26th April, 2018
I can’t quite remember when I came across Clare and her creative talents, but as soon as we began chatting, I knew she was my kind of girl.
Clare is incredibly gifted and has a heart of pure gold.
Year after year Clare has been a HUGE part of our annual Breast Cancer Fundraiser Breaky for Boobies. She has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically on many occasions for me personally, with designing the logo and artwork for my blog, as well as our little family illustration for Her Travelling Tribe.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – meet Clare.
1. Tell us a little about yourself – what do you do, where are you located and what do you love most about your part of the world?
Hi, I’m Clare. I’m a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator based in Armstrong Creek, Geelong. I am 34, with a 4 year old (Quinnie, who is a local star herself) and one on the way in about 4 weeks.
I love Geelong, and always have loved Geelong. Born and bred. I think it’s a beautiful city to live in, close to the beach, and not too far from Melbourne.
2. You are one of the strongest women I know. 2014 was an extremely tough year for yourself and husband Jarrod. Please share a little of your story with us.
Yes, it was an extremely hard time for us. In Feb 2014, we were expecting identical twin girls, and at 34 weeks I stopped feeling one of the babies move. I went in for a check, and we were soon told that one of our babies has died, and that the other twin was dying herself. I was rushed into an emergency C-Section to save our other daughter. Both girls were born extremely quickly and the emotions of what we felt was something I will never forget…the hope and joy for the birth of our living daughter but absolute devastation for our other baby, Harriet.
It wasn’t long before they knew something was not right with Quinnie and she was taken to the Royal Childrens Hospital. She was in Neonatal Intensive care (NICU) for 9 weeks and a further 1.5 months on the ward, where they discovered she had end stage kidney failure and stomach failure. She came home on the week of Mothers Day, about 3.5 months later. She also came home with 7 days a week dialysis machine – that Jarrod and I did for her over 10 hours a night, feeding machines and over 16 medications a day.
We ended up having a VERY rough 2.5 years whilst Quinnie dealt with her sickness, vomiting up to 30 times a day, EVERYDAY, and all the other complications and readmissions that came with it all.
But in November 2016, Quinnie got a kidney transplant in the Paired Kidney Exchange (look this up if you have time, it’s an INCREDIBLE program Australia offers). It was the kidney from her Pa (Jarrod’s father) that ended up saving her life in the swap.
3. And how is Quinnie doing these days?
Well, you wouldn’t know she was the same child. She has utterly flourished, grown and excelled in all aspects of her life. She is still fed via a machine, and this is only until she can learn to eat properly… but this does not stop her at all.
She has so much energy and is just the most gorgeous, thoughtful, very social little girl, who is completely NON STOP!!! But we wouldn’t have it any other way.
4. You are such a talented graphic designer and illustrator. Did you always know you’d end up in this field?
Thanks Clare. Yes, I always knew I loved to draw and create, but thought I would become an “Artist”.
At primary school I always enjoyed art and at high school I did any subjects I could, to do with graphics and art.
The Graphic Design side was suggested to me by my teachers at Sacred Heart College. As I liked to draw but I liked to draw with a purpose. This suited graphics and I have loved it ever since.
5. What has been your favourite design job to date?
OOOOhhhhh that’s a hard one! I have had so many incredible clients and I am so lucky. I will have to mention a few I think. Creating the stage banners and the stage artwork for The Falls festival for about 3 years in a row was such an awesome feeling.
I am also very proud of being published in an International pattern book “Print and Pattern Kids” by Bowie Style…. that was amazing!
But also a very fulfilling part of my job is working with clients who are starting their own business, and I create their logo and business identity. I love this, and being a part of their venture. I always am very grateful for the jobs I work on….Oh- and your family illustration, of course!!! Haha
6. With being a Mother, wife and a successful business woman – how to you manage a work/life balance?
I really don’t know… and DO I manage??? Haha. No it’s all about just that – balance, and not having too higher expectations on myself. I am full-time with Quinnie at home, and make sure that she, and my husband are my priority.
My work is a bit of “me time” but it’s not everything. I have lots of lists and lots of notepads. I also really REALLY have tried to make it important not to compare myself to others. We are all different and all just trying our best!
7. Tell us something we don’t know about you:
I am PETRIFIED of ghosts – as in beside myself with ghost. Even writing this has made me scared!!
Also, my husband and I met in a pub in Thailand (and are both from Geelong – small world!) and…I bit my nails for 33 years. I’ve only just stopped.
8. What challenges you?
Too much going on at one time, and getting too overwhelmed.
9. Quick Quiz:
Sweet or Savoury? Savory
Summer or Winter? Summer
Pants or Skirts? Pants
Beer or Wine? BEEEEER, and I tell you what, I’m hanging for one!
Top and bottom sheet, or just bottom? 100% top sheet, but Jarrod hates them so we have to just have it on my side – haha
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Toast or Cereal? Toast
Shower or Bath? Shower
City or Country? Both for good reasons. City for the highs, and country for the down time.
Cats or Dogs? Cats
10. What can we expect to see from you next?
Well, sorry to say this but – Maternity Leave.
BUT, there will be lots in store for Victor Fox when I return. I’m putting a big focus on designing new prints for my online store. But in the meantime you can see my upcoming work through local companies like Project Ten, Partos + Pike, Project Thrive, Bobby Stitch, Easy Peasy Puree, Kaisercraft and some Melbournites… like Little Milko, Frankie Gusti and KidGen.
A huge thanks to Clare for taking the time to be a part of the Wow Women series.
I am so looking forward to hearing your exciting news! Miss Q is going to make the very best big sister!