Who is Clara Ilena and what do you do?
I am a freelance illustrator and Designer, based in Cape Town. When I moved to Cape Town I met up with a great group of people all of whom are freelancers in their own fields. We realised that we’d create more interesting work if we pooled our creative skills and collaborated on some of our work. Neither one of us wanted to commit to a full time ‘job’ and so Interim Collective was born. We are a group of freelancers who still work as individuals and most importantly in our own time but we collaborate on jobs that need that little bit extra to be really great. So in a way it’s like the best of freelancing and working in a creative studio all rolled into one.
How would you define your style or art?
My style is currently undergoing a bit of an evolution. I am focusing heavily on branding and in particular flexible branding. I believe the global online community has changed the way we interact with each other and with brands. These days’ brands are more successful if they move from saying “this is my brand, this it’s personality and this is what it looks like” to “Hi, let’s create a brand”. This shift in communication is something I am fascinated by and something I would like spending more time exploring. From an illustration point of view I am still very much preoccupied with nature and our relationship with it. I don’t think that aspect of my work will ever change.
What inspires your work?
I have an obsession with learning new things. I am constantly informing myself, taking courses even doing another degree. At the moment I have a bit on a thing for theoretical physics and cosmology. When I come across a subject like this I am interested in, I try and understand it to a point where I can explain it to a child and it can become quite all-consuming. Although I don’t think I’ll ever wrap my head around quantum mechanics. I think I might have to leave this one up to the smart people.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on a painting for my self. I’ve put aside some time for decorating my own space, something I certainly don’t do enough. It’s great fun creating something that is for me and me only. Personally I think doing a project for oneself every now and again greatly improves ones skill because you tend to be more experimental if you’re both the client and the creator.
What advice would you give young creatives looking to do what you do?
I’d just pass on the advice that was given to me when I started out and is defiantly a big part of why I am where I am today.
“Don’t spend all your money. You’ll start earning quite well once you’ve been employed for a couple of years and if you don’t save you’ll have to continue being employed for a very long time. Save enough money to sustain you for a year and do your own thing. Your creativity will grow in ways you never though possible.”
Oh, and one more thing, Travel.
Where can our readers follow your work?
On my website www.clarailena.com