Clare is from Tainan, the fourth largest city and cultural center of southern Taiwan. While growing up in Taiwan, Clare was tutored by her uncle, a mid-career artist and art instructor. Apart from teaching her the fundamentals, he was a strong advocate and an influential role model in Clare’s pursuit to become an artist.
Instead of attending a regular high school Clare entered Tainan Woman’s College of Arts and Technology (TWCAT) when she was 14 years old. During her five years at TWCAT Clare developed her sense of balance, composition, structure, and learned the technical aspects of painting in various mediums. Clare’s interests during this time included playing the Chinese lute (pipa), photography, dance, and aboriginal art and music. Clare earned her Arts and Crafts diploma in 1999.
Clare’s uncle emigrated to Vancouver, BC and upon graduating from TWCAT, Clare moved to Vancouver to apprentice with her uncle and study fine art at Kwantlen University. At a critical juncture in her studies Clare decided to pursue a degree in graphic design to support her ultimate goal of painting full time. She transferred to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she completed her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in 2003.
Since graduating Clare has created award-winning design solutions for a multitude of clients both at world-class and local boutique agencies in San Francisco and Las Vegas. She also studied under two influential painters, and in early 2008 began to show her first series of paintings since moving to the United States.
Clare lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area where she continues to explore new interpretations of her experience as a Taiwanese artist abroad. She enjoys dancing, planting succulents and music in her free time as well as creating graphics inspired by her beloved country, Taiwan (www.mightytaiwan.com).
My artwork is influenced by having grown up in the East. Much of my work as a college student was inspired aboriginal dress and crafts. While my style has evolved, my color palette is still largely influenced by humble aboriginal traditions. For example, my palette consists primarily of bold primary colors, I use simple geometrical shapes and I leave ample open space in each painting. I may also use Sumi ink on rice paper or apply it directly to my paintings to balance out the color and add complexity.
Fifteen years of graphic design experience in academia and industry have strongly influenced my creative process and the final composition of each piece. I start each painting by sketching graphical elements on paper and using the sketch as an inspiration. While the final piece may not resemble the initial sketch, balance, harmony and structure are all based on the fundamentals of graphic design.
My latest series, “Tap”, has been inspired, in part, by my passion for tap dance. My home art studio doubles as dance studio where my children and I practice tap dance. We’ve been taking classes for a couple of years and I've become fascinated with the form. If I am ever stuck with a piece or just need a break, I practice tap for a while and come back with a clear mind. I have incorporated typeface in my tap series as it reminds me of tapping sounds from old typewriters. As a graphic designer and artist that loves old typewriters and tap dance, "Tap" describes the sounds coming from my studio and my heart.