Every story is unique and powerful, which is why we’ve asked some of our favourite inspiring women to share theirs with us. Melbourne-based artist Bobby Clark has drawn on her unique background and supportive family to carve out a career doing something she loves. We asked her how she has found the courage and self-belief to express herself through her work and how the journey has shaped her along the way.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Bobby Clark and I am an artist living and working in Melbourne.
Can you tell us about your background & how that helped you get where you are now?
I grew up in a small river side town called Greenock, Scotland in a small family of fiercely independent women and hard working men. I grew up with the freedom of living in a small community surrounded by farm land and a strong artistic influence from all the women in my family, particularly my grandparents who were both great artists.
We were always encouraged to draw and create or be outside. I hated watching movies and being stuck inside. Throughout school I always loved art and any kind of creative activity and couldn’t see any other future for myself. Being an artist seemed like an unachievable goal so I went on to study Fashion in Glasgow then a BA honours degree in Textile in Manchester. My husband Steven and I came to Melbourne in October 2010 with the intention to travel, but we never left. The creative industry in Melbourne is incredible, through working with furniture and design brand Pop & Scott and not so gentle persuasion from Steve I rediscovered my love of art and design and began painting again. I really do feel incredibly grateful that I live the life I always wanted as a child. To call myself an artist is the one dream I always had and I know I’m profoundly lucky.
What inspires and motivates you?
Rest and travel are the best source of inspiration. I’ve just came back from a beautiful break in Byron Bay after a pretty large bought of creative block. We can get wrapped up in the fast pace of life and forget to take time to breathe and reset. Getting back into nature and reconnecting, even just a brief swim in the ocean can clear my head. Disconnecting from technology can be extremely liberating when seeking a new direction. Visiting art galleries and old libraries always fills my head with new ideas and stories. Inspiration can come from anywhere if your mind is open and well rested. I am motivated with the desire to better myself and to challenge the place in which I feel most comfortable, there is great strength in the vulnerable.
How does your everyday routine help you to stay creative and inspired?
Being a Taurean, routine is very important. Every day is different for me but I always start my day with writing down a to do list, it helps me start the day with a clear head and helps with productivity. I love a diary too. I have never managed to transition to an online diary, there is something about the act of writing something down that etches it into my head. I am naturally quite forgetful if I don’t write everything down. I always carry a diary and a notebook with me to write down ideas, inspiration and draw out compositions, as paintings always tend to pop into my head when I am out walking.
What piece of stationery can you not live without?
I love the Textured A5 Leather Notebook in Black (with monograming) it’s classic and sleek. I always choose timeless stationary in leather or linen. A5 is the perfect size to carry in with me on the go. I also love keeping a travel journal, I can’t wait to look back at our travel stories when were old and grey.
What does ‘own your story’ mean to you and how do you live an authentic life?
‘Own your story’ to me means knowing your own personal history and being proud of your roots. Each person has a different path in life and your journey to where you are today, be it good or bad, is ‘your’ path and it is what has shaped you into the person you are today.
I try live authentically by reminding myself to look inward to better myself in times of challenge and live respectfully towards my surroundings and the environment. I always trust my gut . stand for my beliefs and always remember to be kind.
How do you hope to inspire others?
It is extremely humbling to think my work inspires others. I hope my paintings evoke emotions in the viewer and make their mind wander taking them away from the routine of life just for a moment of freedom.
If you could say one thing to the world through your work, what would you say?
I think the beauty of art is that is has a voice of it’s own that is entirely personal to the individual viewer. I find it difficult to title my works as they are a personal moment of feeling or experience I am going through during that time. I paint as my form of release and to attach my feelings to a painting doesn’t feel right. I hope that paintings evoke different feelings for each person and they find what they seek on the surface of the paper.
We hope Bobby’s story inspires you to explore and embrace your own. Discover our Own Your Story Collection here.
Watch our video with Emma Block here and Sweet Mickie here.