Creative Spotlight | Clare O’Toole
Published on 08 June 2022
Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make
I am a multidisciplinary, self-taught artist working primarily in painting, sculpture, photography, and drawing. Creating still life compositions from everyday consumer products, my practice draws from my own pantry, grocery stores, and specialty stores to populate my works with iconic packaging of branded products. I use bold, vibrant colouring within my works, inspired by the subject matter and colour palettes of pop artists such as Andy Warhol and David Hockney.
Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?
Apply for everything.
We always love recommendations! Who are some other local artists we should check out?
My brother William O’Toole makes some beautiful oil paintings (you can find him on Instagram @williamotoole95).
I work with the artist collective Make Space (@make_space__) which includes a number of great artists working in a variety of mediums including painting, ceramics, and textiles. Drita Ajredin (@d.ajredin) takes fantastic photos. I’m also a fan of Dan Mitchell (@danielle_michelle69).
Who or what inspires you?
Everyday items and packaging. I’m inspired by groceries and products with bright, vibrant designs and logos.
Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?
In some of my sculptures, I utilise air-dry clay and a home-made clear glaze to get the right shine.
What is a creative project that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? Why?
My first solo exhibition was very exciting. Being able to curate the space and install everything gave me a lot of control and responsibility which was a great experience.
What creative project are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a series of ceramic noodle packets.
What has been the highlight of your creative career so far?
The group exhibitions I’ve been able to be part of have all been highlights. Being brought together with other artists by galleries such as Project Contemporary Artspace (@projectartspace), Wollongong Art Gallery (@wollongongartgallery), and Goodspace Gallery (@goodspacegallery) have been fantastic opportunities and experiences. Another highlight is my current residency with Wollongong Creative Studios, which has provided me with a productive space to create and connect with other local artists.
Do you have any rituals or routines that help you to be more creative?
Noting down when I have an idea for a work or subject, then coming back to the list whenever I feel I’ve run out of things to do.
Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?