This week’s guest for Artists on Art was local, (an impressive five generations back Santa Cruzian) multi-media artist, Camille Krilanovich.  She’s the owner of Chimera Tattoo Studio, the only woman-owned tattoo studio in Santa Cruz. Along with being a tattoo artist, Camille is a painter and sculpture artist.  This combination of media allows her to work both alone and collaboratively. We had a lot to talk about in only 25 minutes.  Luckily, we’re both fast talkers.

Camille  has a fine arts background (graduate of San Francisco Art Academy) and continues studying painting and sculture. Her media is oil, acrylic, resin,  on  canvas and ink on live flesh. A lot of her paintings are women nudes. She does skin fine!

I met Camille at the opening of her art show, on August 6th, at her studio, the Chimera Tattoo Studio, on the Westside at Faire Street and Ingalls Street. Her opening was a lot of fun with live music, libations and great art.

Her paintings are impressive of varying sizes (some large, some small), very vibrant color and full of emotion. She uses different techniques playing with digital negatives and special finishes that create uniqueness and a feeling of modernity.

Some of the paintings, both in content and form, beg to be touched, with permission, of course.

The opening featured Camille’s latest work called the “Ophelia” Series.  We talked about the psychology of Ophelia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, that involves her unrequited love and lack of familial support that leads to insanity and suicide.  This was the place of imagination, for Camille, that gave her the space to create art objects that evoke feelings of craziness and love of oneself and nature.

The figures in the paintings are set outdoors. Ophelia is wise and beguiling, a mysterious contradiction. She has got a glint in the eye that is tempting, a little frightening and yet hopeful.

Camille lives her art, literally.  She’s at the Tannery Arts Center, the local affordable live/work space and artist community here in  Santa Cruz.  It’s pretty unique residency situation here in the United States where artists are given affordable housing and a place to work that supports the different Arts. We talked about her ability to have live drawing sessions with her neighbors  and paint in her home that has full length windows facing the San Lorenzo River next to a Redwood Forest.

As a tattoo body artist, Camille’s uses ink on live moving skin. She works on each piece in collaboration with the person that is going to be wearing that tattoo for the rest of their lives.  She spends a lot of time with her clients.  The process of piercing the skin that is painful, yet not too painful, opens a space for intimacy and can lead to a lifetime connection.  She may never see the art again, this art that was co-created by the person walking out the door.

With her paintings, she is alone in her studio imagining figures in a stream in a forest.  She likes working both ways.

At the bottom of this post is the entire capture of our interview for your listening pleasure. You can hear Camille talk about their upcoming party, on September 18 from 3pm-9pm,  for the year anniversary of the opening of Chimera Tattoo Studio. If it’s anything like the last party, this will surely be a great party with live music and all kinds of fun. You won’t want to miss it.

Her paintings will be on display until the end of September.  The Chimera Tattoo Studio is open everyday except Sundays from 12pm-8pm. She has associates in the space that do other body art such as piercings and henna. Way Body Arts is the piercing aspect of their business, owned by Samantha Robles and Mateo Mitchell.

Right below is a “twitvid” of Camille in her Chimera Tattoo Studio right before we went up on campus to do the radio show.


I'm a radioactive media making artivist working every day to make the world a better place.

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