Claire's cupid is the bringer of both romance and chicken © Claire Joines

Claire’s cupid is the bringer of both romance and chicken © Claire Joines

Claire Joines is a 20 year-old illustrator and graphic designer studying Philosophy at the University of Southampton, producing quirky designs.

After years of having an interest in art and graphic design, she has started comissioning her work and has gradually turned a hobby into a profit.

Claire has kindly illustrated some Valentine’s Day themed designs for The Rock to showcase her talents for our Valentine’s feature, ahead of the big day on February 14.

Claire is Head of Design at Southampton’s Entertainment Mag ‘The EDGE’, and Head of Marketing for Surge Radio. During her time in these roles, Claire has rebranded both of these organisations with her own style.

She says: “It’s been really tough, but I’m happy with the result.
“It’s really helpful working with other people on a committee because I can’t give myself objective criticism
“Having other creative minds to bounce off is so important.”

As well as offering her beautiful images, Claire also agreed to speak exclusively to The Rock about the creative process, her career and the people who inspire her to continue to pursue artistic excellence in everything that she does.

Where does your interest in graphic design and art stem from?

I love how powerful and expressive images are. Drawing is my way of putting things I want to express into a tangible form.
When I was younger, I was alone a lot of the time - I’m an only child and I lived with my Dad who worked a lot, so drawing and painting were how I occupied myself.

Artistic creation has pretty much been the love of my life ever since.
Something I love about art is that no one’s bad at it.
Anyone can pick up a piece of paper and a pen and whatever they produce will be beautiful and unique in some way, no matter how abstract it is.

When we’re little we have no inhibitions or self consciousness and the art we produce in childhood is completely liberated and free of constraint.

When did you start showcasing your work?

I started off on deviantArt around the age of 11. It definitely opened up my eyes to the immense number of other artists - there’s a lot of competition and always will be.

It’s one of those things that will make you miserable, or you can turn it into a goal - ‘I’m gonna have more pageviews than this guy!’

I started posting my work online in a professional manner when I started university.
I was surrounded by motivated people, I had my own space for the first time in my life, and I was able to finally purchase a graphics tablet for my work.

University has allowed me to start charging for commissions through meeting bands who wanted promotion, working for pubs making gig posters, and helping out friends with start-up businesses and campaigns.

It’s been a great experience, and now I’m working with people all over the world on a bunch of crazy and strange commissions!”

Which artists inspire you?

Joan Cornella, who makes dark humour comics, is great.
Daniel Williams has a unique drawing style which encouraged me to start using pencil again.

Dale Crosby draws funny birds-eye views of things like people worshipping a giant leave and other weird stuff.
He also sells his art on eBay which I’d never considered as a selling platform before.

Leif Podhajsky designs the most iconic and gloriously stunning album art I’ve ever seen. He’s designed for Tame Impala, Mount Kimbie, Bonobo, and some other great artists.

Claire Joines, thank you!