Camilla Engstrom: Colorful and Irreverent Illustrations

Meet Camilla Engstrom: the Swedish-born and Brooklyn-based artist who has taken over Instagram with her illustrated millenial pink character, Husa. Far from the conventional fashion-favourited body types, Husa, with her round body and ever smiling face, impersonates all the issues of the modern woman: from body shaming to sexual identity to daily stress-induced breakdowns. 

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After starting a career in the world of fashion, modelling for brands such as J.Crew, Opening Ceremony and Calvin Klein, Camilla decided to quit everything and pursue what she really wanted to become: an artist. Her works show recurring themes of feminism and female empowerment: by using her own personal experiences regarding love and relationships, she creates relatable stories that have touched an ever-growing following on social media. 

The character of Husa was born out of frustration for the typical skinny model type preferred by most fashion industries: the character and its curviness stand for body type issues which feel relatable to any woman living in the 21st century.

Women can see that it’s okay to draw something dark or funny [with] cute colors. Sometimes cute can sound so negative, because it’s feminine [and] maybe girly. I want to change that.
— Camilla Engstrom on The Coveteur
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I doodle a lot. Then I take whatever I think is good and the rest I just put in a box that says ‘studio sale’ [laughs]. I get so dramatic when I don’t feel inspired.
— Camilla Engstrom for The Coveteur

Camilla speaks about her work as a process, stating how important it is for her as a cathartic kind of activity: her works are a place where she puts her emotions and her thoughts, a place of meditation. Ink, watercolour and pencil still remain her preferred choice of media, with which she creates patterns and playful illustrations to amuse her following. Her works have lately been exhibited in various New York based art galleries, such as Cooler Gallery and Deli Gallery.

You can find Camilla's works on her website and Instagram.
 

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All pictures copyright to Camilla's Instagram.