Claire Murphy's #OneADay

In an Insta-world full of Kimoji’s, duck-face-selfies, and cats ‘playing the piano’- it can, at times, be hard to remember why I ever thought signing up was a good idea. After hours spent trawling through holiday snaps belonging to long-lost school friends, videos of kittens yawning, and goats in Halloween costumes (tee hee hee, the latter of which is brilliant) one might find oneself craving a little creative stimulation. And then every now and then, I stumble across an account that makes me think –‘Ah, yes!’

Today I wanted to introduce you to one such account, from Australian illustrator Claire Murphy. Every day, Claire (@tunabake) posts a #OneADay illustration that features an influential woman from the past. Whilst Claire acknowledges that this project initially started as means and motivation to practice her technique after giving up her office job, these posts have morphed into a visual journey of discovery that explore the roles of extraordinary, talented or forgotten women throughout history.

Amongst her #OneADay illustrations Claire has featured activists to trapeze artists, Cherokee chiefs to milliners, physicists to film-makers and everything in between! A daily bite-size biography accompanies Claire's gorgeous illustrations, which so beautifully puts a face (and often a stupendous hairstyle!) to each name and story. I've included a handful of my favourites below...

Claire recently illustrated a book about famous Australian opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, titled 'Meet Nellie Melba', which was written by Janeen Brian and was published earlier this year. This publication is part of a series of books that tell the stories of the men and women who have shaped Australia’s history, and the illustrations are simply gorgeous. 

I for one would love to see Claire publish a book containing all of her #OneADay images - we’d love to share these beautiful illustrations and stories with the young ladies in our lives.

P.S. #ITakeBackWhatISaidAtTheStart #ILoveTheCatsPlayingThePiano


Our favourite ‘grammers:

1. @Tunabake

The lady herself, Claire Murphy

2. @missmayim

Mayim Bailik (aka Dr Amy Farrah Fowler) shares images and thoughts from her website GrokNation, on topics varying from popular culture to feminism and religion.

3. @sourtaps

Tap dancer and choreographer Sarah Reich shares short videos of work and play. And if there’s one thing this world needs more of, it’s tap dancing!

P.s. you might also like to follow us at @SpitfireSisters!

All images and accompanying words copyright Claire Murphy

Lucy McLoughlin: Live Event Artist

We managed to sneak enough time to ask Lucy some questions about her work - enjoy!

S: How did you discover your talent for real-time painting and illustration?

L: From the age of 4 I said I wanted to do 'something with drawing'. I studied Textile Design and my mum was a tailor so looking back now it makes perfect sense that I have become a live event artist painting people and their glorious outfits. When I worked as an art lecturer I often gave demonstrations so that's where I got over the fear of painting live in front of an audience A course at Saint Martins and a discussion with a copywriter about my ideas helped me to focus and the concept of being a live event artist was born.

S: What do you enjoy most about what you do?

L: I have the dream job and I basically created it myself! I have combined everything I love: people, celebrations & parties, fashion, music, culture, theatre and painting, it's all there and it's marvellous. I get to go to all sorts of places, meet lots of lovely people and I get to see behind the scenes. It is fascinating and exciting and I am learning new things all the time.

S: It's clear from your website that you get to capture people at some incredible and exclusive events, which have been your favourite and is there an event you'd love the opportunity to paint?

L: My favourite event so far has got to be working in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot for 5 glorious days. I even got to paint the queen (although she doesn't know it... ssh!). I suppose the Royal Garden Party would be a pretty amazing event to attend. But really it's the diversity of my job that I love so very much.


Find out and view more of Lucy's work on her website.

On Friday 28th October we were fortunate enough to be joined at The Theatre Royal Winchester by live event artist Lucy McLoughlin. Lucy records shows, weddings and corporate events by painting in real-time, capturing guests, acts and their outfits!

Lucy's view from the circle during sound check.

Lucy's view from the circle during sound check.