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Beach Meets : Holly St Clair

WE loved Holly’s Camberwell degree show so much last year, that we immediately gave her (and Hi-Bye studio partner-in-crime Lily Kong) the second show at our gallery space above Camden’s Daughter.

We’ve worked with her since on a whole bunch of stuff, notably our #GoalSquad series for Lululemon – which saw Holly scrawling over Lululemons’s flagship Regent St. store – and are holding some of her funnnnn merch bits on the site.

We popped by her home studio and chatted about her favourite zines, amongst some other stuff:

Where is your studio?

I’m currently living and working in Kingston – got a nice bedroom studio situation going on.

Affordable London spaces are few and far between now, it’s referred to as ‘Peak London’! Is the struggle real?

Too real. Hence the bedroom situation! Having a studio space in uni was honestly the best – I remember in the summer and during the holidays when I lived in Camberwell was awful. I kept working in bed! I’d sit at my desk (had a proper depressing view of some tower blocks and a building site) and look at my bed and think about how much comfier it would be to sit there or snug wrapped in a duvet. Next thing you know I’m watching four series worth of Tattoo Fixers and having a nap! It’s not so bad in this room, I’m lucky because my sleeping area is pretty tucked away – out of sight out of mind. I do miss having my pals around to work with though!

What kind of things have happened/are happening in your studio?

I’m working on a few exciting projects right now, I’ve got a few shows coming up that I’m prepping for. I’m heading to Dusseldorf this weekend for a group show in the NRW Forum. It’s all about pizza – I’m pumped! I’ve also been commissioned to start work on a children’s clothing line – can’t say much on it now, but I think it’ll be really fun.  

There is an essence of urban (insert better word here) language in your work, can you elaborate on where this comes from.

I don’t think anyone’s described me as urban before, haha! I know what you mean though. The fact is I’m incredible nosy and I’m always listening to other people’s conversations – which is where most of the syntax and the ideas for my drawings come from. I’m really into language and idioms and all that. People have such funny and beautiful ways of expressing themselves.

Should we talk about your hat with a hat on it?

Yes, we should! The idea was a dumb one. I wanted to make hats so I started drawing hats, and I was like, yo, that hat is sweet. I should put that hat on a hat. A few people have suggested I start a whole line – t-shirts on t-shirts, pants on pants, socks on socks. I’m tempted but I can’t figure out how to make an enamel pin pin. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate your fondness of zines?

Haha! How can I possibly rate my love for zines? Got to be a 10/10. I’ve built up a pretty big collection, the variety means I’m never bored by them. Most are illustration based but I’ve got some great ones about food, politics and the like. 

Top 3 Zines

Blueberry Belly – Misaki Kawai

My boyfriend bought this for me for Christmas, it’s one of my most prized possessions. I’ve been a fan of Misaki’s work for years and years. I’m obsessed by heta-uma style illustration – even wrote my dissertation about it! I really admire anybody who can draw without feeling the need to correct or neaten. No hesitation at all. The immediacy of it is fantastic, has this great raw energy. 

1 2 Punch – OPPT

Got this off my Internet buddy Sean Suchara, a super talented graphic designer. It’s a catalogue of bits aimed at reconnecting Long Island Rail Road commuters with their physical environment. As someone who’s commuted for years, it just really appealed to me as an idea. As well as the content, the format is really unique! It folds out into a tabloid size newspaper.

That’s Life – Super Freak

This is such a little joy! Dan’s work is amazing. Lovely primary colour risograph print, plastikoil binding, playful illustration what’s not to love? It’s all about how being an adult sucks – but that’s life!

Thanks Holly! Zine pics in the images…

Shop Holly’s stuff here! 15% OFF IT ALL with ‘hollymeets’