Claire Mojher: Near the blustery shore of Lake Erie is where I find myself living at the moment, in Rocky River, Ohio. I share an apartment with my boyfriend, John, who is also an illustrator. Originally, I was born and grew up in Central Florida, but I didn't appreciate the Sunshine State until I moved to Ohio. Although I love the true change of seasons up here, I miss the lush, humid green of my hometown.
Lorajeans magazine: “What inspires you to create?”
Claire Mojher: Actually, I'm known among my coworkers to be the girl with "stuff all over her walls." I'm an avid collector of visual reference. Every surface of my office at work, except the floor, is simply covered in paper squares and rectangles of things I've gathered over the years. I try to change it out every once in a while to keep my ideas fresh. I know that when I've stopped "seeing" the reference around me that it's time to take it down and pin up something new. I was actually featured in an article of the magazine Marie Claire for my "elaborate" office decor. My inspiration comes from antiquated book illustrations, Victorian photographs, children's stories, album art, theater posters, brand new outsider art, etc. Basically anything I immediately love. Sometimes, it's difficult to say why I'm attracted to a specific thing - it could be a pattern that sparks an immediate idea, or the suggested story behind an unusual portrait, or an astonishing combination of colors. I also tend to get very complex and offbeat ideas from music, usually from lyrics, but also occasionally from classical melodies. Songs with peculiar, intricate verses tend to be my favorite.
Lorajeans magazine: “How long have you been drawing?”
Claire Mojher: My father is a freelance illustrator who has a studio in the home in which I grew up, so as a small child I sat in his studio with him and scribbled and sketched to my heart's desire. He's the one most responsible for teaching me how to really "look" at the subject I was drawing, whether it was a chimney or a person. He also infused me with his strong sense of design. We had shelves and walls weighted with art books of all kinds, which I'd thumb through over and over again, sometimes until they fell apart! I took some art classes in High School, but I felt like it wasn't until my Senior year at Ringling College of Art & Design that I really began to develop my own style.
Lorajeans magazine: What does your workspace look like?
it was given to me, complete with the paint spatters and rings from the use of my parents when they were young. I feel comfortable using it when I paint, as a tiny drop or smudge of a new color only adds to its character. The blotches I've left on my apartment's carpet isn't quite as charming.
Thanks a bunch, to Claire for participating in my very first Artist feature! I hope you enjoyed it as much as i did. I definitely plan on continuing these features in the future, so keep checking back.