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2021.03.12 Features
Artist Q&A featuring Clare Owen

For the seventh episode of our Q&A series, Clare Owen has graciously allowed us a peek into her everyday goings-on. Her lifestyle and character are clearly reflected in the warm colors and very introspective subjects of her illustrations.


1. What is your morning routine?

I’m a rubbish morning person. I need a few cups of tea before leaving the house, and then I cycle to town where I have a studio. I then have another cup of tea, a catch up with my studio mates, and finally start work! 


2. Where do you like to work?

At the moment I’m working out of my house. It has a lovely view of rolling English hills, and I get to be with my cats all day, so I don’t mind. But I usually work from my shared city centre studio which has a horrible view (of a  grey car park), but I love to be with my friends there.

3. What are your favorite materials?

I love the versatility of working on the computer, but nothing beats collage; I find it very therapeutic. I also love painting with gouache. I love the flatness. 


4. Who or what is your biggest muse?

France! I’ve always been a francophile, and I just love french design, illustration, and architecture. I also love French girls’ style (yawn, cliche I know). I particularly love visiting flea markets there and finding old ephemera. It always has the most beautiful typography and vintage illustration. 


5. When you start working, what do you do first?

Once I’ve found an audiobook or podcast to get stuck into, I’ll usually start finding references for a job to help inspire me and help me draw. 


6. What are your favorite subjects to draw?

Cats, because there’s a lot of subtle humour in cats, they’re just little punks that do what they want. Also, people and flowers, I love the diversity and beauty in both of them, and it never gets repetitive. I could draw just those forever. 

7. Who are your favorite artists?

So so many! I love a lot of midcentury folk because they worked through several disciplines, particularly The Eames, Alexander Girard, and Corita Kent. More recently, I love Carson Ellis, Ryo Takemasa, and Blanca Gomez, and outside of illustration, I love Vivian Mailer, Anni Albers and Linda McCartney, and Beyonce 😉


8. If you could see how one artist works from beginning to end, who would it be?

I would love to see how Girard worked, its a graphic style that could easily be replicated with a computer nowadays, but to see how he did in a time before digital would be fascinating. 


9. How do you get over a creative hump?

I write lists, think about what I want to get out of my work, what I feel my portfolio is missing and what brings me joy. This usually reminds me why I love being creative, and is enough to get me out of a slump. 

10. If you were to make a 10 piece series, what would it be about?



11. What other art forms would you like to try, or already do, and why?

I’d love to so many things! I’ve dabbled in ceramics, so maybe have a more serious practice there, or maybe jewelry.


12. What book have you read recently, or what is your favorite book?

I love anything by David Sedaris.


13. What sort of music do you like?

I know everyone says this, but all sorts! I love Hip-Hop, Jazz, Indie, and Pop. I feel very fortunate that I get to listen to what I want when I work.


14. When you meet another creative, what are you most interested by in them?

I love seeing other artist’s studios and spaces.


15. If you could move anywhere and live comfortably/freely, where would it be?

I’d like to live in a big house perhaps near the sea. Have enough room to have a big messy studio and space to foster animals.

16. What is your ideal vacation?

I love New York. I’ve been once and would love to go back again. I love just walking around, visiting supermarkets, sitting in parks. I love all the touristy stuff, but I also love all the boring stuff. I just want to drink it all in!


17. What do you do when you have to be home with nothing to do?

Loooong baths.


18. If you had unlimited resources, what would you create?

I would create a show (theme unknown!) but with work across all sorts of disciplines with a thread running through them all.


19. What is your favorite meal?


20. If you were to throw a party, what kind of get together would you organize?

A big dinner party with all the lovely people I know, with a big long table serving tasty veggie food, and then dancing after to all our favourite songs.


21. Where is your favorite place to be around the location you live in?

I live in Bristol and I love sitting by the river with a beer on a lovely sunny evening.


22. What are some new skills you would like to learn?

Goldsmithing, sewing, fluent french! So many!


23. If you were to talk to someone who doesn’t know too much about art, what would you say to convince them to try it out?

It can be an amazing antidote to stress. We all need less stress, and maybe being creative can help.

24. What is your favorite palette? Please name at least 3 colors.

Pink, navy blue, and brown.


25. What time of day are you most able to concentrate?

The afternoon.


26. What time of day are you most relaxed?

Nighttime, after a bath, and just before bed.


27. Do you have a favorite distraction?



28. How do you unwind?

Trash TV and a glass of wine.


29. What is one word of advice you would give yourself 10 years ago?

Be kind to yourself! Everyday!

30. What is one thing about yourself that you hope wont change?

Empathy 🙂

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