Monday, February 16, 2009

Claire Teschel

I've recently become a huge fan of Claire's paint chip collages - I think they're plain genius and sorta kicking myself in the butt for not knowing about them sooner. And did I mention that she's also the creator of - an awesome awesome photoblog dedicated to color palettes?? See more of her genius work over at & don't forget to check out her etsy shop at!

1. How would you describe your style?

My style is primarily collage-based. I use magazine clippings, pieces from vintage books, and anything else I can find, then I collage those pieces onto the paint chips (those colored swatches you pick up from Home Depot or Lowes). I choose the paint chips based solely on the name, not the color. For example Faraway Blue is one of my favorites. So many different ideas can come from just one phrase. Then through the use of collage, I create visual and verbal connections to the paint chips.

2. One of the hardest things for artists to do is to stand apart from everyone else. How long did it take you to come up with your own style and signature look? What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?

It definitely took me a while to find my own style. I've always been a fan of soft colors, clean type, and simple layouts. I've never been one for clutter. I try to make that clear in my work. But sometimes I see my style changing a bit from project to project. I always embrace the change because it can take me somewhere totally different and unexpected. As for advice for aspiring artists, I would recommend not thinking so much about it. Once I stopped thinking and let my hands do the work, I found myself in a whole other world.

3. What was it that made you want to start creating? Did something specific trigger it?

As cliche as it may sound, life makes me want to create. There are too many lovely things in the world to not be capturing them through art. Appreciate the little things. My time in Savannah made me realize this. I would walk around the squares and parks there and breathe in the jasmine and magnolia. Everything was so beautiful. That was all I needed.

4. How long have you been doing this for and how did it all begin?

As for my paint chip project (also called More Than Just A Color), yes, something did trigger it. Almost 2 years ago, one of my good friends in Savannah wrote me a note on a paint chip because that was all she could find in her purse. The paint chip was light blue and it said Porch Swing. I was hooked. Each one is so very personable and can relate to any emotion or state of mind (plus I love porch swings). :)

5. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills?

Right now, I'm making art full-time. I was working in greeting card design for a few months, but am back doing my own thing for a bit. Etsy helps pay the bills, and I sell a few pieces locally as well. I've also been working on a palette blog to examine colors more deeply.

6. Lastly, have you developed any odd quirky habits (that you'd be willing to share) from working by yourself for so long.

I have plenty of quirky habits, so let me think here..
I wear a scarf and a hat every time I work in my studio. Not that it is cold, but i just feel a bit more colorful. Oh, and sometimes my red gloves :)

Thanks Claire!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Awesome! These are SO cool and I didn't know about them to check out her shop and thank you for the introduction..

lolasmom said...

i've always thought paint chips are so inspiring. inspiring as to what, i wasn't quite sure until today.

great find!

tara -

Marichelle said...

hi Melis and Tara!