Meet the Makers: Clym Evernden
The world-renowned artist behind 2023's reimagined Beauty Advent Calendar, Liberty delves into the inner workings of Clym Evernden's mind
Champions of the creative spirit, we've always spotlighted those who go above and beyond to deliver the unexpected – and now we’d like to help push them forward. Join us as we share the stories of the most courageous changemakers, experimental artisans and progressive innovators that make the Liberty community so extraordinary
There’s something quite special about Clym Evernden’s artwork. But you likely already know that. If he’s not amassing likes in their thousands by sharing his incredibly charming artworks on Instagram, he’s working on commissions for the biggest brands in the fashion realm and beyond, transforming their products and ideas into extraordinary Clym-ified worlds that capture hidden corners of the imagination. So, this year, as we looked to reimagine one of the most special items of all – the iconic (and now sold-out) Liberty Beauty Advent Calendar 2023 – who better to call upon than Evernden to transform this beloved box into something of a magical world of wonder? Here, we delve a little deeper into his process, from his biggest distractions to his hard-earned tips for creativity…
INSIDE CLYM'S CREATIVE PROCESS
How Did Your Career History Lead You to the Work You’re Doing Now?
I’ve always drawn ever since I can remember. From an early age it was a skill I honed to express myself and visualise interests such as the natural world. I studied BA Fashion Design Womenswear at Central Saint Martins, and was fortunate enough to be taught by tutors such as Howard Tangye and Camilla Dixon who are themselves brilliant artists and illustrators, which was inspiring. After college I worked for a while in a design company, and I remember bumping into a Saint Martins tutor David Kappo on Old Street roundabout on my way home from work. He suggested that I might be able to make a living as an illustrator, so I started pursuing this route more seriously which I’d already been entertaining via magazine commissions since around the age of 18.
Later, I joined Instagram when it was still a fairly new app and started @clymdraws. My very first posts were quick sketches of people on the street which echoed the rise of street style photography around that time. I took another leaf from photographers' careers by drawing live backstage at fashion shows and industry parties, where I also started meeting new people and clients. I knew photographers were paid to cover these kind of events, and being able to draw quickly I thought why not capture people in ink. I started being hired to do this, as a sketch proved not only to be a unique keepsake but also something that would promote the event on social media when the guest posted an image of it.
From this point my audience started growing @clymdraws and in turn my client base expanded globally. I then actively aimed to work with a variety of industries and demonstrate versatility, whether it be drawing a building, piece of jewellery, or even a new form of software. I’m grateful that clients have gradually grown confident in giving me creative control to oversee large brand partnerships which often encompass product design, visual merchandising and profile pieces such as this one, to create well rounded and unique artist collaborations.
On Clym's Wishlist
When Are You at Your Most Creative?
For me this has a lot to do with energy. So I’m often my most creative when I’ve had good sleep and feel energised from the gym or a long walk. I think there’s a misconception that if you work for yourself as a creative you should be tied to your desk as if you were in an office. I’ve learned from experience that it benefits my output and creativity to drop everything and take time out each day to energise and bring a spark to my work.
I think my best ideas come from a unique way of seeing things. Visual information which might be a combination of conscious research and subliminal observations in my memory is then processed or edited via a certain attitude, flair, or wit in the way that I interpret my subject matter.
What’s Your Biggest Distraction?
Well, I’m easily distracted, so many things can cause this. Working for myself I’m often distracted by the weather. If it looks beautiful outside I have to drop everything and get out. During the summer months there’s something about the evenings when it’s still light, or golden hour, I guess, which means I just have to get outside and take it all in. And if the sun happens to make an appearance during winter in the UK, then forget it – I’m outside.
What Does Success Look Like to You?
I think success is measured well by how happy you are, and what impact you have on others and your environment. I think it’s old fashioned to view success as something born from competitiveness or fierce ambition. So for me being successful is being able to work for myself and have freedom to be creative, whilst hopefully providing others with joy through my work. I think it’s always important to congratulate yourself on where you’ve got to no matter how big or small the advancement without measuring yourself against others, rather than forever charging ahead towards a new goal without looking back.
What Are Your Three Best Tips for Creativity?
Explore new ground. I think it can be creative to be outside your comfort zone whether this means working outside the medium or style that you assumed was your destined route, or simply being in a new or inspiring location.
Work with others. Discussing ideas with friends or in a group setting can be very creative.
Have fun. Playing and laughing is creative, even if it’s simply the way you describe something funny to your friends without putting pen to paper. However if you also manage to draw a quick cartoon to describe the anecdote even better!