Root’d: What medium/materials do you work with?
Claiborne: I work with acrylic, graphite, and pastels on raw cotton canvas or watercolor paper.
R: How long have you been “making”?
C: Ever since I could hold a pencil. I’ve been scribbling, scrawling, and making marks my entire life.
R: Where do you draw your greatest inspiration?
C: From nature. Being outside and active has always recharged my energies. It makes me feel connected to something bigger and gives me perspective. I love to observe nature through an artistic eye and imagine how I would paint and interpret different landscapes.
R: Who was your biggest supporter in starting out?
C: When I was young, my second-grade teacher told my parents not to ignore my creativity. Apparently, I was really good at drawing trees. Since then, my parents have wholeheartedly supported me and never questioned my artistic path. In my adult life, my partner has always made a point to prioritize my career in arts. He’s my No. 1 Fanboy, and it’s honestly amazing to have that shared goal as we continue to build our lives together.
R: What would be your suggestion for someone stuck in a creative rut?
C: Go outside, take a walk around the block and change your perspective. Then get back in the studio, chair, whatever and make something. Even if it’s terrible, make it and move on.
R: What’s your favorite part about doing what you do?
C: I’m always learning something new or improving a skill. I feel like a detective honing in on a craft. I also get to spend a lot of time with myself. I love being independent and self-sufficient. It requires a lot of self-awareness – it’s as much a challenge as it is a reward, but it’s worth it.
R: How do you best stay focused on goals for your company?
C: I’ve started setting short and long-term goals and check in with myself often. Writing it down makes it real and something concrete to plan towards. I love checking off boxes or scratching through something when I am finished. It’s silly, but it gives a sense of accomplishment and motivates me to do more and more.
R: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, share a photo with us!
C: Right now I really like this 30” x 30” piece I named Black Tupelo. The black has a lot of depth, and I love how it is offset with the burnt umber color. Even though there is strong darkness, it still feels joyful. I really like the interplay between opposites and how they complement one another.