Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Clara Manfredi and I make monsters and creatures.
Why do you do what you do?
Omgosh, I do it because it makes me happy and because it makes people smile and reignites the sense of wonder we have as children.
What’s your background?
I’m not sure what this means.
Explain what you do in 100 words.
I typically tell people I make monsters.
How has your practice change over time?
Oh definitely, every day I learn new things, refine techniques, and stumble across new materials.
What art do you most identify with?
Brian Froud’s work is inspiring, but honestly anyone doing original creature design! I’m particularly in awe of and in love with my good friend PJ Halliwill’s work.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Um, obviously creature design is the top of my list...but I also love one on one art workshops, though I fear I’m not the best teacher because I’m pretty hands off. I really love to teach the bare basics and see where a person goes with them.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
Sitting in the woods watching the wildlife and imagining my own creatures living in the books and crannies of trees and rocks.
What themes do you pursue?
I love the outdoors, particularly temperate forests. There is something magical about moss, rocks, bones, feathers...I always want to capture that magic and I think it shows in my work.
What’s your scariest experience?
When my son was very young he was already showing sign of behavior and mood disorders. It was really scary because he was hurting himself and others and I didn’t know how to help him. It took a few years and a small team of people but he’s doing so awesome now...in fact he’s nearly ready to stop seeing our in home counselor!!!!
What’s your favourite art work?
I’m not sure I could pick one but Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is definitely in my top 5. The light in that painting is just gorgeous and she looks like you could touch her cheek and it would be warm.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Ummm, there’s so many. I’m horrifically awkward.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I’m a risk taker by nature and I love learning new things. I’ve done customer service, tattooed and pierced, been a truck dispatcher, more recently I got my CDL. I drive school bus and drive a renovated transit bus that’s been turned into a mobile art studio that I assistant teach pre k art classes out of.
Why breath or eat? Because I have to, it’s part of who I am and part of me would suffocate if I didn’t.
What is an artistic outlook on life?
I don’t know!?
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Smiles, I love when it makes people smile.
What song inspires you?
I couldn’t pick one if I tried!
What do you dislike about the art world?
Snobbery, I hate how if it isn’t fine art it isn’t taken seriously as art.
What makes you angry?
Willful ignorance and cruelty
What superpower would you have and why?
Honestly I don’t think I’d want one. Maybe some kind of mutant healing factor??? I suffer from multiple autoimmune disorders, if my body could just heal itself that’d be amazing!
Name something you love, and why.
Sunlight, because everything I love needs it.
What is your dream project?
To build an art studio in my yard so I’m not working out of the corner of my living room anymore.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Brian Froud, Jim Henson, Pj Halliwill
Favourite or most inspirational place?
The woods always the woods
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Redefine success so that you are working towards a life that’s yours not everyone else’s
What would you like to be remembered for?
Leaving the world just a little bit better, brighter, and happier