The Creative Life in Our Cities: A Conversation with Claire George

We have many talented artists and creatives living and working in our Farmington/Farmington Hills community and our weekly interview series, sponsored by City Life Realty, will introduce you to some of them.

Today we feature artist Claire George.

When did you first get started in the arts?

I’ve been drawing and making art for as long as I can remember. My mom being the imaginative and lovely English teacher that she is, encouraged exploring creativity in every aspect. I’ve been drawing and painting since I could pick up a pencil and as a kid I read every book I could get my hands on. Creative things were just always around.

Did you partake in formal art classes? If so, where and what did you enjoy about the experience?

I started taking formal art lessons when I was in the 5th grade and continued until I was a sophomore in high school. The following summers I enrolled in pre-college summer programs at Columbus College of Art and Design before my Junior and Senior years of high school. After graduating from Farmington High, I went to Columbus College of Art and Design on a scholarship and received my bachelor’s degree in illustration.

The majority of my classes in college were art related so I was beyond excited that I really got to focus on what I wanted to, and work on skills that I planned to use for the future. It was very nice being in an environment that nurtured my design skills.

Who has been a mentor to you along the way?

My dad has probably been one of the biggest mentors in my life. Being a retired FBI agent, he’s not much of an artist himself (though he really isn’t bad …) but he always encouraged me to be who I was and when he saw I was into art he embraced it. Honestly though, my parents were both very supportive, and even excited when I told them I wanted to go to art school. I was luckier than a lot of my friends and classmates around me.

Why is celebrating and promoting art healthy for a community?

Communities are comprised of diverse people having multiple perspectives to share. Art can share those perspectives unrestricted by language or culture, and thereby share ideas, open minds and influence communities for the better. Specifically, art is a strong form of communication because it directly affects how people feel. With only a glance, it can amuse and entertain, market a product or even make impactful political statements. Art in the community starts conversations about important current events or can simply brighten up a room. Art enriches life and generates joy as well as other emotions. A community is lessened by not having those things.

What advice or suggestions do you have for younger artists?

Just don’t quit. If an artist is better than you, it doesn’t make you any less good, and if something doesn’t come out exactly the way you planned, that’s still okay too. Good art is anything that makes you feel an emotion, so if your art connects with you or someone else in any way, it’s good art.

Learn more about Claire George and her work

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