Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Artist excited to grow new business

baby thank you card

ARTIST and designer Clare Curran from Muff started off her creative career when she studied art and design at North West Regional College in Derry for two years.

Shortly after she went on to achieve a first class honours degree in fashion and textiles specialising in printed design from the University of Ulster Belfast.

Clare has always been an extremely innovative and creative person and despite working in retail for the past number of years she has decided that the time is right to pursue her love of Art and design and has recently set up a design business called ‘Designs by Clare’.


Clare’s work focuses on creating unique, handmade and personalised gifts for all occasions. Clare creates beautiful wedding invitations, portrait drawings, wedding table plans, unique personalised cards and gifts to suit a range of special occasions.

What I personally admire about Clare’s work is the attention to detail in each piece and the way each piece is very thoughtfully designed and created with her client in mind.

I caught up with Clare to find out more about this talented designer and what the future holds for her exciting new business ‘Designs By Clare’.

“I love to work with different mediums so I have never really limited myself to just one. At college I specialised in printed textiles where I used a process called screen printing which is transferring ink though a screen onto a preferred material.

“Since leaving college however and having a career in retail I have loved spending my spare time unwinding by designing, creating and selling a range of personalised crafts for all of those special occasions in our lives.”

Clare Curran.

Clare Curran.

Clare believes that if you are a creative person you can create beautiful work with the simplest of tools. “I naturally love creating patterns as I studied print at college, and I love all things cute…hearts, bows, buttons to name but a few, so I would say my style is pretty girly and quirky . I’m also a perfectionist so everything needs to be of a high standard.”


Clare’s favourite personal piece is a pencil drawing he and her husband when they first started dating. “It is something sentimental that we will have forever and this is what I like creating for other people,” she said.

Clare is currently working on wedding invites. “They are time consuming but it’s so rewarding when you see the finished product.
“I made my own wedding invites in 2012, and since then I have been making them for others. I found it hard to find something in my own taste so decided to make my own.

“People can come to me with a theme or an idea they have, and I come back to them with mock ups to choose from. I think it’s really lovely to have an invite that is unique and personal to the couple,” she said.
Clare is very versatile and has even put her hand to designing fashion for men. “I did a placement year with Dunnes Stores Head Office designing menswear which I loved. There are actually still products selling in Dunnes that I designed.”

Designs for Dunnes

Clare’s family are all very good working with their hands and she was brought up drawing, sewing and creating.
“It has never really left me, so my family are a huge source of inspiration. Everything around me inspires me, beauty can be found anywhere if you’re looking in the correct way.”

Clare loves the quote, ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’. “This is my goal, to eventually make a living and a business out of what I love doing, designing and creating work that people are happy to pay for and to continue to grow and develop Designs by Clare.”

Contact ‘Designs By Clare’ via Facebook: ‘Designs by Clare’ or e-mail:, online shop

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’,, e-mail is, Twitter @zaramcdaidart and Instragram ZARA MC DAID

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