Our Putting Pen To Paper series, features different individuals & showcases what they use their favourite notebook for. It could be for to-do lists, sketching, design, song writing, illustrations, notes, daily gratitudes & everything in between.
This month we went inside the notebook of Claire Stapleton, the artist, creative & mum.
I work as a creative in an ad agency four days a week, I’m a mum, and when there is a spare moment… I do my art.
How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always loved painting and drawing. Even before I went to school I would spend hours drawing in my Dad’s office. He was an architectural draughts-person and I think some of my structured lines and block colouring comes from these days with him.
But it wasn’t until about three years ago that something clicked in my drawing and me, and I knew I wanted to really pursue it. I was painting so much that my partner told me I needed to start selling it somewhere or we’d run out of room in the house. Someone suggested Bondi markets and it was such a great to start selling my art. I met so many lovely lovely people… who still stay in touch today. They gave me the confidence to keep going. (If you’re reading this, thank you.)
I’ve definitely got a long way to go with my art and becoming an artist, but the last 3 years have been amazing and filled with unbelievable collaborations, new connections and kind people. I feel lucky.
Plain. I love the freedom of writing or sketching depending on the moment or task. And my daughters love throwing a drawing in the mix too (constantly finding cute little rainbows or weird creatures in between my work). I also find when I draw something I like, I need to see it on a wall so I will tear the page out and put it up above my desk.
When do you put pen to paper?
Over coffee mostly. But it’s very impromptu when I do. There’s generally a notebook on my desk, in my handbag, and on my bedside table for night scribbles. I always start a commission or new series of works with pencil to paper, then pen to paper, and then paint to paper. It’s the best way for me to envisage the final pieces. What paint colours will work. And it helps that the paper quality of AOL notebooks are so good.
What inspired the Pen to Paper in your images?
These pages are my current pieces I’m working on. I always have a few pieces on the go. Some survive, most don’t. I tend to work on the floor when I paint the final piece and use my desk for first sketches and my day job; and the walls as my gallery for taping up artwork and ideas. I’m lucky to have this space at the back of our house where I can work. It doesn’t normally look like this though, I normally share it with outdoor furniture cushions and bikes and lots and lots of unfolded washing. You’re getting the ‘studio’ look here.
How do you stay inspired with your art?
I don’t get enough time to be an artist, so I haven’t felt like I’ve run out of inspiration yet. One thing though, being self-taught, I don’t have much knowledge about the art world. So I’m currently absorbed in art books. I’m also looking forward to going to galleries again. And back home, New Zealand’s beauty and my friends and family inspire me every time.
What does journaling look like to you/how do you journal?
Journaling is my way of remembering and creating. From colour palettes, to taking down a new brief or sketching ideas that pops into my head that I need to get down on paper asap. I’m always using the bookmark ribbons because I need to go back to notes taken or a cool sketch I want to develop.
I save all my art journals because they become so precious with my evolving practice. (Three years ago to now – my art has changed A LOT.) And, then there’s the drawings and funny notes from my daughters – the best keepsakes.
I bought my niece her first art journal from AOL this week. I'm so excited to see what she creates within those pages.
Feeling creative & want to put pen to paper yourself? Start here with Claire's favourite Notebook & follow Claire on Instagram here.