My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting amazing home-grown talent, so I decided to keep Local Lovin’ as a permanent feature. If you have an awesome project, or create something that you think I might love, please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch.
Have you ever come across someone whose work just makes you grin from ear to ear? Claire Barclay is one of those people. Not only do her playful designs make me chuckle every time, but I’ve seen them first-hand brighten up the day of whoever comes across them!
I first became aware of this adorable Glasgow gal a couple of years back when she very kindly sent me some of her amazing Claire Barclay Draws pieces for the new (at the time!) flat. I later found out that we had a mutual love for Prince, so you know that automatically places her on my list of Good People, right? A few of you might even remember that Claire did a live portrait of Gary, Bosley and I earlier this year – it’s now one of my favourite pieces of art that we have on display!
I therefore couldn’t help but feel it was high time that Claire Barclay Draws joined the Local Lovin’ gang – and couldn’t wait to blether with her about her inspiration, her travels and much more…
Hey Claire! I’d love to know about the beginning of Claire Barclay Draws – have you always loved drawing? At what point did you decide to develop it into a business?
Yes, I have always loved drawing from a very young age! I went to art school in Edinburgh and used to get bewildered looks or a wee laugh when I’d come out with certain Glasgow slang or Scots sayings (most folk at my uni were not Scottish!), so I decided to create some illustrations that totally embraced the brilliance of these sayings. I had my first solo exhibition in a wee pub in Leith and that is where my boozy illustrations were born (Beautiful Buckfast, Terrific Tennents etc) and I sold so many prints of them over those two months I decided to get them onto Etsy and the rest is history!
You are clearly a Glasgow Girl at heart, but are there any other cities that have left you feeling inspired?
Well, I think Edinburgh actually does have a big part to play in the inspiration behind my business in that living there gave me such a strong sense of being a west coaster and a ‘Glasgow Girl’ away from home. That being said I absolutely love it there, it’s so beautiful and I spent a wonderful 5 years there…but I knew that when it was time to start my business properly I wanted to do it at home in Glasgow! I also love to travel and one of the best perks of being self employed is that I can take time to go explore different cities around the world. In the past year I’ve been to Barcelona, Antwerp, London, Berlin, Madrid and I’m going to Amsterdam in a few weeks time before Christmas madness is in full swing at CBD HQ!
OK, you’re giving me major wanderlust over here! What was the very first piece you designed and sold? Do you still make it today?
Yes it was the ‘Beautiful Buckfast’ illustration which I sold during my exhibition in Boda Bar in Leith, which I still sell to this day and is still one of my best sellers actually!
Important question time: during a long day of designing, what’s your snack of choice?
Mmmmm I would have to say peanut butter on anything…?
Ah, a gal after my own heart! What’s been your proudest moment so far?
Going fully self employed and not having to juggle a part time job as well was a pretty proud moment! I also hit 2000 sales on Etsy recently and that felt nice.
Congratulations! That’s so cool! So, as you might know, I am all about sharing the love – tell me about an indie maker/ designer that you can’t get enough of right now?
I absolutely love the work of East End Press and Doris Does Doodles who are both fellow Glasgow based designers who make screen printed and digital illustrated work. East End Press’ work is just so colourful and fun and I adore the retro vibe Doris captures in her products.
I love Doris Loves Doodles too, and I’ll need to check out East End Press – they sound right up my street! Finally, do you have anything exciting coming up that we should keep our eyes peeled for? Spill!
Yes indeed! I have my new Christmas collection launching ASAP as well as Pop Up Portraits events in Sunshine No.1 and Paisley Abbey in November and December! I’ll also be taking part in lots of festive markets including Etsy Made Local on the 2nd December and Tea Green Market in the Kibble Palace on the 9th and 10th of December. Oh, and I’m the guest artist at BLOW Finneston all of October where I shall be selling prints as well as drawing portraits on Sat 14th with 50% of all proceeds going to Glasgow Women’s Aid.
Phew! What a busy bee – I’m tired just thinking about all that! Thank you so much to the awesome Claire Barclay Draws for sharing a peek into her world!
You guys know what to do – hop on over to Claire’s website to keep up with her cheerful work and be sure to head to one of her pop-up appearances over the next few months. Ear to ear smiles and rad designs guaranteed…
All images by Claire Barclay Draws