Clare wears the Puff-Sleeve Popover Shirt, The Perfect Vintage Jean and The Alex Loafer.
Clare wears the Puff-Sleeve Popover Shirt, The Perfect Vintage Jean and The Alex Loafer.

Calling all plant ladies: You’re gonna be so into Clare’s work. The Asheville-based artist behind In the Rushies (and new member of our Hometown Heroes Collective) makes the sweetest botanical-centric prints, paintings and more. We visited her studio and talked everything from balancing a 9–5 along with her personal art to the classic sitcoms she keeps on in the background as she paints.

Tell us about your background—have you always been an artist?
I've always loved making art. Some of my earliest memories are of coloring books and watercolor palettes. The women in my family were all artists and my role models. I went to art school (not for painting or illustration, ha!) and that certainly had a powerful influence on my perspective. It was about five years ago that I started painting with more frequency and putting my work out there. Even though I sometimes struggle with identifying as an artist, I know that I view the world through a creative lens.

In the Rushies Festive Floral Painting.
In the Rushies Festive Floral Painting.

What’s a typical day like for you?
Hectic! Lately there’s always a million things on my to-do list. I work a 9–5 office job that isn’t in a creative field. So when I get home after work, I want to experiment with an idea that I’ve had in my mind all day or finish something I started the night before. Typically, I walk my dog, Charlie, then make dinner with my husband before mixing up some paints.

Are there any essentials you like to keep on-hand as you work?
I’m low-key addicted to La Croix. I almost always have seltzer to sip on while I’m painting. The tricky thing is that my water glass for paint brushes is also close by. I’ve accidentally dipped my brush into my seltzer a couple times but I haven’t made the ultimate mix-up yet!

I like to keep things light in the background while I’m working. I’ll put on old episodes of Seinfeld, The Office or 30 Rock. It’s nice to have something familiar and funny. Sometimes I even get unexpected color palette inspiration.

In the Rushies Crazy Plant Lady Canvas Tote Bag.
In the Rushies Crazy Plant Lady Canvas Tote Bag.

Speaking of inspiration—what do you do when you feel like you need more of it?
Color is always at the root of what inspires me. I often think of the color wheel and what I learned in color theory to get started. If I’m feeling stuck, I flip through one of the art and interior design books that I keep on my coffee table. I also peruse saved images from Instagram and other spots on the internet. There’s color all around and it can just take seeing one thing to unlock a whole palette. If I’m still stalling, I’ll just put the piece away and give myself a break. Sometimes you need to completely reset to get the right perspective.

Any advice for others trying to make time for their creative interests while working a day job?
In my experience, if there’s something that you really, truly love doing, you won’t be able to stop yourself from doing it. The key for me has been making a point to work on a personal project every day. Maybe it’s a quick collage or spending a few hours on a larger piece, but consistently creating something is essential to finding a good balance. It’s also helpful to keep my supplies accessible in my living space so that I can easily transition into painting in the evenings. If the conditions are right, the rest comes naturally.

Thanks so much, Clare. Shop her goods plus more from our favorite makers right here.

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