Christmas Day 2014. I was passed a flat envelope bearing a familiar address. I squealed in delight when I realised that my aunty had secretly ordered for me a print by my favourite artist, friend and client Claire Ishino. What a wonderful feeling it was to know that our combined efforts had worked and that people are noticing Claire!
2014 was a huge year for Claire. Her younger child started school which we both thought would give Claire more time to focus calmly on her work and business. Little did we know that the opposite would be true. Claire was thrown into the deep end - in the best way possible - with a solo exhibition at a local gallery, a licensing agreement with a stationery company in the USA and an acceptance to participate in a prestigious designer's market event. Along with all of the usual chaos that surrounds a family with young children Claire was busier than ever.
I actually almost wanted to cry when I opened this print as it dawned on me how great the year had been, how much Claire had achieved and what a truly amazing career she has ahead of her. I'm proud to have played a small part in this.
Working with Claire has been hugely gratifying. Being an artist she's on the introspective side of the personality scale. My natural exuberance was just a little too much for her at times. Claire is quite a private person preferring to let her work speak for itself. And speak it has. She's gone from being a very reluctant user of social media to regularly delighting her fans with photos and small peeks into her creative process. She's really put herself out there and now feels comfortable being part of the creative community in Australia and around the world.