What is Studio Clowder exactly? To be completely honest we probably don’t know ourselves (which is most likely the worst thing to say in a mission statement), but we are extremely excited to see the direction it will go in.
Studio Clowder consists of four artists/illustrators who work incredibly hard, and have a deep passion for imaginative creation, be it picture book illustration, sculpture, painting, drawing, animation, voice-acting, make-up or even creative writing.
Being workaholics with some very niche interests (examples include: paper grammage, obscure illustrators, needle felting etc.) can be quite isolating, and a significant component of the collective is simply having gatherings and talking for many hours about things that would make non-illustrative artists (understandably) die of boredom. We also learn a lot from each other and have a good (and necessary) time venting about the frustrations and anxieties inherent to being a full time freelance image creator.
In the midst of these informal social gatherings, we organise exhibitions and related projects. Studio Clowder is a creative collective where we hope to support and motivate each other with the hope of attaining the type of creative fulfilment we would not have attained individually.
And lastly, what does the term clowder mean? Well, ‘clowder’, is the collective noun for a group of cats. We are a team of four individualistic and capable people, not unlike our feline friends. On the one hand, the skill pool we create collectively is quite extraordinary, but on the other, coming to a consensus about anything, including the collective’s name is a long process of discussion and debate. Trying to work together sometimes feels like herding cats – not the easiest task, but ultimately very fulfilling. And I know that analogy doesn’t completely work, but who knows? Maybe herding cats is extremely fulfilling – when I meet a cat-herder I will ask her.
Studio Clowder’s first group exhibition, titled Nocturnal Meanderings, opens on 6 July at Youngblood Gallery in Cape Town. Click here for more information.