Local Lovin’: Claire Barclay Draws

Claire Barclay Draws

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!

Claire Barclay Draws

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…

Claire Barclay Draws

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!

Claire Barclay Draws

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.

Claire Barclay Draws

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 

Digging for Treasure at Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market

Glasgow VintageGlasgow is no stranger to a vintage market or five – in fact, I’ve been writing about local events like Granny Would Be Proud and Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair almost as long as I have been blogging. If you’re a long-term reader (thank you!), you’ll know I get a huge kick out of rummaging the racks and digging for treasure!

So, when a new market comes along it needs to stand out from the crowd, am I right? Otherwise it might get lost in the sea of thrifting events that are held regularly all over the city.

When I first heard about the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market back in January, the plans made me sit up and pay attention. And not only that, I made sure to mark the date in my diary so I could go along to the inaugural market day and check it out!

Recently, I headed for the Barras Art and Design centre – an awesome indoor space that I don’t visit as often as I would like – on a Sunday morning to see what the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market was all about.

Since the market is going to be a monthly event, I thought it might be handy to share a few details about it. Whether you made it along to the first one or not, here are a few reasons to visit on 26th March…

Glasgow Vintage

  1. Interior gems! Yes, the market has plenty of vintage fashion but what REALLY sets the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market apart is the plethora of homeware and interior bargains that you can browse. From one-off decorative pieces (I was banned from bringing home a certain kitsch pink cat ornament but believe me, I was sorely tempted!) to Habiib’s gorgeous selection of curated 20th Century furniture (pictured above – hubba hubba!), you’ll be kitting out your pad with retro pieces in no time.
  2. Local brands! In amongst the pre-loved and upcycled goodies, the market is also showcasing some emerging homegrown talent. At the last event I spied pop-up pampering for gents from Primo barbers and loved picking up some illustrated paper goodies from Hux Loves Honey. I’m looking forward to seeing who will be appearing at the next event.
  3. Food, glorious food! The BAad centre isn’t just a venue, it’s also home to A’Challtainn – a Scottish seafood restaurant and bar. All that shopping is bound to make you hungry, so why not make a day of it and grab some lunch too? If seafood isn’t your bag, you can find lots of other options close by. After we cruised the market last month, we headed over to Drygate for a bite to eat; just a hop, skip and a jump away!

Bonus tip: even though I haven’t officially listed it, it would be wrong to tell you about the Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market and not casually mention all of the cute dogs in attendance! So, if you love pooches, you’re going to have a field day (I know I did).

Sound good? The next Glasgow Vintage & Flea Market takes place at BAaD (54 Calton Entry) on Sunday 26th March. Be sure to keep up to date with the market and their upcoming events over on Facebook.

Do you love digging for vintage treasure? What about cooing over adorable pups?

Love,

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Put Your Wallet Away: Free Things To Do in Glasgow

Free Things To Do in Glasgow

It always makes me happy when far-flung friends, friends of friends and ‘internet friends’ decide to visit Glasgow and see for themselves the city that I’m always talking up so much.

Of course, I can never resist sharing a few ideas on how to spend an hour, a day or even a long weekend and, before I know it, I’ve emailed a list as long as my arm! But, more recently, I’ve been asked for budget-friendly activities from people looking to get a taste of Glasgow for little to no expense at all.

Never one to turn down a challenge, it got me thinking about how much there is to see and do here. I wondered if I could come up with a list of completely free things to do in Glasgow, so that no matter what your budget, and whether you’re local or a visitor, you’re guaranteed to have fun!

So, put your wallet away – this one’s on me…

Free Things To Do in Glasgow

Tour some street art. This city is bursting with talented local artists and you can find their work brightening up quiet corners, vacant buildings and some of Glasgow’s most historic streets with splashes of colour, humour and heart. You can discover them for yourself while out and about or hit the mural trail and catch ’em all, Pokemon-style! See the full trail and map guide here.

Live that park life. A Blur reference? REALLY? Oh, just go with it! As well as there being a ton of city streets to stomp around, Glasgow is also home to some beautiful green spaces and parks that you just have to see. A summer afternoon at Kelvingrove Park is hard to beat, though a Saturday morning seeing the ducks quacking around Queen’s Park is a contender. Picturesque, sprawling and free of charge, what more do you need?

Take in some views. Speaking of Queen’s Park, you can stroll / be pushed up the hill towards the viewing platform, which gives some amazing views of the Southside, the Clyde Valley and The Trossachs. Meanwhile, in the city centre, pop into the Lighthouse on Mitchell Lane and use the lift to zip up to the 6th floor to get another impressive view of the city.

Free Things To Do in Glasgow

Get totally tropical. Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens turn 200 years old this year (!) and are still home to a stunning collection of tropical plants at the Kibble Palace and glasshouses. There’s nothing like being able to take a stroll under some palm trees while it’s 2 degrees and raining outside! Only in Glasgow…

Go behind the scenes in an iconic building. Overlooking George Square you’ll find the City Chambers, an imposing building which holds an important place in Glasgow’s history. It’s also home to such grandeur as the largest marble staircase in Western Europe, a Banqueting Hall and stunning vaulted ceilings. But don’t take my word for it – the City Chambers run free tours of the building twice daily from Monday-Friday!

Soak up some art and culture, dah-ling. We are extremely lucky in Glasgow as a lot of opportunities to check out museum and art exhibitions are accessible to everyone. As well as having festivals to celebrate art and culture, entry to our most popular art galleries and museums is free of charge (though donations are gratefully received!). Gallery of Modern Art, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and Riverside Museum are all excellent places to start.

Free things to do in glasgow

Say hello to the coos. As well as attracting visitors to its woodland walks and the world famous Burrell Collection, the award-winning Pollok Country Park is also home to a rather special (and rather cute!) herd of Highland cattle. Huge, hairy and owners of the sassiest fringes on 4 legs, is it any wonder they have so many admirers?

See Glasgow’s story. The People’s Palace, located at Glasgow Green, is THE place to visit if you’re looking to get a close-up look at life in Glasgow through the ages. Using its collection of historical artefacts and a variety of mediums, the People’s Palace shares an insight into the city and its many residents from 1750 to the end of the 20th Century.

There are many other free activities and attractions in Glasgow, but these are (in my opinion!) some of the best ones to get a real flavour of what this vibrant and exciting city is all about without spending a single penny. If you’re joining us for the first time, you might just fall a little bit in love with this place, and if you’ve lived here forever, maybe you’ll discover something new about your neighbourhood.

I hope this little round-up of free things to do in Glasgow inspires you to get out and about, and let me know what you get up to if you decide to do any of them!

Love,

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