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Work, cook, walks, cats and ART - the versatile Claire Micklin

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

I came to Madeira in 2010 to complete a Masters degree in Human-Computer interaction as a dual degree with Carnegie Mellon University and the Universidade da Madeira. Since I graduated in 2011, I have been living in Chicago and working as a User Experience designer. I currently work at the University of Chicago. I also volunteer with Chi Hack Night, a meetup to build, share, and learn more about Civic Tech. I created the website My Building Doesn't Recycle at Chi Hack Night.

As for hobbies, I have been making pottery and selling it online and at art fairs. You can find pictures of my pottery on Instagram under @blackcatpottery. I also like to do genealogical research, cook, take walks, and parent my two shelter cats, Jordi and Titus.

For my drawings and paintings, I find inspiration in the infinite complexity and variability of human beings. I like to capture more than the exterior of a person. I'm interested in what I can sense about a person's inner world and what I can convey about that. For my pottery, I get inspiration from nature. I prefer to keep my surface decoration pretty minimal, in order to create objects that bring a sense of peace or harmony.

I heard about the project through Mayur Karnik, who was studying at the University of Madeira and was friends with Jose. I decided to paint a self portrait on my door because I wanted to leave a lasting part of myself on the island of Madeira. I also enjoyed taking on the challenge of making such a large scale painting. The dog in the painting is a real stray street dog that had been adopted by the residents of Rua de Santa Maria. The residents gave him the name Leão. I am an animal lover and am very interested in the issue of stray dogs. I wanted to include Leao to capture a stray dog -- a part of life and a being on the island that is often overlooked and sometimes mistreated.

I most definitely would support and participate in renewing the project.

There are some immensely talented artists on the island of Madeira, and I hope that more people from the island can get involved in the creation and appreciation of art.

I will definitely continue to create art because art has always been very therapeutic for me. I will always have a drive and need to create. I will continue to make pottery and I hope to sell more pottery and show my work. I also want to return to my first love, which is drawing and painting people.

Veronika Zhezhovska 20.02.2021

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