The illustrated products of today’s ‘Meet the Seller’, Claire, blur the line of art and craft. Plus, I’ve seen a lot of designer-maker’s websites lately, and I have to say that her’s is one of the loveliest and most unique out there.
Please introduce yourself….
My name is Claire Montgomery and I am an illustrator and designer based in Brighton. I have a love of all things collage and handmade, I also like cats, cupcakes and penguins! And colour, I love colour!! Please have a look at my blog to find out more!
Describe the products you currently make to sell
My style is hand crafted collage and I like to create unique and sometimes surreal work with a personal touch. I also like to combine traditional paper craft processes with unusual imagery and digital enhancements to acquire a modern twist on my designs. The products I will be selling include greeting cards, cotton bags, mini goody bags and pouches, badges, pocket mirrors, postcards and prints. I have created limited edition ranges for 2012 including my ‘Fit For A Queen’ Jubilee range so keep a look out for these! You can see my latest designs on my blog, Facebook page and Twitter (@ClaireM_Design), so take a look!
Where and when do you design and make your products?
I design and create my products from home, in Brighton. I work full time in a design studio during the week and at the weekends and evenings I work on my crafty designs. I like spending my spare time creating new designs, going back to basics and scribbling random sketches on scraps of paper and cutting up things to create unique characters.
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
Not long! I graduated from Brighton University (based at Northbrook) last summer, with a 1st in Communication Design. Since then I have been working hard to create my designs and make my products to sell. I started selling my crafty bits at little local fairs and Christmas fairs. I sent lots of emails out, and was lucky enough to be accepted into the Handmade shop in St. James Street. A range of my products were also bought by Brighton Royal Pavilion, which are available in the Jubilee Library shop/ Brighton Museum shop. I also was lucky enough to be part of two Artists Open Houses in Brighton for Christmas 2011 which was a great experience. I have looked around the Artists Open Houses for years so I felt very lucky to be part of it! I will be part of the Open Houses festival again in May 2012 (37 Cleveland Road and 73 Stanmer Villas, Brighton), so please come along if you can!
What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?
I am a Brighton ‘native’! I’ve lived here all my life and I love the creativity and vibrancy to the city. There is always something creative happening.
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
During the week I work full time at Republique, a design agency based in Hove. I also have a passion for children’s books. For my degree show I created a book of children’s nursery rhymes which I really enjoyed. I also have started writing my own children’s story which I plan to illustrate soon (when I get a spare minute)!
What inspires the things you make?
Lots of things! It can be anything from my surroundings- including the seaside, rummaging through the shops in Brighton lanes, vintage patterns, jewellery, retro packaging…or even my cat! I often find inspiration on the Print and Patttern blog, I also like the site ‘Misprinted Type’.
Keep working, keep dreaming, keep achieving!
I am looking forward to my first Craftaganza, and would like to thank Zoe for getting in touch and inviting me! Hope to see you there!