Ten Facts About Me

by Claire Senior
  1. I love pancakes. It’s my birthday tradition that we always go out for breakfast pancakes. BUT my business name doesn’t comes from my love of pancakes, it comes from a quote from a book called The Third Policeman. When things go awry in the story, one of the characters has a habit of musing on it with quips like “that is a most curious pancake” and I loved the phrase!
  2. I never got any artwork on Tony Hart’s Gallery (only people of a certain age will even know what this is!), but Phillip Schofield displayed my artwork in the Broom Cupboard (waaaay before CBeebies!) back in the 80s, and I got a signed autograph, back when he still had brown hair!
  3. I broke my right arm when I was 11, falling from something I shouldn’t have been climbing! My arm went in a lovely “S” shape. It was well broken. The hospital set my arm badly and it had to be re-broken and re-set 6 weeks later! Brutal!
  4. I have always loved illustrating. And I have always loved animals. When I first got a dog, at the age of 12, I was so beside-myself-happy that I couldn’t stop drawing him. You can see the only drawing I have left of him attached to this post.
  5. I have life modelled on and off for 10 years. It’s no big deal to me, but people often act really surprised! It was good pocket money. As an art student, I knew that life class was nothing to be scared of, and, rather than people juding your fat (fat = good as there’s lots of exciting folds to draw!) they’re just trying to get your weird shaped head to look right on the paper! Still, picking a pose where you’re not going to be aching like hell after 10 minutes is a real skill! I nearly fainted once after picking a bad pose, and trying to get up gracefully, after sitting on a leg that’s gone dead for 10 minutes, is nigh on impossible. You think falling over is embarrassing? It certainly goes up a level when you’re naked in front of 20 people!
  6. I ADORE musicals. My favourite is probably Singing In The Rain.
  7. I’m not very good at remembering people’s faces. Or names. I’m constantly embarrassing myself with my own social awkwardness. I can say the stupidest of things. If I’ve ever said something stupid in front of you, believe me I’ve agonised over it for weeks (and sometimes) years afterwards. This is my brain’s gift to me.
  8. When my mum died, I started meditating with the Headspace app. It’s helped me to live in the present more.
  9. I was once addicted to tea. Back when I was a student I would have at least 10 cups a day. I probably have around 5 a day now. Tea really is a cure-all and comfort for me. My favourite is any Assam blend, so Yorkshire Gold or Tetley is just fine. I like it the colour of He-Man, with oat milk!
  10. I have a first class degree in Illustration. I loved my time at Uni. I learnt a lot, it was a really intensive (often stressful!) course. When you talk about an arts education, people assume it’s a bit of a cop out degree, that you spent 3 years “colouring in” or something, but I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Well, until I started working for myself that is! I can’t say that the degree opened any doors for me. We’re not living in a movie here. I remember applying to over 200 places in my first summer after graduating and receiving nothing back. I left with the same debt that everyone else left with, and I still have that debt! All that aside, I’m proud of my achievement, I worked my ass off for that degree, and it remains (however distantly) a testament to what I can do when I stop watching the box sets or judging myself by other people’s successes and apply myself!