This is the first in a series of interviews with Northern creatives about rest and what it means to them. In this interview, we ask several questions to Claire Fletcher, who is an illustrator and business owner from Manchester.
Q1: Firstly, what does rest mean to you?
Rest is an important factor in my life, but one which I often neglect. I burn out easily after a significant amount of overworking, and I do it more often than I realise.
Rest to me is to switch off from the world and focus on myself. To close my eyes and go into a deep sleep. To be able to stop the constant thoughts and worries rattling around in my head and dream of nothingness. To wake up feeling at ease and refreshed and to feel like I’ve slept for years. If I’m honest, I hardly ever feel well rested.
It also means to take time out and do something that’s not work related, something fun that I enjoy or to relax and chill in a quiet space. Not necessarily to sleep.
Q2: Do you think you let yourself rest enough, if not why not? what gets in the way?
No. I’m never able to switch off and relax or stop the worry. Owning my own shop (solo) and being an artist, who makes most of the work I stock, alongside other artists work, creates a vast task list. The responsibilities are endless, and the worry which comes with it is relentless.
I neglect this area too often and end up exhausted and then struggle mentally and physically afterwards for a significant amount of time. Which is counter productive really. But I guess many creatives are like this as we’re perfectionists, especially when it comes to our own work.
Q3: Lastly, Is there anything in any way creative or art-related that you’re created or are working on that you want to plug with our readers? or if not is there a cause or charity close to your heart that you want people to know about?
I have my own shop in Afflecks Palace in Manchester called My Cat Likes Cheese. The logo is Cheese Cat and he’s incredibly popular. I sell my own quirky artwork and have many products with my designs on, and I also stock other items by independent artists. Most of the stuff I sell is geeky pop culture, films, TV and even animals, especially cats. Everything is handmade and most items are unique one offs. I’m trying to champion artists and do something a little different to other traders, and I’m hoping it will be a big success so that I can finally finish my children’s book.
I’m currently working on a range of jewellery incorporating my designs, so that people can wear my art, because not everyone has wall space. I hope to get these released in the new year.
This is the end of the interview, we have more interviews with Northern creatives coming soon but for now please see the below links to learn more about Claire and her Business, we are also taking submissions for Issue 5 which is all about rest and would love for you to submit something for it if you're a fellow Northern creative! for more info please see the submission guidelines.
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We also have past issues of the magazine available in both PDF & physically plus currently 100% of the profits are going to Palestinian charities!
My Cat Likes Cheese