Artist Claire Gaulin-Brown explores the connection between humans and animals in her paintings… find out more about her work in this Q&A!
AIP: How would you describe your style of work and what is your preferred medium to work in?
CGB: I work mostly with watercolour and ink, although recently I’ve been holding a soft spot for predominantly gouache paintings. I’m deeply inspired and informed by the interconnectivity of humans and animals, and ecology on a broader scale. I aim to depict these connections as beautiful, destructive, hopeful, and helpless.
I hope that the viewer will think differently about the world and our place in it by my little (and sometimes large) paintings. My work is often described as whimsical, but don’t be fooled by my colours — you can often find macabre undertones which bring these faces of conflict and connections to life.
AIP: What were you first steps toward selling your art and what type of setting was this in, a gallery, art & crafts show, market, on-line or elsewhere?
CGB: When I first started trying to sell my art I worked on getting into markets, as well as group shows in galleries. Slowly I learnt what works for me, where my interests lie and where I would like to see my art go in the future. Now I really value the space that galleries hold within the art world, as well as diversifying where your art gets seen and by whom!
Mid-flight by Claire Gaulin-Brown
AIP: Why do you choose Art Ink to print your reproductions, and what products to you order from us?
CGB: Honestly this was a no-brainer! I’ve never worked with a print shop who are simultaneously so professional, welcoming, warm, and happy to answer any ridiculous questions I might have! Everyone on the team seems so invested in the product turning out perfectly, it’s like we are all in it together!
I think that it requires a community to make an artwork or a print come alive and I get that sense of community and support from Art Ink Print as soon as I walk through the door. I have had giclee prints done as well as some documentation of work, by scanning and photographing. While I would like to try out some other products, I gotta say the giclees are pretty wonderful and it will be hard to try anything else.
AIP: If you could look back in time and meet yourself when you first started making an income as an artist; what would be the most valuable piece of advice you would give yourself?
CGB: Kindness and patience. Patience is something that I am working on in my regular life as well as my business life, and it can be so hard to conjure. I would tell my past self to just take the time you need to develop the necessary skills. Slowly, layer by layer, your art will come into its own and be in a place that you are proud of what you have built, which inevitably takes time.
I would also tell myself to practice more kindness, for others of course, but for myself as well, which is the hardest one to remember. I would be more gentle on myself and remember that this is a lifelong journey.
AIP: What are your favorite methods for marketing yourself as a self representing artist?
CGB: While Instagram is sort of a necessary evil, I’m really enjoying sharing my journey on the platform. I’m working on creating a space where I can write more freely about my work, so it helps to have the crutch of sharing photos alongside them in case the words aren’t perfect! I also started a blog this year which will hopefully give current and prospective clients a closer look into who I am as a person and why I make the work that I do!
AIP: Can you tell us an event or occasion which excited you the most, with regards to getting your art ‘out there’ for people to see?
CGB: A couple of years ago I was contracted by the Robert Bateman Centre to illustrate a travelling exhibit that they had created called Bird’s Eye View. The exhibit highlighted our migratory bird sanctuaries in the Greater Victoria area, local history, as well as conservation initiatives. It was one of the first contracts that perfectly aligned with my own art and conservation goals so it was an exciting project to work on.
The deadline was extremely tight, and Dan (at Art Ink) came in huge by rushing a bunch of scans so the designer could complete the exhibit. It was wonderful to eventually see the exhibit travel around the CRD and have my art seen by communities in conjunction with conservation efforts.
AIP: Where can our followers and your patrons find your work, and keep up to date with your new creations?
CGB: I am most active on my Instagram page @clairegaulinbrown, as well as do my best to keep and up to date website, blog and shop which can be found at clairegaulinbrown.com.
AIP: Any other comments you would like to share?
CGB: As a young artist I am always trolling the internet looking for artist interviews that I can learn something from, so it’s super appreciated for Art Ink Print to create a repository of artist interviews that others can read, learn, and gain inspiration from. Thank you!
AIP: Thank-you for taking part in our artists’ Q&A Claire and sharing your story. We love the ecological narrative within your work!