216346_558672357528722_2132179704_ntheatre perfomance in Caserta, 2010

Yesterday I posted a photo of myself on social media, ranted a bit about how it’s okay to express one’s vibrant self in clothing, and got a huge response!


heading to a flea market in Naples

It was a subject close to my heart, about what it means to have a unique dress sense…

More specifically, I was ‘thumbing my nose’ (okay, I said ‘shove it up your bottom’!) to anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to project their own ugliness onto another person’s expressive beauty, just because the latter doesn’t share your particular loves and hates.


trying to be confident, but feeling like shit, my birthday on the Amalfi coast, 2010

I’ve loved dressing up from a very early age, and have always adored trawling through stalls and charity shops for unusual items which express a mood, an emotion, an energy or sensibility.


photo by Ian Ferguson – our art-music-spirituality festival weeMAD on Arran, 2009

I wasn’t particularly encouraged (my family was pretty embarassed about my home-made clothes, but we were in a small village, so there was a limit to how much this bothered them) to explore my own style, I certainly wasn’t held back from it. Bar a bit of nasty bullying in my first years at high school, and a few mean-spirited cat calls in the streets of various cities I’ve lived in, my style was allowed to flourish in its own vibrant direction.


at the Kimberley Inn, Findhorn, in my favourite home-made hat!

Arriving in Italy changed all of that, when I took a severe knocking down on several levels, from folks whose ideas about identity, self-expression, the strength of women and suchlike, were most certainly at the opposite end of the spectrum from my own.


trying on a lovely handmade hat by an artist in Capua

Because I was so busy with a lot of other things, setting up a life in Italy, I didn’t really notice the damage that criticism had done. It took me a while to get back into the comfort of my own body!

I wanted to share a little about that (and will be writing much more about it in my Live Like A Happy Artist books), a) because I know a lot of people get derided for being different, and I wanted to cheer them on! and b) because this year I’ll be opening a pop-up clothes/ art/ book shop in the Via Dietro Gli Orti, Guardia Sanframondi!

Here’s my Monday vlog:

Tante belle cose, Clare xx

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