Caroline Clarke is a talented Multidisciplinary Designer based in Sheffield. She currently works as a CAD Designer while using her spare time to work on freelance projects, mostly for climbing companies across the UK who are looking to produce products using 3D manufacturing methods. Her skills range from idea generation, through to furniture manufacturing, using a mix of both traditional and modern joinery techniques, and she creates and sells her own original artwork! Here she tells North Core Creative about why it is important to have confidence in your ability when pushing for a career in design and why you should always follow what makes you happy.
North Core Creative: Did you know you always wanted to be a designer?
Caroline Clarke: Not at all! Art and design were always something that I did just for fun, or to help me process things. Despite being surrounded by an artistic family, I never considered a creative route for me professionally until I was about 17.
NCC: Tell us about how you got started. What drove your passion for design?
CC: My path to design all started at university. Originally, I looked at going to university to study Criminology, but after attending an open day I realised academia really didn't inspire me. Instead of following what I thought was the correct route to be "successful", I decided to look at what makes me happy and what I spend most of my free time doing. So, I took a course in Furniture Design, and tried not to worry about what I would do post-uni!
It's been challenging not knowing where a career in design would take me, but I have confidence that as long as I'm doing what makes me happy, then I can't go too far wrong.
NCC: Do you have any fellow artists/designers who give you inspiration for your work?
CC: There are so many inspiring people out there, it's hard to pick one! Different people inspire me for different reasons.
NCC: What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow their passion in design?
CC: Have belief in yourself and your skills - one of the hardest things is believing that your art/designs are any good. But if you enjoy it, that reflects in your work and they turn out great! Also, don't let anyone tell you a career in design isn't a worthwhile thing to follow! Not everyone can be barristers.
NCC: What’s your proudest project to date?
CC: My proudest project is probably my Onsight Chair (https://www.clarkiedesign.co.uk/onsite-chair). This was created for my final project at university and I had full free reign over the brief, design, and the materials. The timber I chose was beautiful to work with and has darkened over time, creating a gorgeous contrast against the green webbing. Although it was created for an outdoor environment, it sits pride of place in my living room and everyone who sits in it comments on how comfy they find it! I learnt a lot through doing that project and I will carry those skills with me forever.