Born in Yorkshire England, Clare Haxby completed her Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Chesterfield Art College in Derbyshire then moved to London to study BA Fine Arts with Printmaking at Kingston upon Thames University. Here she was awarded a Stanley Picker Travel Scholarship to Venezuela and the Amazon Basin in Brazil.This inspirational trip has been the basis for much of Clare’s interest in organic shapes and colours.
Here, she talks to us at House of Coco and tells us more about her inspirations and what plans she has for the future…
When did you launch the brand and what was the reason behind it?
In 2009 I started painting again, I was living in Singapore at the time and I joined an artist group and also had a great space to set up my studio. I started painting large canvases of Singapore architecture and tropical botanicals inspired by the ginger lily garden near where I lived.
What’s your background?
I am British, I have a BA in Fine Art from Kingston upon Thames University in London. I have worked as a creative make-up artist in London for the fashion and music industry. I have also designed textiles and styled interiors but painting and drawing is the backbone of all the creative work I do.
How many people are involved in the company and what are their roles?
There are 3 of us. I now live in London, Laura my sales manager looks after the business in Singapore and Tara my marketing manager is based in Hong Kong. We have a lot of Skype calls.
If you could start over with the business, would you do anything differently?
Not really as my business has grown organically, after my solo show at The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore I started getting a lot of contact from people wanting to visit my studio and see my work so I made the decision to get help with the marketing and admin and sales side so I could concentrate on the creative.
What is the hardest challenge you have faced since you started the company?
I’m a mother of 3 children. Balancing my creative time, the business side and the nurturing of my best creations – my children is an ongoing challenge. I could do with a cloning gene please!
Tell us one fact about you that people wouldn’t know?
I have joined a development group and learning how to be a healer and intuitive.
2016 is here, where do you plan on taking the brand?
I’m exhibiting internationally now. This month in a show called ‘The Body Language in Bogata’ Columbia with ItsLiquid Group (www.itsliquid.com) .In February I am exhibiting in Rome and I’m also looking at exhibition opportunities in London now I am back in the capital city. Every year I take part in an exhibition of small art at Rochester Art Gallery in New York called 6×6. I am starting a new collection of paintings inspired by London Landmarks and also creating some more paintings from my tropical ginger lily collection, which have received a lot of love. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the studio creating new work – it’s my happy space.
To date, what has been the highlight since launching?
My paintings and prints hang on walls all over the globe from Costa Rica and New Zealand to London and in the French Embassy in Singapore. I have received such amazing feedback from my clients who send me photos of my art hanging in their homes – it’s amazing to have such beautiful words and energy reflected back to me. I know I am on the right path.
Which city do you feel most at home in, London, Paris or New York?
I am currently in New York on a visit to see the Singapore Consulate in the city and I have been soaking up the art scene at Moma and the Guggenheim. I adore Paris – what’s not to like, the architecture the food but as far as feeling at home goes it has to be London. I have just returned to London after being away for 8 years in Singapore so I’m like a tourist again exploring with renewed excitement
Three beauty products you can’t leave the house without?
Neals Yard Orange Flower Night Cream, Young Living Highest Potential Essential Oil and my favourite perfume -Aqua Di Parma Colonia
Individuality and confidence
Best thing about London to you?
Its history and London designers and art scene – London has it all!
Statement shoe or statement bag?
My Kate Spade handbag which is covered in a flamingo print, it stopped me in my tracks when I saw it in Takashimaya department store in Singapore as I have a flamingo painting and its just like it – I love it !
If you had to, what piece of clothing from your wardrobe would you wear everyday?
My baggy yoga pants I bought in Holland Village in Singapore and long sleeve cotton tee from Boden uk.
Favourite love song?
All Around the world – Lisa Stansfied with Barry White
Best place for a coffee?
In Italy at one of the old traditional coffee barista bars. It’s the ultimate authentic coffee experience
Most memorable piece of advice given to you?
A piece of advice I received very recently – Be Bold!
Wine with the girls – an essential in life!
If you could spent 24 hours in anywhere in the world, where would it be?
My next destination on my bucket list is Peru, I’d like to hang out with the tribal people at Macchu Picchu and find out about their culture and textiles. If I hadn’t been an artist I would have been an anthropologist of tribal cultures.
In future, how do you plan on expanding the company?
I’m looking into licensing my textile design onto design led products like stationary and cards. Recently I have had one of my designs sampled onto a silk scarf and Id like to do a range of designs on textiles …Watch this space!