You are the Winner of Janet Clare's
NEW! book, Freya and Fred.
Today I am thrilled to share an interview
with my friend and fellow artist Janet Clare!
I had the pleasure of meeting Janet over two
years ago when I taught at The Festival Of
Quilts in Birmingham, England.
From the moment I entered Janet's vendor
booth, I was captivated by her art. Her work
is extremely charming, whimsical, and so
endearing. I feel lucky to say that Janet and
I became fast friends and have continued to
stay in touch.
And, I am pleased to announce that Janet has
a Brand NEW Book, Freya and Fred.
Read all about Janet, her art, see excerpts from
the book, and be sure to leave a comment for
your chance to WIN! an autographed copy of
Freya and Fred.
A winner will be selected by Janet on Monday,
1. So Janet, what is your story? I want to know everything
about your journey to successful artist, and author.
I have always been creative and can’t remember a time
when I wasn’t in the middle of a project of some sort or
another. My parents were very encouraging and are
creative people themselves, so making things is as natural
and easy as breathing.
I went to art school and got a textiles and fashion degree
and then went on to be a freelance knitwear designer,
working with an agent in London. Then I had our boys
and became a stay at home Mum who sewed and knitted
and drew to keep herself sane and happy!
Once the boys were at nursery school I discovered blogs,
and asked Tony to make me a blog and the rest just followed.
I am my own boss, I don’t worry about pleasing anyone else-
I make only what I like and want to make. I consider myself
very fortunate that others seem to like it too!
2. What kinds of things inspire you? What motivates you to make art?
I love to look at vintage quilts, folk art, children’s drawings,
old photographs and to look round museums. I love nature
too and am always writing phrases and snippets of poems
down that catch my imagination. I keep a scrapbook and
sketchbooks. I can’t imagine not creating- I am always
creating something, somewhere. I can’t even dust a shelf
without re-arranging the contents to make a little still life.
I am a visual, creative person and always have been. I need
to make things. I think best with a pencil in my hand.
3. What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Creating something that didn’t exist a few hours ago is a
wonderful feeling. I am a true designer, so the design
process of choosing colours and fabrics and problem
solving is the most enjoyable part for me.
I love feeling inspired.
4. I know you have a busy schedule with family, making art, teaching.
How do you manage your projects and organize your creative schedule?
Do you have any tips for staying on top of things?
My Mum is Irish and they say you have ‘your two arms
the one length’ when you are being lazy and not doing
anything- this is very frowned upon. So I never have my
two arms the one length! I’m not sure I am on top of
things, so wouldn’t like to give any advice about that, but
somehow keeping busy and loving the work you do seems
to get you through almost anything.
If I have a deadline looming I can always give up sleeping!
Other than that I try to turn off the computer and just start
sewing or drawing until I get immersed in whatever it is I
am working on and then I find it hard to stop. I often have
to set an alarm clock to remind me to get the boys home
I’m also quite good a turning a blind eye to the dust and
chores- they will always wait for you but your inspiration
never ever does.
5. Your new book, Freya & Fred, is so charming, can you
tell us a little about it and the process of writing and creating
Thank you! Freya and Fred was inspired by the paper dolls and
their clothes I used to play with when I was little. I created a girl
and her wardrobe of clothes and then imagined a week in her life.
For example, on Monday Freya goes to school and so I designed
an alphabet quilt and a book bag for her. I always start a project
with a mood or ideas board and keep a sketchbook for every
project too. The first thing I designed and made for my book
was the front cover. My friend Hayley is a graphic designer and
she made a wonderful job of laying out all the pages for me and
my lovely Tony helped me with all the technical bits and bobs.
I haven’t a technical bone in my body. We all worked round the
clock for a few weeks to get the book to the printers on time.
Then we all went out and had margaritas to celebrate!
6. What is something people might not know about you?
Many, many things- I’m quite shy really. But, I don’t believe in
keeping things for best- if you’ve got it, use it!
I’ve got no sense of direction. I can’t park the car.
I can make a really good sticky ginger cake.
I always have cold feet and my favourite place is the beach in
winter (which doesn’t help the cold feet situation!)
7. What are you working on right now? Do you have any upcoming projects?
I am working on my second book at the moment. It will be
ready for the Festival of Quilts, NEC in August and will have
an English coastal theme. I think it will be called ‘Good Old
Blighty’, or maybe ‘Hearty Good Wishes’ I haven’t quite
I am also daydreaming about designing a fabric collection.
Janet Clare creates inspirational, fun and lively designs for
quilts and stitcheries that combine her unique jointed
appliqué templates and free machine drawing technique.
Janet studied Textiles and Fashion at ‘Winchester School
of Art’, England and specialised in children’s knitwear design.
She is also a qualified infant school teacher and a full time
mother to her two sons.
Much of Janet’s work is inspired by children and their purity
of thought, innocence and the joy they find in the mundane.
Order your copy of Janet's new book, Freya and Fred by
visiting her shop. It is a perfect gift for someone special
or perhaps yourself!
Find out more about Janet's art and life by visiting her website.