to be more of an action film, which should be interesting. I find it fascinating how many different interpretations of the same short story can be done!
If you could work for a movie production, which movie would you do?
I do have aspirations for making films, so I guess it would be for my own film! But if it had to be for someone else, It would probably be for Wes Anderson.
What kind of movies do you like?
I love the early Walt Disney films and also animations from the ’30s and ’40s. The strange stop-motion films of the Brothers Quay. I love Stanley Kubrick, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, David Lynch, John Waters. And anything with Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford or Liz Taylor. I’ve also been getting into Bollywood movies. TF
Background: This Q&A article was published in Total Film Indonesia issue 31, June 2012 edition (Prometheus cover). In this issue of TFI, half of our main feature contents was all about aliens. The other half was on Grimm fairy tales (obviously to anticipate the upcoming Snow White & The Huntsman film starring Kirsten Stewart and Chris Hemsworth). In addition to a 4-page feature on Brothers Grimm adaptations on the big and small screens, I decided to include an interview with the illustrator of the illustrated Snow White edition published by HarperCollins, the talented and awesome Camille Rose Garcia in our monthly book review column, Lounge Books.
Thanks: This interview wouldn’t have happened without the wonderful cooperation of two HarperCollins reps, Mr. Austin Tripp and Ms. Sarah Woodruff. Harper US reps are the best, really! Thanks to Rengga Adhiwena, our designer in Total Film Indonesia, who worked out the layout.
Copyright: This article is copyrighted by Total Film Indonesia. Please do not copy and/or use without permission.