Clare Grace – Creative Careers Week

Day 3 of our creative careers week. This morning our attention turns to artist Clare Grace who has been involved with our workshop since the very beginning. 


Who are you and what do you do? 

I am Clare Grace and I am a freelance artist/printmaker and workshop facilitator.  

What was your training 

My training was very vocational, based on the requirements of industry. I am dyslexic and left school with few qualifications. A talent in art and a good folio of work got me a place at Batley School of Art on their foundation course, one of the best years of my life, suddenly I was at the top instead of the bottom and I suddenly belonged, something I never felt at school.  

Did you study a creative subject – if so what and where?

I advise everyone to do a foundation course, it gives you a transition from school into an art college environment and philosophy. It also enables you to develop skills and discover your own practice. After my foundation I did a National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Printed Textile Design, I left with Distinctions in both qualifications, a grade A Design Craft A level and membership of two industrial bodies SIAD and BIID. While inservice teaching I was awarded a BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art for Design (First Class) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Huddersfield. 

Unlike when I was at college you now require A levels, ND or equivalent to do a Foundation, currently there is no fee.  

What Printmaking techniques do you work with?

I am primarily a screen printer, mainly printing onto fabric using pigment paste, but I also print on to paper using systems 3. I like to use hand drawn positives to make my screens. I love to free style screen print by using a variety of screen stencil designs to overprint and mask, this enables me to play and develop images, rather than always producing a print edition. I am currently researching Eco methods of printing, we need to look after our health and the planet. 

What inspires you? 

I have an interest in social history and folk art, print and printed textiles have a tradition of political activism which I find fascinating. I also find inspiration through looking at nature. I love colour. I think I also find inspiration in other people, there are some really amazing people out there.

Name 3 great things about your job?

Students, I feel privileged to have worked with so many wonderful students, I miss them. 

Teaching, planning new projects and delivering them, it’s an exciting creative process. 

Printing, especially printing a length of fabric with a print buddy.  

What top tip would you have for young creatives?

Connect – Join a group like WYPW, talk to practitioners, research, it’s interesting to look at information and job opportunities on the AN (Artist Newsletter) website, they do a student membership and offer support. Look at the Arts Council England, Design Council and Craft Council websites. Follow them and other interesting organisations, artists, craftspersons and designers on social media, you can follow Galleries like the Tate too.