Irish Clementine Egan has a unique way of making art. She paints textured images and sculpts using glue.
Outside of art, she is the assistant perishables supervisor at the Southern Hills Hy-Vee, where she has been for two years.
Her favorite thing to do is to stay home and create with the company of her three dogs. She loves to paint, crochet or melt things together.
You can find her work on Instagram @clemgoat.
Weekender: When did you start creating art?
Egan: “Since I could pick anything up, to be honest. I used to take my little sister’s formula and dump it out, rub stuff into it and spread it all over the floor before trying to get my mom to take pictures of it. I found a couple of books I made when I was 4. I sewed them together and made little stories. I basically started when I was 3 or 4.”
Weekender: What makes you different than other artists?
Egan: “I don’t really do art to feel good or express. A lot of people do it to let feelings out. Most of the time I create art to pass the time. I really wanted to be a writer for a long time, but I suck at it. Then I figured out I’m pretty decent at this art.”
Weekender: Who are some of your artistic influences?
Egan: “I really enjoy Chad Dunning’s stuff. He’s one of my favorite people. Most of his stuff involves (expletive), but it’s still pretty hilarious. I actually met Chad by trading art with him when I worked at Main Street Hy-Vee. He had all these weird books with him, so we started trading. I also like Valfre on Instagram. My older sister, Savannah Gerena, would probably be my biggest inspiration for art. She does things like melting people and things you wouldn’t really want to look at. I just love that.”
Weekender: What is your favorite medium?
Egan: “I mostly use glue. I love glue. I do a lot of papier-mache. I like to walk down alleyways and pick up little pieces of metal. I like to make wind chimes out of nails; stuff like that…anything I can be messy with. Nothing with straight lines or shading; I like to be a bit ugly.”
Weekender: What inspires you to create?
Egan: “I think nature is the first thing I look at. My dad is a landscaper and one of his biggest goals in life is to name every tree he looks at. I always try to point out plants to see if he can name them, then I see if I can make something that resembles those plants. I like the textures; I’m mostly a texture person, I think.”
Weekender: What kind of mindset do you have to be in to create?
Egan: “Most of the time I’m a pretty moody, emotional person. I like all the romantic literature; not the lovey-dovey stuff, but romanticized theories and dramatic irony. I’ve been obsessed with feelings. I don’t think I do it for art. I’m like that all the time.”
Weekender: What is your creative process?
Egan: “I love going to thrift stores and rummage sales and finding a canvas that has already been painted on. I like to start it all over; add to it or melt things to it. I’ll do a lot of stuff on cardboard or random pieces of things I find in dumpsters, and I just paint on top of it.”
Weekender: Do you feel it’s hard to let go of original pieces when you sell them?
Egan: “No, not at all. I like making art for people versus just for myself. Most of the pieces I have are already claimed by friends and family.”
Weekender: Why do you create art? What does it do for you?
Egan: “It just makes me happy, really. I get super easily controlled by emotions sometimes, so it’s easy to distract myself with art.”
Weekender: Do you ever have to force it, or does it always come naturally?
Egan: “If I’m using a pen or a pencil, I 100 percent have to force it. I do not like using either of those things. When it comes to just piling stuff on top of each other and melting, gluing or blow-torching it, then no effort or process, whatsoever. I just build and take away as I want to. Some days I’ll paint a project white and just start all over. I’ll chisel things off of it and glue new things onto it.
Weekender: What is your goal as an artist?
Egan: “I just want to make people around me realize that even if they think they suck, they can do things to make themselves feel happy. I used to get really jealous of people’s talent. I always wanted to be really good at something, but I’ve always been mediocre. Once I realized that it was making me happy, nothing else mattered. If other people can get that from looking at my stuff, I think that would be really cool."