A window into the work of an artist
by Ed Wendell
Dec 17, 2013 | 1614 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If you live in Woodhaven, you are likely familiar with the holiday murals that regularly adorned the window of the recently closed Woodhaven Pharmacy. That was the work of Woodhaven resident Deborah Camp, a young artist just embarking on her career.

“I’ve always been drawing and painting, ever since I was little,” Camp told me. “I joke with my mom, saying that I always used to draw on the walls when I was two and three and I tell her that I was just practicing for my job later on.”

Indeed, Camp credits her family upbringing for igniting the love of art within her. She also credits a solid educational background.

“I went to PS 97, the Forest Park School, and art was my favorite class,” she said. “From there I went to IS 210 and I majored in art there. And from there I loved art so much I wanted to go to a school that specialized in that and so I went to Bayside High School. It’s a little bit out of the way, but it was worth it for me because they had a good arts program.”

After graduating from high school, Camp went to Queens College where she earned a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. From there she kept up her artistic pursuits. Her first paying job was for Pet Menu in Flushing about two years ago.

“They were looking for an artist and I applied,” she recalls. “I told them that I had never painted windows before, but they liked the ideas that I had and they took a chance on me.”

They’ve kept using her ever since as her clientele grew. Locally, she connected with Woodhaven Pharmacy and painted several holiday murals in their window. She has also painted murals in the windows of the Avenue Diner and a few bakeries.

“I use very bright colors, so my murals help businesses get noticed from far away,” Camp explained. “People who will usually just pass by a store will see it from their car and stop. That’s actually how I have found some clients for my work, because my artwork catches your eye.”

With the recent closure of Woodhaven Pharmacy, Camp’s current closest mural is in Howard Beach, though she just completed a new one in Flushing. She has also recently branched out into Manhattan.

“Restaurants and pet stores, those are the kinds of businesses that really require something painted on their windows to make them stand out from the rest,” she said. “Pharmacies, as well, can always benefit from something surrounding their windows, even if just around the border.”

Camp loves painting holiday murals, particularly around Christmas.

“Snowflakes, family scenes, Christmas carolers, nostalgic older type of art work, things that are reminiscent of the past, that’s what I like best,” she said. “I love paintings with a lot of detail and I love drawing large scale.”

And where does Camp see her talents taking her over the next decade? “Ideally, I see myself expanding my mural art, holding gallery shows, creating greeting cards, maybe advertising and cartooning,” she said. “Anything to do with art.”

She is also very interested in creating illustrations for children’s books.

“That’s a big goal of mine,” she says.

Art is her life, and all that she sees herself doing.

“I only have Plan A, there is no Plan B for me,” Camp said.

In the short term, she intends to try the neighborhood businesses again, to show off her portfolio and see who might be interested in a mural in their window. If you are interested in speaking to Camp about her work, she can be reached at (718) 296-8178. Some examples of her work can be found at projectwoodhaven.com.

Camp is a success story that proves that encouragement from family, combined with a solid education, can help young people live out their dreams. We look forward to seeing her work in the future, and we hope that we get to see much more of it right here in Woodhaven.

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