Clare Birch – Graphic Designer / Artist
I’m a local self-employed graphic designer, artist and animal lover. I’ve lived and worked in the Tauranga area since I was young. Over the last few years I’ve been getting off the computer more and working on art – drawing, painting and hand lettering. I live with my partner Jack and 12 year old cat Yoda, who I met and later adopted from the SPCA.
I’ve had a passion for animal welfare for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up our neighbours were heavily involved with SPCA Tauranga, I went on my first door knocking collection for them when I was around 10. I’ve volunteered over the years for SPCA Tauranga in various ways.
You can purchase my artwork and gift cards through the shop, and 30% of every purchase will be donated to SPCA Tauranga.
About the Animal Art Series
I took a watercolour class, first for beginners, then an advancing class, at The Artery with Nick Eggleston as our tutor earlier this year. Loved the classes – they went too fast, we all had plenty of fun. At the time I was working on SPCA Tauranga’s Annual Report, and wanted to create something special as they were celebrating 50 years service to the region.
The idea to create a range of potential shelter adoptees with personality to spread through the Annual Report came about. I added to my brief deciding to stylise native plants, drawing inspiration from Scandinavian and tropical style imagery. Each image is partnered with a familiar sounding quote, carrying a dual perspective, written in a gold brush/calligraphic style font. Little did I realise the challenge that existed with such an unfamiliar medium. Many hours and happy accidents have led to the final results. Before releasing the series I re-painted ginger tabby, added patchy pup, and re-created the quotes by hand adding elements from the paintings to the words and digitised them.
My focus was to communicate the joy, unexpected fun moments and friendship people and animals can share. It’s also a reflection of the work I see the staff and volunteers at the SPCA doing and why I think people support the SPCA – for the love of animals.
The Animal Art Series includes original watercolour paintings, A6 gift cards and A4 posters with the quotes in gold and A4 giclée fine art prints. The fine art prints have each quote painted on in a gold acrylic paint and bear the quirks of being individually hand crafted.
I hope the fun I’ve experienced creating the work is extended to the audience, and that we can raise some money for our local shelter to continue helping the animals. I‘ve been lucky to have the support of many people while working on this project, and would like to thank my partner, friends and family for their encouragement and professionals who have extended time / skills / reduced costs to help launch this series.
If you would like to look at more of my work or enquire about commissions visit my website here.