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Artist Talks with Superfex//Claire Latchem

I came across the work of Superfex//Claire as she is the partner of Daniel Broadley, member of the Duo Meadowlark. Her illustrations and how she represents nature are incredibly creative. Her use of line and sense of narrative is why I love her work. I caught up with her to learn more about her process. You can visit her website to see more of her lovely work.  

1) Who would you say are your influences within your work?

I try not to take too much inspiration from other artists but surround myself with super energetic, positive & productive people. They motivate me to work harder just by being themselves, which is pretty neat! My favourite art comes from the likes of people like McBess, Sandra Dieckmann, Longfox, Guy McKinley, Emma Carlisle, Jamfactory Ariele Alasko & Mr Millerchip to name a few. All super talented, all insanely productive.

Other then that I’m inspired by being outdoors, animals, the wild, nature, landscapes, travel, solitude, plants and most of all, bears. Hence the logo. Seriously, I’ve been drawing bears in one way or another for well over a decade.

2) How do you deal with creative block if this is something that you face as a creative person?

This is something I still struggle with all the time. Over the last few years I’ve had a pretty major style shift. I moved away from all that bubblegum kawaii stuff I used to draw, which at the time was fun, but it just isn’t ‘me’ anymore. Although my new stuff still has some ‘cuteness’ to it, it’s a lot less digital and more organic. This has presented many challenges on how to use colour, if at all, but I’m still working on my process. 

I try to just doodle whenever I can, on whatever I can. Whether it’s a scrap envelope from the post that day or an actual sketchbook. I get to choose whether anyone will actually see it so there’s no pressure. I’ve recently started to try out different mediums in an attempt to come up with fresh ideas.

3) What has been the best opportunity you’ve had with your work?

Back in the day, when I had a slightly different approach to my drawing style, I designed a massive 10ft colouring wall for Toronto Pearson International Airport. Kids could fill it in whilst waiting for their flights. That was pretty cool.

Last December I took part in ‘Native Makers’ which is a small independent creative market organised by two lovely ladies in Plymouth. It was the first time I had done anything like it and with my first collection of handmade goods. The response I got from the other vendors and the general public was incredible and it definitely gave me some much needed confidence. That remains a highlight for me even now.

4) How often do you draw?

I’m a graphic designer by trade so I’m drawing or coming up with digital concepts every day. When it comes to personal work, that really depends on how much my creative muscle has been flexed that week. Sometimes I draw loads and other times I just want to curl up on the sofa with a bowl of cashews and some Game Of Thrones. My full-time job pays the bills so fortunately I get to choose my battles.

I also live with my other half who is super creative too so I’m often helping him with projects or running my 35mm photography club. Busy busy. 

5) What would you say to someone who wanted to go into illustration?

I’d personally encourage anyone to pursue what makes them happy. If their heart is 100% in it and they are not afraid of some hard graft then there’s no reason they won’t succeed. It also helps to have a varied skill-set when illustrating for products so a thirst for learning and self motivation is super advantageous.

6) What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on merchandise for a small independent music festival called Barn On The Farm. It’s my third year working for them and every time it’s been a fresh and exciting challenge. I’m also working on a lot of personal exploration work before I start a new collection for my online store.

All the imagery in this post belong to Claire Latchem///Superfex (Thank you for letting me use them) 


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