A day in the life - joy clifton

Joy Clifton is a Seascape Artist, who paints stunning, contemporary seascapes, surf art & ocean adventures. Here’s a peek into a day in the life of running her creative business.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business

I’m originally from rural Warwickshire, where my parents nurtured my love for Art and the natural world. After completing an illustration degree and working as an Art & Design Teacher for many years, I have now made the switch to working as a full-time visual artist. I’m now based in London where I live with my husband and our two young boys. I am a competent water sports enthusiast mainly focusing on bodyboarding, surfing and scuba diving.

Having spent many years living by the ocean and travelling the world, I draw on this inspiration in my work. I experiment with the ever-changing state of the ocean, the ebb and flow of the tide, the intense and subtle colours the weather creates on and through the water.  I am passionate about marine life and I use my illustration skills to represent them in my artwork.  I use different mediums like watercolour, gouache and acrylics mixed with various textures to keep my work fresh. I experiment with different viewpoints of below the surface, in the curl of the wave, aerial and diving into the underwater world.

A day in the life – what does a day of running your creative business look like?

Wake up/start to the day – 6:45am we all get up in the Clifton household and I get my children ready for school! It’s complete chaos but all good!

Start work / morning – Once school drop off is done, I have a solid 3 hours working on paintings that are in progress which could be commissions for collectors or a series. Currently, I am working on acrylic wave paintings and also Christmas ceramic baubles which I am hand painting! 

Lunchtime – I collect my youngest from nursery then I do some admin work for my business whilst we have lunch.

Afternoon/finish work – My afternoon is normally time with my youngest, playing in the garden, playing with small world sea creatures his absolute favourite. Then it’s time to do the school pickup! Between 3:30pm till 7pm it’s homework, snacks, playtime, stories, dinner, bath, bed before I start working again.

Evening – Back to my work! I normally work 5 nights a week. So I continue painting or organising orders or planning out my Studio News email subscription I send out. I normally work for about 3-4 hours in the evening. Sometimes I paint for the whole time or pack orders for customers or wholesale. Then I finally go to bed around 11pm, sometimes midnight if I’m completely absorbed in a piece!

What’s your favourite:

Creative activity: Painting watercolour or acrylic but I also love trying new things – recently I made a wrap around skirt for myself!

Snack & drink: I absolutely love rice cakes and houmous or carrot sticks. I also love salted carmel vegan ice cream as a treat! Favourite drink in the winter is soya chai latte or a cheeky mulled wine in the evening.

TV series: I love wildlife programmes and my boys love Deadly 60. When the kids are in bed, I watch Home and Away or Married at First Sight! I watch a lot of World Surf League live on the internet.

Film: Point Break (the original), Endless Summer, Chasing Mavericks, any surf related film or period drama too!

Book/blog/magazine: Surfgirl Magazine, Carve Magazine, Wavelength Magazine, Coast Magazine and National Geographic.

Self-care: I take time out from my work by going to the beach on weekends, surfing when there are waves and rock pooling with the kids. I also do a lot of swimming as I just love being in the water. I am hoping to get back into Stand Up Paddle Boarding soon and also doing more open water swims.

Guilty pleasure: I can’t think of anything but I do love getting creative/ messy with the kids and making things outdoors. I just love experimenting and building dens with them!

Thanks so much Joy – your day sounds a lovely mix of creativity and family time!