Claire wears the Corduroy Puff-Sleeve Mini Dress and The Harper Mule in Cow Calf Hair.

The latest class of creatives in our Hometown Heroes Collective is seriously impressive. We’re so proud to showcase their work and grow their businesses with the help of our friends at Nest. Asheville-based artist Claire Shadomy dreams up the coolest prints, pins and totes featuring plants and cats (we’re always down with that). We chatted about how she manages to make art while working 9–5, the tea that’s always at her work station and going internet-free to stay inspired.

The claire shadomy Fruit Bowl Print (in progress!).

Tell us about your background—have you always been an artist?
Yes. I never saw another path for myself. Growing up, I drew anything and everything, mostly animals. My focus in college was drawing and painting until senior year—that’s when I really got into digital art.

Describe a typical day for you.
I have a full-time job as a graphic designer, so it starts with going to work. After hours is when I do my personal art. It often feels like I have two jobs [Editor’s note: You definitely do, Claire!] because I dive right into my own work as soon as I get home. It can be tiring, but it’s worth it.

The claire shadomy Ladies Enamel Pin.

What do like to keep around you as you work?
I have a rotation of podcasts I stay up-to-date on. I’m guilty of always having multiple cups and mugs all over my desk. Right now, I can’t stop drinking strawberry yerba mate and draft lattes from this coffee shop downtown. My cats are always around too, bothering me while I’m trying to work.

How do you stay inspired?
I collect lots of vintage books, mostly plant and animal related, so I often flip through those. Thrifting helps, as does going to the movies or reading. I try to stay off the internet when I need inspiration because taking in all of that content causes sensory overload. Honestly, sometimes I just sit and let my mind wander until I come up with an idea I want to try.

Any advice for others trying to make time for their creative interests while still working a 9–5?
Find ways to stay motivated because you will be tired. There are many days when you get home and don’t feel like doing more work but it is worth it and it’s how you’ll eventually be able to do what you love full-time. Be gentle on yourself though because you don’t want to burn out. It’s a balance I’m still trying to figure out myself.

Thanks, Claire. Meet more of our Hometown Heroes and shop their goods right here.

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