Claire Prouvost is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Dublin. She caught our eye on Instagram with her bold and brilliant gouache paintings, so we contacted her and asked her to collaborate on a feature for issue 1 of Sketch Appeal - and we’re thrilled she said yes! Here, she tells us a bit more about her creative practice and why she’s so passionate about drawing.
What’s the last thing you drew?
It was a sketch of an old illustrated metal plate from my Mom’s house. It’s an old advertising plate for a French liquor, with a very nice illustration of a women. I painted it in my own style to see how it would come out!
When do you draw and how often?
Most of the time, I draw in the evening, after work. I am a full time graphic designer, so I usually sketch to relax and unwind after a day in front of the computer. I am trying to draw everyday, I really got into the habit of doing so, while doing the 100 day project. But, since this is over, I would say I am drawing every second day. I would always have the iPad or a sketchbook with me, to at least doodle on the go.
Where do you get your ideas?
I am constantly saving a lot of pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, most of the time vintage fashion pictures, where the character has a quirky posture or a nice outfit. They are always a good starting point for me.
Why do you enjoy drawing?
As I was saying earlier, it is a great way for me to relax, and allow some time to myself. I rarely have any other distraction while I sketch, perhaps a bit music in the background.
How did you get into drawing?
As far as I can remember, I have always loved drawing. My dad was spending a lot of time teaching me different techniques and we have always had a studio where we would spend some long afternoons painting and drawing.
Who or what inspires your creativity?
So many things inspire my creativity. I would say the main one is collaboration meeting new people and constantly discovering artwork. Staying curious is what inspires my creativity the most.
What would your dream drawing scenario be? (e.g dream commission or drawing destination, holiday, gallery visit..)
I would love to work with different brands, and particularly within the fashion industry. It would also be amazing to get to travel for work, doing some murals and leaving a trace in different countries. Working on a bigger scale projects (urban art, murals…)
What materials do you love using?
My favourite material is gouache on paper. I really love how pigmented it is, the opacity and the fact that it dries quickly. I don’t have many paint tubes, just primary colours really. I love linoprint and wish I can experiment more with that medium.
How do you get your creative mojo flowing? Any top tips or favourite exercises you could recommend?
Always keep an eye out for inspiration. Look online, go to a nice exhibition or to a talk, keep on meeting like-minded people. Draw a lot, even if it looks shit, and set yourself some challenges. Online challenges are great for that. You could do Inktober (starting soon!), the 100 day project, signing up to Lauren Hom’s HomWork… Possibilities are endless!
Any words of wisdom or encouragement for those who think they “can’t draw”?
Keep going! There isn’t such a thing as someone that can’t draw, if you want to, you can learn and just do it! Look out for classes in your city, some drink and draw events perhaps. It is never too late to learn, and you might have to try many different techniques and mediums before finding the one that works for you! It took me years to get comfortable at sketching, hours of practice and experiments. One day, you are brave, try something new, and hopefully fall in love with it and have fun!