October 28, 2010

i'm a pretty lucky girl.

while working in the magazine business in birmingham i had constantly heard of this magnificent designer, CLAIRE CORMANY. in fact, at one point she was working as the art director for a magazine that i was with. everyone was totally enthralled by her. month by month i would look at the blues {the first set of pages from the printer} hanging from a wire on our back wall of the office and think "who is this mystery woman who does this amazing work? every time. she never fails." her layouts and designs were all her own. but to me she was phantom because she worked from her own space. years later i met this mystery woman and found out why she worked in her own space. probably because claire actually resembles the hindu goddess, kali. she must have four arms- one that holds a paint brush as she paints a beautiful abstract, another holding a bass guitar for her former band kiss me at the gate or electroliner, a third stretched towards her computer creating a masterpiece in the form of layout, and a fourth showing love to one of her many friends. she is unlike any other. and so i must share her with you now:

photo taken on a recent trip to spain.
q: what inspires you most?
a:Water inspires me most. I know it sounds cheesy {no way!}. I have finally come to this conclusion. I feel like I can actually breathe when I'm near the ocean, or swimming across a lake's surface. The expansiveness opens my mind and the ideas start to flow. I love the way light sparkles on the surface like glinting diamonds and how no wave is ever the same twice. And ELO {that's Electric Light Orchestra, for those of you who are confused right now}. The complexities and layers in their music excites my imagination and makes me want to create stuff.

q: fill in the blank i like to design _______. i like to paint _____. 
I love to design magazines. A lot. Probably because I find such a self-indulgent pleasure in reading them as well. I love trying to tell the story the best way I can through images and text. I love video and the web as well for relating a story, but there's something very tangible and present about print. I also love to design packaging and branding materials. So much fun to create a brand.
I like to paint whatever I see. Really. Landscapes, streetscapes, people, animals—Growing up, I was hellbent on perfecting likeness in the portrait, drawing all of my classmates during Algebra and History because they had to sit still for an hour anyway. But now I favor more open forms, loose interpretations, letting the paint do what it does. Maybe I've mellowed. I doubt it.
 this is claire with a bass in her hands. yah.
q: fill in the blank. i love _________. {it can be ANYTHING}. 
I love it right before a thunderstorm when the wind whips through the trees and makes their leaves shake like tambourines. I love cheeseburgers with all my heart. And doughnuts. I love shoes more than I can relate. I love to play music with folks. It's like you're suspended from reality for a little while, traveling to this other dimension where—for a brief moment—everything makes sense. You forget where you are and what time it is—kind of like being in a casino.
q: what is your dream/goal for what is to come {professionally} with design and/or painting? 
I don't know if I have a dream goal per se- I'm a very "live for today" kind of girl. But I absolutely love to design, paint and write music, and if I can keep doing that, I will consider myself a pretty lucky girl.
where there is love, there is art. 


  1. Hayden,
    You are right, Claire is a delight! I used to love whenever she would come to the flower mag office when I worked there.

  2. Hayden, I just ran across your blog, and it is so beautiful! I love Claire as well and so enjoyed working with her at Portico!

    -Brittany Cooper (Thompson)