Meet Clara Jonas Illustrator and Designer and the creative behind Wanderlustlife's Birthstone Collection

Posted by Sarah Jane Humphrey on

I first met Clara when she was studying here at University in Falmouth, we immediately struck accord with creative conversations around illustration, and I have very much enjoyed following her success as an artist ever since. Over the years our paths have crossed here and there and most recently when I discovered Clara as the illustrator behind our jewellery range from Wanderlustlife. You will probably recognise pieces of Clara's work from her astounding portfolio, with clients such as Finisterre, Jubel and many, many others!


Introducing Clara 

My name is Clara Jonas and I am an illustrator and graphic designer based in North Cornwall. 

I believe in lifestyle based creativity and working practises, as well connecting with those who are helping invest in a better, more balanced and sustainable future for ourselves and the earth. The work I do, is of course a product of where I put my attention and the inspiration I find there - be that the sea and the outdoors or the more abstract and personal. 


Photography: Meg Hemsworth | Location: Hailer Media in St Agnes 

BA. What inspired you to start a career in illustration?

I come from a creative family, so it felt quite natural to pursue something in that vein, but I guess there was never really a moment where I consciously chose illustration. It was more as if my practise grew quite naturally alongside, until one day it was the most obvious and feasible choice. 


BA. Can you tell us a little bit about your process?

For me a lot of the joy is in the research and inspiration. So that could be something like an old photo, or a lyric/quote sometimes, and that’s where imagery starts springing to mind. I then start roughing out the piece with lots of sketches until it is ready to be rendered or digitised. Once I have the digital file then I can start playing around with composition / type etc and where the exciting moments happen. 


BA. Does your location influence your style, and where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?

Definitely, I am very inspired by the small, creative surf culture that Cornwall holds, as well as the natural beauty of the landscape and ocean. In the wider sense I find inspiration in ancient mythologies, modern ideas, ephemeral feelings and all those good things. A cross section of my own experiences and connections, and more significant, abstract concepts. 


Photography: Meg Hemsworth 

BA. What aspect of your being an illustrator do you enjoy most?

I guess it’s probably the work/life balance I’ve managed to find in a freelance career, but in terms of the work itself it is probably the moment when all the hard work from the hand rendering can be digitised, and you can see the almost final product in real, as opposed to just your minds eye. 


BA. We love the illustrations for Wanderlustlife with the birthstone collection, do you have a favourite? If so, can you tell us why?

Thank you so much, that series was so lovely to create. I think my favourite might have been September with the winged lion. I love mythology and mythological beasts; I think they conjure such powerful imagery so that resonated with me. 


BA. You have had some awesome collaborations with some great brands. If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

I’ve been so lucky that I have been able to work with some great brands, large and small. I think an ideal client would be something a bit different now, like a tarot card or zodiac collection with a spiritualist / astrologer or something amazing like that. Or an artistic collaboration with a sustainable. clothing brand. It would be lovely to do some more editorial work as well, so something book/magazine related would be amazing. I have lots of names in my head, but am a bit scared of jinxing it if I share haha... 


BA. Finally, we love the way you use symbolism in your illustrations. If you could choose one plant or flower to illustrate what would it be?

I love symbolism, and the symbolism of so many plants and flowers are really rich and full of meaning. A plant I would love to illustrate is a lotus which transcends cultures as a symbol of enlightenment and re-birth. 

Images: Meg Hemsworth | Location: Hailer Media in St Agnes  

Photography: Meg Hemsworth | Location: Hailer Media in St Agnes 

You can discover more of Clara's work here 

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