The Super future Females project continues! The fun and positive vibe around this project doesn’t only support the women’s peloton, it also connects us with female, bike enthusiastic artists. For our latest collaboration, meet illustrator Pip Claffey:
My name is Pip, I’m a freelance illustrator, print maker and avid bike rider based in the North West of England. I studied Graphic Art & illustration at Liverpool School of Art & Design, graduating with a first class BA (Hons).
After graduation I worked for many years as a Graphic Designer but always wanted to get back to my passion of illustration. After a lot of thought I made the decision to get out of the rat race and setup on my own. In April 2018 I left my job and started up as RUNE – CREATIVE and have never looked back.
Cycling has been a huge part of my life, in my 20’s I was carving out my career and working on personal projects for myself in the evenings and weekends. I was looking for an outlet from my day to day work which could be very corporate at times. Around this time I rediscovered that childhood sense of freedom from riding my bike. One weekend walking around a local forest a couple of mountain bikers flew past us! It was like…oh yeah that looks like a lot fun and so it started. Most weekends we would drive to the trails to smash about on our bikes and get caked in mud. We would meet friends at the forest cafe, chat for hours and eat huge portions of chips afterwards, I lived for those weekends.
Around 2015 I got into road cycling, and quickly got the bug. The idea of walking out your front door and instantly being on your adventure really appealed. I was addicted to that feeling of getting out on my bike with the sun on my back, clocking up the miles and discovering local lanes and cafe stops along the way.
When I wasn’t riding my bike I would watch youtube channels about cycling and get inspiration for the next two wheeled adventure. In 2019 I did the coast to coast which was amazing and added another element to the cycling enjoyment – Bike packing!!!
Around this time I started to get interested in Pro Cycling, the tactics floored me. It’s not just about who rides their bike fastest, it’s like a game of chess and that fascinated me (although I’m a horrible chess player). I most enjoy the Spring Classics as I’m usually chomping at the bit for more cycling after the winter months, so the prospect of the inaugural 2021 Paris-Roubaix Femmes is hugely exciting!!
In the time I have been watching pro cycling women’s cycling seems to be getting a lot more attention, unfortunately a lot of this is due to the huge differences between Mens and Women’s cycling in terms of TV coverage, sponsorship and salary. These are all things that are long overdue to be addressed but it’s great barriers within the sport are starting to be broken down. In a sport that prides itself on tradition this is no mean feat. It’s time for new traditions!
When not sketching, getting inky in the print studio or under a veritable mountain of pressing deadlines I like to ride my bike. Bikes inspire me, keep my body and mind healthy and generally improve my life on more levels then I would have thought possible. I’ve met some of my best friends through cycling, it’s helped me overcome anxiety and creative blocks. It’s an integral part of my life that gives me so much, the fact that its also exercise is a brilliant bi-product.
My love of cycling has led me to some real passion projects, a lot of my work is inspired by bikes and that’s usually how clients find me. I have worked with some wonderful companies within the cycling industry and it’s a real labour of love for me to work with people who share my passion. So when the opportunity came up to illustrate a T-shirt for I R I S and the Super Future Females, I was thrilled to be part of such a good cause. I like to have some humour in my work and when I read the brief the superheroine pose on a bike seemed like the natural approach! I’m really pleased with how the illustration turned out.