My Favourite Blogs || Clair Rossiter Illustration

my-favourite-blogs-4-clair-rossiter-front pageFor my third blogger in this series, I  wanted to highlight someone who I’ve known of for the last 4 years but have only got to know better in the last few months. Clair Rossiter and I were at university together, though whilst I studied geography at Exeter, she studied illustration at Falmouth. Sharing a campus with an arts university was one of the things that made my experience so great- the random mix of arty farty people, coupled with living so close to the beach gave the whole place a jumble of creativity. Anyway, I digress…


Clair is brilliant, her illustrations are filled with such positive lively character and I don’t think there’s anything she can’t draw! Since graduating last year, she’s gathered quite a bit of attention and has developed her brand through commissions and personal study. I fell in love with her unique style and would happily fill my whole house with her work.
For my birthday, after showing her Clair’s etsy page, Mum chose to buy me a fantastic A3 illustrated map of Falmouth which I love. This then sparked an idea for our living room and I wrote to her asking if she’d commission another map, this time of Plymouth. That way, we could have our two places where we’d spent most time as a couple next to each other on the wall. Deciding on some of our personal favourites, I drew Clair a rough sketch of what I wanted and the locations of each- including the road we live on, Adams university house, where we went on our second date,the boat he works on and the sailing charity he volunteers for.
The result was a fantastic surprise for Adam, Clair did an amazing job and made the two in the same style so that they look amazing next to each other! Since then, I’ve also bought three other prints from her etsy page for Mums birthday, which she absolutely adores and has put up pride of place in our kitchen. All of Clair’s work can be viewed on her blog here and of you want to browse through her online shop, check it out here (I’d snap up her prints soon before she becomes too famous and sells them for millions!). If you fancy personalising your own map for yourself or someone special, she’s also offering that service on her website too!
As an extra treat, I caught up with Clair to ask her a mix of  questions, over to you Clair…

How would you sum up your illustration style?

Maybe….joyful and quirky? I like keeping some imperfections in everything that I draw to bring out as much humour and life as possible.

You cover a lot of categories and are very versatile in what you draw – what’s your favourite type of project to work on?

That’s tricky! I actually love the fact that I have the opportunity to work on such a range of different projects! I enjoy the process of painting most when I’m working in a really loose and experimental way, for instance when I’m working on food illustrations. But the more conceptual side of other types of work like editorials is great because I get to be a little more creative and come up with the ideas behind a piece. A little of both works really well!

What art mediums are your favourites to work with?

I love gouache, it’s a very versatile medium. You can water it down and create really loose work with it, or keep things really controlled and detailed. Quink ink is also amazing, I genuinely don’t think I’ve been without a pot of it at my desk for the past 5 years! ( Also, it has secret powers… if you use it with bleach you can get some magical results.)

Where do you dream of seeing yourself in 5 years time (career and general life)?

I’d really like to be working on some longer illustration projects that allow me to get into a subject- possibly in the form of books or something similar. I’m always fascinated by illustrators that are multi-disciplinary and work in ceramics and on fabrics too…so maybe having the time to explore that a little more. Other than that I hope to be challenging myself in all areas of my life, and enjoying lots of new experiences.

Describe your ultimate meal (starter, main and pud)?

Well these don’t go together at all but I’m just going to put all of my favourite foods together! So starter would be deep fried camembert with redcurrant sauce (I’m very passionate about cheese) then the main would be a curry I think…although that’s not a great combination I know! Dessert would be my mum’s Victoria sandwich cake, which is like no other. It would all be served on one of those long dreamy tables with little lights in the middle of a forest, the sort of thing that only seems to exist on Pinterest.



If you were a vegetable what would you be and why?

I feel like when I’m painting I resemble a beetroot a little bit! I’m really messy and my desk is just a disorderly (yet creative) mess of sketchbooks and paint splatters most of the time. Beetroots are similarly fairly messy, lethal and hard to contain!

Name the book/s that have had most impact on your life?

There are too many to choose from, but….

Matilda by Roald Dahl- I just loved this book growing up and still do. Quentin Blake’s wonderful illustrations are also a constant source of inspiration.

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan, a soulful and beautiful picture book which is simple, pure and hopeful. I only came across it as an adult so I’m really interested in how children respond to it.

Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom is a very special book full of wisdom, which I’ve read countless times. Definitely a life changer!

Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne is another radical sort of book- it touched my heart, challenged my faith and made me see the world differently.

In a film about your life, what would three of the tracks on the soundtrack be and why?

The Beatles- Blackbird

I grew up listening to The Beatles so for me they always bring back happy family memories. This song is just loveliness, hopefully that’s a good enough reason!

Ben Howard- Old Pine

It transports me to beautiful Falmouth, where I studied. I saw him live there too. His music sounds like beaches and nature and simple living.

Rusted Root- Send me on my way

Such a happy song. It’s also the pancake song from the film ‘Matilda’! I always feel uplifted when I listen to it and it reminds me to find joy in the little things in life.


If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?

It would be the power to ‘step into’ other people’s bodies and experience the world from their perspective. Despite the fact that we are all human, so many people seem to come from such different viewpoints and fail to understand each other. To experience another person’s favourite tastes, their passions and their thoughts, especially if they were really different from mine, would be fascinating.

What’s your go-to interesting fact about yourself?

I am a twin! (not identical though.)  I am also known for my inability to do things that most  human beings take for granted, like whistling and doing a roly-poly.

Name three countries you haven’t been to yet on your travel bucket list?

Three places I’d love to visit are Amsterdam, Norway and Venice

What would your patronus memory be? (if you haven’t read Harry Potter – it’s the moment in your life when you’ve felt happiest)

That’s so hard! One of them has to be when I decided to study illustration at Falmouth, it was such a gorgeous day, and I saw dolphins at the beach. It felt like the start of something special.


What is your biggest achievement in your illustration career?

I think the most exciting moment was when I first saw some cards I’d designed in Paperchase. It was one of the first projects I’d done after graduating and I just couldn’t believe they were real!

What projects are you currently working on (only if you’re allowed to say!)?

I’m working on some kitchenware at the moment, which I’m enjoying so much, and a few editorial bits and pieces too.

Thank you so much for your fab answers, I actually had no idea that you were a twin, and your superpower is so deep. I can’t wait to see what new projects you sink your teeth into, the difficult part will be finding enough wall space to put them all!