Camille Myles is a French-Canadian multi-disciplinary contemporary artist and conservation activist exploring imagery that is grounded in our identity and reflects our impacts on the environment. Working in public art, painting, sculpture, and installation, she creates art that tells a story linked to community connection, self-reflection, and the restorative effects of nature.

She received her BFA in Sculpture & Installation at Ottawa University and her MA in Heritage Conservation at Carleton University. Marrying her passion for conservation and art, she has worked as an archaeologist, in artist-run centers, the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, ICCROM in Rome, Canada’s National Trust, and was a Park Superintendent at Parks Canada. Myles has exhibited extensively including Quest Art Gallery, Ottawa Art Gallery, BHA Gallery, Arts Mums United, Visionary Art Collective, Arts to Hearts Project, PxP Contemporary, Ottawa Art Gallery, Gallery 115, among others. In 2022, she was invited to join the International Broken Forests Art Collective. She has been awarded an art residency in June 2022 at Studio H Canada in Victoria BC where she developed her new painting collection of “Crying Landscapes” - a plea for change as well as “I Stand Alone,” an interactive drawing installation which has been exhibited at Quest Art Gallery in August-September 2022.

Being drawn to the power of public art as a social community conversation, the artist has been creating murals and large-scale public art sculptures in Midland and in Penetanguishene. Her work has been featured by the Art Seen Magazine, Jealous Curator, Toronto Star, Create! Magazine, Visionary Art Collective, Arts to Hearts Project, Women United in Art Magazine, and podcasts including Arts Mums United, Hot Mess to Awesomeness & CFRH. She’s won the Diamond Jubilee Medal and was a finalist of the Canadian RBC New Painting Competition. She’s a founding artist member of the Art Queens and The Works by Erika B Hess from I Like Your Work. Originally from Gatineau, Quebec, she now lives along the shores of Georgian Bay, in Tiny, Ontario with her husband and three young children. 

Camille recently participated in our program Your Own Art Show by Ekaterina Popova and Gita Joshi.

How would you describe what you do?

I'm a multi-disciplinary artist working mainly in public art, installation, sculpture, painting, drawing, and printmaking. Influenced by my past career as a Park Superintendent and archaeologist, I create art that celebrates change, growth, and transformation as it relates to breaking free from one's past to focus on hope. In my recent exhibition (RE)Emergence, I presented hand-built ceramic sculptures of chains to explore the theme of burdens of responsibility, the power of release, and the symbolism of butterflies as agents of change. The centerpiece of this piece features a sculptural ceramic chain hung from a ceiling, carefully unraveled to evoke the act of shedding self-imposed limitations. The delicate ceramic butterflies emerging from the chain mirrors the fragility and resilience of the human experience, offering a poignant reflection on the transformative journey we all undertake.

What inspires the themes and subjects in your artwork or curatorial projects? Is there a particular message you hope to convey through your work?

I'm particularly interested in connecting with others, in listening to my community and responding by making art that reflects collective inner feelings, not normally shared with others. I've been working on the themes of motherhood and caregiving as it's a shared human experience that bridges generations but is not prevalent in many art conversations. Speaking about mental health challenges and the hidden struggles of motherhood is of a particular interest to me in order to help others feel seen and understood. Recently, with the help of other artist-mothers, I've learned to embrace creativity alongside my children to explore new ways of being an artist and a woman.

What challenges have you encountered as an artist or creative entrepreneur so far, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge for me has been to overcome my inner critique that likes when I fail and wants me to quit and get a "real" job. Through coaching and connecting with other creatives, I've learned that I'm not alone with my inner feelings of guilt for pursuing my dreams. It's not irresponsible of me to have a vision of being an artist, and I now know my purpose in life is to be unapologetically live that dream every day to inspire others. When my children help me with a project, go to an art museum, listen to an artist talk, and are there with me at an opening with big smiles on their faces, I know I've created magic. Overcoming the stereotype of an artist needing uninterrupted time to create great work and not being able to be an artist and a mother at the same time is a myth I'm happy to have debunked. I've embraced play, mess, and fun in my work even though some of the concepts may feel heavy. I'm finding balance, and I know I need to set aside my creative time or else my whole family ecosystem may suffer.

What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?

Being a creative is freeing. You are in control of your own destiny and career. Really, as an artist, there are no rules, and you can do what you are compelled to do. The only thing you need to figure out is how you are going to show up and share your work into the world. Sometimes I do suffer from analysis paralysis, but I get through it by making imperfect work and not needing to strive for everything to be all figured out before I jump in. I also enjoy public art projects and see how I'm impacting my community in a positive way.

What motivated you to pursue an art career?

To be honest, I was constantly jealous of artists doing what they did and not knowing how to be one. I longed to pursue a career where I was in control of my life and I could share my creations with others. One day I saw a notice that one of my former art school colleges was nominated for a national art award and thought to myself "that could have been me!" I knew from that moment that my jealousy was actually my inner self telling me to pursue my dream to the fullest. After a few public art projects and exhibitions, I began to trust myself in what I could do and what I was creating. I'm worth investing in.

What were the highlights or most valuable insights you gained from participating in "Your Own Art Show" by Gita Joshi and Ekaterina Popova?

Since taking the course, I was able to participate in a dozen group shows and put on solo shows in my community. I had the tools and knowledge to create a beautiful exhibition with confidence. The most valuable insight I gained was how to market my show properly, pitch to the media, write press releases, and be your own best advocate. I've had so many great podcast, radio, and print media interviews for my shows that were all free advertising and helped to get the word out about my art.