Q&A WITH CLARA JONAS - INTERVIEW
Clara Jonas may still be studying at Falmouth University but she's already got a incredibly impressive CV, and most recently this week a double page article in the UK's most prominent surf and design magazine. We fell in love with Clara's flowing inky illustrations, and caught up with her to discover more about the brains behind the beauty.
NCA: CLARA, WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM?
A lot of my inspiration will initially come from a witty or poetic quote or lyric that conjures up a face or visual representation in my head, particularly something evocative of a lifestyle or that can be translated into my way of drawing. When I'm feeling particularly creative and inspired, inspiration gets more ambiguous, and can be something as small as an interaction with somebody, or someone sharing a strange thought or feeling. I love the idea of acknowledging cliches and creating illustrations that are slightly cryptic and hard to understand. A lot of it feels very instinctive, and the space I created an illustration in as an instant reaction can feel very alien when I return to it sometimes. As always, visually I love balance, (the graphic design degree must be working), and love getting the balance of black and white correct in a creative way. Lettering of course is a big inspiration, everything from expressive calligraphy to refined hand painted signage, I love to employ it as an element in my work. The outdoors and sea orientated lifestyle feels very natural to call upon as inspiration also, so of course adapted elements from these backgrounds make their way into my illustrations.
NCA: WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE MEDIUM YOU USE?
I love the simplicity and control of pen line which fulfills me on a very tidy, perfectionist level, even more so with the freedom of digital editing. Yet, always about balance, the sporadic and unpredictable nature of brush/pen and ink I find a fantastic way of creating surprising and organic looking pieces. If I looked too hard, the marriage of these two probably has a metaphor about me in there somewhere..
NCA: WHAT ARE YOUR ESSENTIALS?
Fresh air! I can only sit down and work contentedly if I have managed to get my daily dose of the outside, the sea, whatever, anything without a screen. Although obviously a fantastic tool, I am very aware my laptop is creeping into my life a little too much, and I think we need a bit more space. It is so important to just get that mental recharge from a change of scene or a different conversation. Pinterest, although beautifully aesthetic and inspirational, becomes a bit of a rabbit hole for comparison resulting in quite shallow work on my part. Working on that. So yes, fresh air, change of scene, super important to inspiration, and after that the sketchpad to get ideas down as quickly as possible. Ideas have a way of striking when you least expect it, especially when you are relaxed, and I have so many ideas in my notebooks I keep meaning to come back too. Any favourite phrases/lyrics go at the back of the book to be referred to later. Another essential is time; making sure there is nothing too pressing or urgent to distract me from exploring or creating, which is much easier said than done.
Follow Clara on Instagram @claramjonas