From the archives: this interview with Clare originally appeared on the site on August 3rd, 2010.
What is your name, age, and location?
Hello, my name’s Clare Owen, I’m 24 and I live in the UK.
What is your profession?
I work for an ethical beauty company and am also an illustrator. Though I’m hoping to be self-employed and drawing full time by autumn.
What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration.
What was your first job?
My Dad made me get my first job at 14, which I’m quite glad of in retrospect, it taught me a good work ethic from a young age. It was just in a news store and I would just chat to and serve pensioners but it helped me see the value in the things my parents paid for and did for me.
Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?
I always loved illustration, I just never knew what it was. I read the Jacqueline Wilson books in primary school and would emulate the illustration styles but with drawings of myself or my Mum and Dad. I feel very blessed that I’ve always known what I wanted to do, even if I didn’t know the name of it.
Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?
Setting up an online shop! I didn’t have the confidence for a long while, but knowing that all kinds of people all over the world want to hang your pictures up in their nursery or give them as a wedding gift is just a lovely, lovely feeling. I remember the things I’ve had on my walls at different times in my life and it just feels great to know mine are somewhere sitting in the houses and lives of other people.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?
I’m not sure if this counts. But being a woman seems to have helped me network with and befriend the most amazing talented females, mostly online but occasionally in ‘real life’ too. This new wave of feminine illustration and female orientated craft is amazing, and as much as I dislike the Internet most days, I love being able to contact and learn from ladies all around the world.
Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?
Oh so many. I couldn’t name just one. I have a recent obsession with reading quotes by women whom I regard strong and beautiful. Coco Chanel is a favorite, Virginia Woolf, Miranda July, My Nan! … Loads!
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
I think this quote can apply to any creative field. For your best work, you have to be calm and confident. So try keep your head up and believe in what you do.
Clare’s shop on Etsy.com
– Interview by Elena Rossini