Meet Claire Matthews, a Brit, posing as an Aussie, known round my parts as one part hipster, one part human photocopier and 5 parts Saint! I have been wanting to interview Claire for many years but only since a recent birthday has this skate store manager decided to switch things up and share her gift of illustration with the rest of the world.
MH: Claire, tell me... what's new?
CM: Well I think it's turning 30 that has changed a lot of things for me. Looking back five years I thought I would be a mother or something predictable like that by now. Turns out you can't predict that so I'm reassessing. (Pause)
MH: So what's different now that you're old?
CM: (Laughs) So... I always wanted to be an artist and have never really done anything about it. In the past I did gifts and commissions for people but always had other things which distracted me from living my own personal dreams. I enjoy doing art. I've got ability and creativity inside of me, but for the first time in my life I feel like it's been going to waste a bit - you know what I mean?
MH: I understand what you mean but clarify this for the Aus infront readers.
CM: Well now I am producing art with a new mind shift. I used to think art had to be a vehicle which always had an agenda- some deep meaning or purpose. However with these bearded ladies (above), I have drawn something which I simply think is funny and I enjoy looking at. It's cool you know. It's totally legitimate to make art with a meaning or story but now I'm thinking it doesn't always have to. It can be a story in itself or simply beautiful. Or funny. Or ugly. I'm less restrained and I'm becoming more productive.
MH: So could we be witnessing the re-birth of your artistic side?
CM: Yeah perhaps in a way, it certainly feels new. I don't know where I want it to take me, I just want to do it. I don't really have a grand vision or end game in mind, I just want it to grow organically and see what people think of it.
MH: So Volcom liked your art, tell me a little about this?
CM: Well in talking to the reps at the skate store, I would ask them what they thought and if they wouldn't mind passing my work on to the powers that be. Recently Jamie Brown from Volcom contacted me. He's an amazing artist in his own right so I'm thrilled that he is digging on my illustration.
MH: So going forward, who would you like to work for?
CM: Well... my goodness... I love Volcom because of the way they are always left of centre. They have a focus for the small things, every design element is considered and often off-beat. I like that. I can't help but think of clothing brands because of my job and I must say Brixton is rad but they don't really do too much with illustration. I would like to think that there would be the possibility for a collaboration but who knows.
MH: In closing, what next for Claire Matthews?
CM: Well I love exhibitions. I love seeing what other people read into my drawings, hearing their interpretations and discussing other people's work. It's fun. Everyone has a different view. I would love to exhibit in a bigger gallery where I can meet other like minded folks.
MH: Anything you want to add?
CM: I want to encourage people to pursue what they love. I think it's sad when we sit on the sidelines while life passes us by, waiting for things to come to us. Shy bairns get nay broth! (MH laughs) People limit themselves. I hate seeing people say that they can't draw or can't dance.
MH: I can't dance.
CM: As if, I've seen you! You're a maverick!
MH: Thats Mav to you little lady! Cue 80 Sound track - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8hjtFq3vE0
CM: Classic! You wont play that song!
MH: Thanks heaps Claire - Where can Australia see more?
CM: I have a blogspot. So 2009. www.claire-matthews2.blogspot.com.