I am part of a collective comprised of three other artists/illustrators. This is the mission statement of the collective which I wrote to accompany our launch exhibition, "Nocturnal Meanderings":
Studio Clowder consists of four artists/illustrators who work incredibly hard and have a deep passion for imaginative creation, be it picture book illustration, sculpture, painting, drawing, animation, voice-acting, make-up or even creative writing. The members of the collective are: Linki Lutz, Chris Venter, Martinus Van Tee and David Griessel.
Being workaholics with some very niche interests (examples include: paper grammage, obscure illustrators, needle felting etc.) can be quite isolating, and a significant component of the collective is simply having gatherings and talking for many hours about things that would make non-illustrative artists (understandably) die of boredom. We also learn a lot from each other and have a good (and necessary) time venting about the frustrations and anxieties inherent to being a full time freelance image creator.
In the midst of these informal social gatherings we organise exhibitions and related projects. Studio Clowder is a creative collective where we hope to support and motivate each other in the hope of attaining the type of creative fulfilment we would not have achieved individually.
And lastly, what does the term clowder mean? Well, ‘clowder’, is the collective noun for a group of cats. We are a team of four individualistic and capable people, not unlike our feline friends. On the one hand, the skill pool we create collectively is quite extraordinary, but on the other, coming to a consensus about anything, including the collective’s name is a long process of discussion and debate. Trying to work together sometimes feels like herding cats – not the easiest task, but ultimately very fulfilling. And I know that analogy doesn’t completely work, but who knows? Maybe herding cats is extremely fulfilling – when we meet a cat-herder we will ask her.