An Interview with EggPicnic, Print Artists & WildLife Conservationists
Camila De Gregorio and Christopher Macaluso are the dynamic duo behind design studio EggPicnic; creating vibrant, playful prints that combat the threat of wildlife extinction. Passionate birdwatchers and conservationists, their work explores the relationship between critically endangered flora and fauna and us; highlighting the preciousness of nature, and the risk of its extinction. We sat down with them to find out more about their motivation for encouraging environmental responsibility, and how they convey this passion and cause through their work.
- Describe yourselves in three words.
Intrepid, nonconformist and astonished.
- How did you both begin your creative careers?
It was a very organic process. We started doing a series of experiments in design that were guided by what we believed in and by what we felt was important to communicate to the world. We both studied design, Chris is an industrial designer and I’m a graphic designer. When we moved to Sydney we felt it was time to use this as a base to grow and transform Eggpicnic to a platform in which we could offer high-end quality products to our consumers while educating and telling a story.
- What inspired you to found Eggpicnic, and what aspects of the business continue to inspire you?
We take inspiration directly from nature. Since moving to Sydney I was blown away by its wildlife but especially by the bird life. You might take for granted that you get giant cockatoos that sit on your balcony but this type of interaction happens in very few places on Earth. While we started working with birds as our subjects we began birdwatching and ended up joining the Birding NSW club as we wanted to experience firsthand what was happening. We volunteer in key biodiversity area surveys and bring this information back to our audience. Working with scientists has allowed us to establish multidisciplinary partnerships, where together we are able to create a bridge between science and citizens. We rely on the data developed by scientists to open up conversations about our wildlife and the problems they face. With this information we are able to identify and determine aspects that can engage citizens and ultimately make a change.
- Why do you think it’s important for your brand to support sustainability, and combat the threat of wildlife extinction?
The threat of wildlife extinction means we don’t quite understand our place on this planet and we have much work to do to change the way we view the world, which has become our vision as a brand. This is really not an “environmental problem”, it’s a human problem and this is why we must undergo an urgent and deep cultural transformation.
We need to create a society to match the scenery because in the end the human impact on biodiversity is an attack on ourselves. This is a great time to take part in this change, we can make this happen. We need people to understand it’s worth doing.
- What advice would you give to any other creatives looking to affect social change?
Discover your purpose. What is it that you see as a problem and how can you do something that could make a positive impact. One of the most important pieces of advice is to also start to create partnerships with organisations that have a common goal. We work together with our partners, Birdlife Australia, Zoos Victoria, Greenfleet and Palm Oil Investigations to spread our common message of ending wildlife extinction. Social change is possible and people want to be a part of this shift, it’s a matter of inviting them to participate and to speak to them from a position of hope. Seek to inspire and spark people’s creativity to actively participate in shaping a better future.
- What does Australian design mean to you?
Australian designed and made products are an important aspect that needs to be encouraged. It is an element that represents quality and builds a relationship between the maker and the product.
- How do you create your artworks?
We start with research. We use scientific data to select and help decide upon which story we want to tell. From this I create a hand sketch of the design, which we then pass on into digital format for the application of colour. We produce all our fine art print in-house in our studio in Darlinghurst. We are very meticulous about the quality of our work and we’re always open about our design process and we make sure our entire design process is transparent. We use archival inks and the best quality fine art paper, but we also make sure that our paper is the least treated chemically of the fine art range but will also stand the test of time.
- What has been a favourite project to date?
We have been selected as one of 10 artists to have our work licensed by the City of Sydney to be displayed on construction hoardings throughout the city. The experience and opportunity to see your work at that type of scale is incredible. It is a unique opportunity and window for showcasing our work, allowing us to create relatable and iconic subjects that involve the entire community.
We loved seeing your art so beautifully displayed on our Jonas Bookshelf. Why did you choose Icon By Design?
We were drawn by the philosophy of the brand. Icon by Design supports designers and makers and is focused on high quality, long-lasting products. We found that other brands did not align as well with our own values in terms of sustainability and the bookshelf was simply beautiful.
- And finally…Eggpicnic. What’s the story behind the name?
Eggpicnic was born in Milan in 2009, when I moved in with Chris as I had to leave my old place and arrived with a basket full of eggs some friends had left behind. We boiled, scrambled and poached them and went on a picnic to Parco Sempione, where we decided for the first time to join our abilities in graphic, industrial design and our love for the natural world.