Meet the artist- Pip Claffey

Where is home?

The Northwest of England. It’s pancake flat here but we have lots of quiet country lines not too far from the house. Better yet we are a less than 2 hours from the Lakes and the Peak District when we want to do some more challenging terrain. 

It's funny isn't it, we've been through the area a few times and I think us Southerners think the North is all hilly but a lot of it is really flat! Have you got any favourite routes in the Peaks or the Lakes? I know you're off to the Lakes soon!

We have a great loop that circles round Hawkeshead and Ambleside, and includes a short ferry ride from Sawrey (where Beatrix Potters farm is) over to Windermere. It's a lovely loop. Fish and Chips looking over Lake Windermere is a great way to end the ride.

Have you always worked freelance or was there a boss once?

I went freelance in May 2018, starting up Rune-Creative. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love. I do freelance illustration and Design but I also have a little shop on Etsy (search pipjrune). Before that I worked for over 15 years as a graphic designer for various companies and more recently Liverpool Football Club. I learnt a lot in my time at the Club but also realised my passion for illustration and more creative career so that gave me the impetus to get out on my own, I have never looked back. 

You have a really distinctive style. Apart from Star Wars and cycling where else do you get your inspiration? Are there any artists that have influenced your style?

Inspiration comes from a lot of different places but there are also lots of illustrators I really like. In particular Quentin Blake, he probably kicked off my passion for illustration as very small child. I think there is a lot of  Quentin in the Duck jersey I designed for Blackmore. I also love Tin Tin. I have a few vintage Tin Tin comics framed in my home that are cycling themed so it's a win win.  

I love the garden birds project you posted in your blog. There must be at least a cap there somewhere! We'd love to produce that one day!

Yes that was a popular print. I made a batch of Bullfinch caps they've sold really well. I have a Zebra finch cap currently in production 👍 Turns out lots of cyclists are twitchers too ☺️

 Yes, we certainly are! What do you enjoy doing outside of your art?

Cycling is my passion - It clears my head and keeps me balanced. I also have recently started learning photography, it was a great distraction during lockdown. Really anything outdoors is fine by me. I have really missed travelling this past year or so and I’m looking forward to getting away and taking photos in new and exciting places. 

 Where is your next bike trip?

We’re touring round the Scottish Highlands this June. My in laws have very kindly let us take their camper van!! This has been on my bucket list for years so I’m really excited. We will be taking our gravel bikes so we can really explore. I can't wait. 

 We have an office dog called Dave. He has his own line of coffee. Do you have any pets and do you have any plans on merchandising them? Or have you already?

 I don't have any pets. We adopted a cat when we were kids and he was totally bananas and a bit feral! His antics were very funny at times but I think it also scared me for life. I have done a few portraits of owners and their pets but no merch as yet. 

 Ha! Fair enough. Well we hope everyone loves our collaboration. I'm sure they will! What are you up to for the rest of your day?

 I'm packing like mad for our Lakes trip! Lots of gear and 3 maybe 4 cameras. I also have some amends to do for a client. I'm looking forward to bring able to chill with a glass of red later 😜