Featured Artist - Claire Robertson - ClairetownLoobyLu

ClaireHey Claire! Thanks for doing this with me. I love your style of illustrating - I'd recognize your artwork a mile away! Do you ever draw totally differently? Like, surrealistically, or dark and mysteriously? Just for kicks?

I do a little water colour painting from time to time and the occasional acrylic piece but it's all pretty much similar stuff to what I do online. I used to have heaps of different styles that would suit any occasion but over the last few years I have been trying to hone in on a distinctive personal style -- as an illustrator it seems important that an art director can hire you to do a job and be pretty sure of what kind of look they are going to get back.

Have you always been into art, and just knew that's what you wanted to do for a living when you grew up?

I have always, always been into art and always drawn pictures... when I was younger it was kind of compulsive thing. Even while I was watching tv or hanging out with friends I would be filling pages and pages with scribbles and characters. When I was in grade six I decided I wanted to be an illustrator but I somehow got distracted later down the track by the idea that I needed to take on a slightly more serious career and chose graphic design instead. I did that for a couple of years but never really enjoyed it and have been so happy ever since I decided to make the big move into freelance illustration.

Has anyone ever told you that you look like a "Loobylu?" (I think you do anyway ;) Where did that name come from?

The occasional person says that I look a bit like my character self but I kind of hope that I don't have such a huge head or such large and uneven popping eyes. I think she is much cuter and innocent looking than I really am. She has better dress sense, and much better hair.

Congratulations on your future baby! Do you have names picked out yet?

We have a few names that we quite like but nothing solid. We are going with a suggestion that a good friend of mine made. The idea is to make a list of about ten boy's names and ten girl's names and then when the little thing is born, we will read through the list and see which one seems to be a good fit. Well, we'll see if that works anyway. It's easier than agreeing on anything now.

Do you think your work will influence little baby and would you encourage your child to be an artist?

I am sure I will be filling their lives with arty activities while they are little because I have such good memories of doing such things myself with my mum, but I will try and encourage them to follow their own path and work out what they want to spend their time doing. We are in trouble if they want toplay AFL (Aussie Rules) footy as neither of us can kick one of those oddly shaped balls... but I guess we'll have to try. I remember my mum swinging a cricket bat with us when we were little when my brother wanted to be a test cricketer... so anything is possible.

What about other babies? Do you have any furry ones around? (with four legs)

LoobyLuNo -- I would love a dog, but unfortunately I suffer from allergies. One day I hope to get a labradoodle (a labrador / poodle cross) which are apparentlyvery good for people with allergies as they have hair rather than fur... and they are funny and cute -- you can see some at this great Australian labradoodle site: http://www.labradoodle.org/

Claire, what other artist(s) inspire you? Do you have an all time fav?

My all time fave is the Australian artist Charles Blackman, who I try to emulate when attempting (mostly unsuccessfully!) to capture a sense of whimsical melancholy... otherwise I draw much inspiration from illustrators and artists such as Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, J Otto Seibold, Mark Ryden, Keri Smith, Steven Guarnaccia, Stella Danalis, Barbara Pollack, Daniel Clowes, Julie Doucet...etc etc...

And finally... what do you do for fun Claire? When you're not drawing or writing in your journal?

I like doing the occasional crafty project - knitting, quilting, sewing... rummaging around in second hand markets... and going to the movies. We have a great cinema near us which is an old 1930s place that's been done up and expanded but they have kept the amazing art deco style throughout. Going to see a movie there is a real treat... even when it's just an everyday mainstream film.

Thanks again for doing this with me Claire - you are wunnerful!


all images © claire robertson

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