Zoe Clipsham

Zoe is a traditional illustrator who enjoys depicting the weird and whimsical, creating characters from both memory and imagination. Her illustrations lie within a dreamlike setting.

Project 1:

Tapestry Illustration:
Requiem for a fly

126 x 29.7 cm

The following illustration combines folklore, pagan rituals, and the make-believe, all contained within the template of an old tapestry. Zoe found inspiration for this work within a piece of performance art, by fine artist, Tilly Wheatley, who conducted Requiem for a fly back in November last year. This is that performance, but in a whole other realm.

The Procession

The first part of the illustration depicts the procession. Creatures walk together in harmony holding candles of remembrance for the fly.

The Ceremony

It is here we see Tilly initiate the ceremony as she conducts a two minute cathartic wail; introduces friends and family who wish to pay their condolences; and reminds everyone not to see the fly for how small and significant he was, but to see him as a life that deserved this monumental send off, much like all living creatures.

The Wake

In paganism, death is not seen as the end. To truly celebrate the fly’s life, a party is held to send the fly off to the Summerland’s.

Building on Tilly’s foundation, Zoe drew inspiration from pagan rituals and the whimsical beasts and goddesses found within these traditions. She wanted a sense of storytelling and movement within the piece, similar to historical tapestries. The tapestry depicts the three key stages of the funeral: the procession, the ceremony, and the wake.

The process: tester print on fabric

The process: digital alterations

Project 2:

Children’s Picture Book:
My Cat Twig’

Submission for Macmillan Illustration Prize 2023

Zoe submitted her original book, ‘My Cat Twig’ for the 2023 Macmillan Illustration Prize in April. This happy, little book celebrates the wonder of children’s imagination. Furthermore, it provides comfort to children who feel anxiety when their pet goes out into the world, and struggle with the uncertainty of when they will return.

End papers

“He could be exploring the depths of the Amazon Rainforest.”

“He likes to go hunting for hidden treasures in the garden.”

Where is Twig?

Gracie adores her cat, Twig, but he’s always off on his adventures. Until he returns, Gracie will imagine what her best friend gets up to.

Could he be catching a ride in a hot air balloon? Or taking a hike through the Amazon rainforest? Twig could be playing the saxophone in an all-cat jazz band? Or swimming with the fish in the deep blue sea?

Who knows what Twig gets up to? But Gracie knows, that where he ends up, he will always come home again.

22 x 20 cm
Medium: Pro marker

Previous projects

Second year: ‘The Hermit Forage Trail’

The Hermit Forage Trail is a piece of experiential design, aimed at guiding people who are new to foraging around a woodland in Derbyshire. Along the route, the signs points out which foods are edible and which are not, creating a circular and educational walk, designed to be engaging as well as beneficial to wellbeing.

Industrial Placement year: ABA Art Lab, Mallorca.

During her time at the gallery, Zoe was responsible for several large-scale commissions, hand-painting pots and woven rugs for an upcoming hotel on the island. This challenged both her mental and creative abilities, due to the magnitude of the commissions.

Third year, first semester: ‘Emma & the Earth Spirit’

Emma & the Earth Spirit was the first children’s book Zoe had the pleasure of writing and illustrating for her project in first semester. The story is both playful and engaging, hoping to teach kids and parents about the possibilities of cooking with plant-based foods.

Work Experience

Zoe worked as an Illustration Intern at ABA Art Lab in Palma, Mallorca, over the course of 7 months in 2022. This contributed towards her industrial placement year. Alongside this, she has experience working as a freelance illustrator and promoting her work in a professional manner.

Visionary Thinkers

Visionary Creators

Visionary Makers