Artist Interview: Clare Parsons

Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
I am Clare Parsons. I’m still not sure I would call myself an artist but I’m an enthusiastic up-cycler, tinkerer, and thrifter. For the last year, I’ve been sharing a studio, called Stop Making Sense a Maker Studio with Caitlin Adams. It’s a great space to work on items for our respective Etsy shops.

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
My favorite media are glass, textiles, and old photography. I can’t explain the glass and textiles beyond the fact that I’m drawn to baubles and clothing that is old and really new again. I’m a fan of 19th century photography because I wrote a dissertation on the “flaneur” (an urban stroller) and early photography was a big part of my research. I have a bit of a collection of it and am planning to make pieces with transfer techniques sometime soon.

What is your creative process like?
Because I’m a self-trained maker type, I general work by trial and error. I’ve learned almost every technique I use online. I generally watch a few videos. Then I try it out with the artifacts and craft supplies that I have available. There’s never a problem with this method because I have quite a wild collection of vintage materials.

What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
I love Lynda Barry’s books and recently read another great tome by Kim Piper Werker called “Make it Mighty Ugly: Exercises and Advice for Getting Creative Even When It’s Not Pretty.” I think that last title says it all.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Money. Space for clutter that “someday” might become something. The need to teach writing to keep my family fed and sheltered…. I have a feeling most people here have a similar story

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece.

"People's Throne" by Clare Parsons

“People’s Throne” by Clare Parsons

I have an up cycled chair I call “The People’s Throne” because I took a thrift-store, throne-like treasure, paid $2.99 cents and spent months painting and messing with it. I often incorporate words or phrases in my work especially since my background is in French literature and history. This one ended up sporting the declaration, “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite ou la mort (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death).” I work a lot with that phrase. However, last week’s horrific attack on Paris has added a whole new dimension to it.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
So far I’ve just really enjoyed meeting other artists and all the flaneur-like strollers who come to absorb the art.

What is your website (or other method of contact):
Facebook: Stop Making Sense
Etsy: ThingBox

You can see more of Clare’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the third floor, space 4-079.