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We're always impressed with the sheer variety of artists we discover through the Wraptious competition, and this year was no exception. Claire Picard's beautiful designs really caught our eye, and we were excited to be able to add her work to our website. We asked her a few questions about her distinctive style..
How long have you been an artist?
For the last three years I have really concentrated and focussed my work around illustration, but I have always been passionate about art and design. I have a degree in Fashion and Textiles, I have worked as a Lingerie designer, lace, embroidery and print designer in the past. I also used to draw fashion illustrations, but found I always focused on the decorative aspect of clothes. At heart I am a decorator. I have to add decoration to all that I create. Whilst my kids were small, I designed and manufactured soft interior design products in fabric for kid’s rooms, such as animals, mobiles and cushions, and I used to sell these products on line and at craft and designer markets, so when I changed direction and got back into illustration, selling my art was essential and an easy decision to make.
How did your particular style develop? What were your influences?
I started to work with collage about a year ago, because I wanted to loosen up my style, and I really enjoyed the flat colour, modern effect that it gives. I then decided to mix it up with some watercolour and hand drawn details to add the finishing touches, and this is pretty much my method now.
Which artists do you admire?
I love edgy artwork, the work of Monika Forsberg, and Anisa Makhoul has always inspired and fascinated me.
How did you start promoting yourself?
I got to grips first of all with social media, Facebook and Instagram - this is an ongoing process to help promote my artwork. I am still mastering Pinterest! I opened an Etsy shop in which to sell my artwork online. I also built my own website, and the next step is to work on creating my blog about colour, art and design (watch this space)! I also teach online and this has helped again to grow my brand.
What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome as an artist?
Forcing myself to learn new techniques which are essential to being an artist in the modern world, such as using digital techniques. You have to be able to turn your hand to digital procedures in order to be online, and when I studied surface design, everything was done by hand! I have now taught myself many things, such as website creation, mastering digital filmmaking, Illustrator and Photoshop.
What's the best piece of advice you could give to emerging artists?
Get involved, network like mad, join illustrator’s groups on Facebook or Etsy, take many courses or online classes to broaden your artistic horizons. Go shopping often, so that you know what is going on around you on products, in design.
Why did you decide to enter the competition?
I decided to enter the competition when I saw the quality of the artwork and the artists already present on the Wraptious website. I enjoyed the process, and the voting system really sparks enthusiasm because you know that real people actually like your work! I was thrilled to be a runner-up and it gave me lots of motivation to work harder.
In an ideal world, what would you be doing?
In an ideal world I would be combining my love of illustration with my other love for interior design…selling artwork on cushions, wall art…but I’d also like to teach more, to share my knowledge about design, colour and new ways of seeing.