Sometimes we forget to move our precious bodies. Sometimes we forget that inside our precious bodies there is boundless capacity for freedom and joy and movement and creativity. Sometimes (especially if we've been alone or feel like we've been carrying a lot for a while...anyone else?), we forget that, not only is the freedom and movement and endless human capacity for creativity and joy inherent our precious bodies available to us, but that it is actually an essential part of our authentic selves.

Luckily for us (and, really, for the universe) beloved artist and electric-ray-of-good-vibes Camilla Engström is here to remind us. Like Hafiz's sage-woman—who's always ducking her head so she doesn't hit it on the moon—Camilla's whole wise energy is just this marvelously rare version of the sacred feminine that doesn't take itself too seriously. Known for her stunning and evocative large-scale surrealistic paintings and for her jubilant in-studio dance breaks, we sat down with Camilla to chat about authenticity and vulnerability, nourishing the power to create, and the value of truly listening to your body and spirit (full disclosure: we definitely had to stop this interview mid-question, put on one of her incredible playlists, and JUST MOVE).

Camilla wears the Dance Wrap in NaturalAquarius Pant, and Audrey Shirt Jacket.





We love so much about your work. The wild women. The surreal nature. The color. The sheer scale. Tell us about your creative process?

Thank you! I don’t really plan out what I’m going to paint. I just try to rest and meditate and when I’m ready I’ll go into the studio and paint what comes to me. The feeling of a blank canvas is like: hope and excitement and dread. Sometimes I’ll have some ideas before I go in and those days are lovely! I just try as much as I can to paint what my body and spirit wants to paint. If I get too much in my head it doesn’t feel authentic or therapeutic anymore and I have to step away from the studio.


What is your favorite thing about your studio?

The big walls! The space to be messy.


Have the shifts of this past wild season changed how you interact with your own creativity?

I'm more protective of my time. I love being alone working. I don't feel as anxious about my need for alone time anymore.




Golden Path by Camilla Engström



Everything Merges Eventually by Camilla Engström 







Creating, like dance, is all about energy. What is the flow for you, the dialogue between dancing and creating? How does that show up in your daily rhythm?

I think it comes back to trying to mostly be in my body and not in my head while I make something. The same with dancing. I think my best work comes to me when I just channel something bigger and better than my thoughts.



In your work (and in your dancing) there is a beautiful tension between power, joy, and vulnerability. How do you reconcile the intimate and the performative?

I just try to not take myself so seriously. Even when I perform a silly dance it’s just all me. I’m not acting. Dancing freely I think is a very vulnerable thing to do and I wish more people did it! What I share online and through my work is just a tiny fraction of all that I am.



How do you manifest positivity? How do you maintain it?

By surrounding myself with people who don’t drain me, who take responsibility for the energy they bring. I also manifest it through stillness and quiet time with myself. My mornings are sacred. Routines are sacred to me too! It’s how I maintain a content state of mind.




Follow Camilla on Instagram here, and her website here. ALSO! Listen to her incredible playlists on Spotify here.






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