In Conversation with BOBBY CLARK

Captivated by her honesty, whit and creativity.  Bobby Clark is a women I have admired from a far for many years.  Recently I had the pleasure of connecting with her to discuss her journey thus far.


Can I just say what an absolute pleasure it is to connect with you and share your journey with our Marloe Marloe community?  I am beyond a huge fan as I know so many of our readers are.  So, thank you for your time. It is greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for having me. I love Marloe Marloe, it’s an honour to be asked. 

Can you please share with us who you are and what makes up your world today?

I am Bobby Clark, I am an artist and photographer based in Melbourne Australia. I am originally from a wee town called Greenock in Scotland. My world today is pretty beautiful. It’s pretty small but well-nourished. I live in Melbourne with my husband Steven aka denHolm, our 4 year old son James and our blind/deaf old wombat dog Scout. Despite the heaviness of the world, as a family we are very content just now.



You were born in Scotland and now grace the shores of Australia, can you share a little of your back story and how you came to find yourself living abroad?

After studying for years in Glasgow and Manchester (England) across art, fashion and textiles we decided to take a break after completing our degrees together at the same art school. The next step would have been London so we decided on a whim to come to Melbourne for Steve to play soccer and travel a bit before returning to focus on our careers, but we kept adding a year on and 14 years later we are still here. We had never planned or expected to live on the other side of the world but totally fell in love with Melbourne. I still miss home most days. We are quite literally on the other side of the world from our friends and families. 


As mentioned I am a huge fan of your work as an artist.  This is probably the medium you are best known for.  You also work in other areas of the creative industry, can you speak to your work as a collaborator, commercial creator and creative director?

Thank you for your kind words, it still blows my mind that people know my work let alone enjoy it. I do wear many hats. I have always been that way. I love to be involved in loads of different creative projects and work better across multiple projects and industries than singularly focusing on one. I also work as a freelance photographer and creative consultant. Steve and I designed the space for Reclaim Health in Carlton North, which was our first commercial project together. I love creative thinking and working with brands and people to come up with interesting concepts. My mind doesn’t stop and I am always trying to find new interesting viewpoints or interesting ways to capture and present ideas. I also accidentally fell into content creation through social media because I naturally enjoy creating something beautiful. It comes very naturally to me. I also love collaborating commercially with different brands and products through my art studio. It’s so challenging to apply my artworks or concept to different products or surfaces but those processes always lead to magic. As I am a freelancer and full-time artist I spend a lot of time alone in my studio so any chance I get to collaborate I jump on it.



I would love to learn more about your role as a CD, can you expand on this practice and share a little about what this role encompasses? 

For 6+ years I was the Creative Director/Art Director at Little Company, a living skin clinic in Melbourne and Byron Bay where my role included creative direction, interior styling, visual merchandising, flow of space, photography, ideas generation and social media content creation. I currently still work with Little Company seasonally to rework the space, create interesting shoots and ensure the flow of space and vision is consistent and exciting. Previously for Pop and Scott, my role was similar being that I worked across so many facets of the business. The way I describe my work as a Creative Director is to assess the aesthetics and feelings within a business or space. I focus on elevating the 5 senses. How does a space make you feel? How do the visuals created by your company reflect your ethos and values? I make sure all these little things that would be overlooked are in tune with what you want to put out into the world. Even the smells of a space play a huge part in the overall environment. I see the small things most overlook and that is the strength in what I do for people. I also have OCD so details are my strong point. I notice and reflect upon every corner, surface and texture of a space or visual.


You are living a busy life as a mother, wife, friend and business owner.  How do you make time for yourself and what fills you up?

To be honest, I do not make enough time for myself. I very rarely check in and pencil time in for myself. If I am not with James I am working and usually juggling multiple projects at the same time. I also work solely by myself as both an artist, photographer and creative consultant with no staff or outside help so it can be a lot. In March I will be doing a residency at Little Company in Collingwood which is set up to give creatives a time of self-reflection and self-care and I honestly couldn’t need it more. My personality is 100% on the go all the time and I am trying to shift to a slower pace. Even just stepping outside first thing in the morning without touching my phone and looking at the sky is enough of a connection with myself at this moment in time. 



What are your key principles for balancing your creativity, motherhood, work and your self-care rituals?

Balancing motherhood, creativity and work was a huge lesson for me. I pushed myself when James was around one to absolute breaking point and discovered that I couldn’t do all three in sync at the same time. I was burnt out and almost at breaking point. I decided to draw a line in the sand and completely compartmentalise them and dedicate separate days to each. When I am with James, I am a mother and that is all. I do not do any work unless absolutely necessary when I am with James. That is the time for me and him. I don’t answer any emails, no calls about work and I am very strict about it. When I am working I am working and it’s much easier than trying to juggle. I find it very easy working this way. Self-care rituals have gone out the window. That's the next thing I am working on. Currently, Steve and I have 2 nights per week to ourselves. Mine are Mondays and Wednesdays and I try to go to the gym and have a sauna. I love reading but don’t really get the time so I read in the sauna. All my books are wrecked. The ultimate self-care treat is a facial at Little Company and I’m not just saying that because I work with them, I genuinely come out crying sometimes. Their facials are so much deeper. It can be very emotional for someone to care for you the way their treatments do. My love language is touch so having their therapist put their hand on my heart, skin to skin, and encourage me just to breathe can be all I need. 



What does a normal day look like for you?

Honestly, no two days are the same. I tend to run like the wind. I am either on-location shooting, or at the studio working on editing or creative projects, or on a really good day I will be painting. I try to structure my week so it has a little bit of a flow because I tend to be in 10 places at once. Tuesdays are always the same. That's my day with James. My friend Annika and I started a playgroup when my James and her Vahla were around a year old. We have ended up with the most incredible group of 6 friends and have 12 kids between us now and every Tuesday we do something fun and cultural together. That’s my weekly constant and my favourite day of the week.



Where can we find your MARLOE MARLOE pieces?

They are all on my new dining table in the lounge. I unpacked them and they looked so good I haven’t moved them around yet. I have used one of the Capri tumblers in the bathroom to hold out toothbrushes. James picked a bunch of baby limes from a big tree on the weekend so we filled the Chloe Serving Bowl and they just look so beautiful I haven’t wanted to steal any for my water yet. Even Steve commented on the Twiggy vase, he usually doesn’t notice ‘my bits and bobs’ but he noticed that straight away and said it was beautiful.



What is creativity consuming you at the moment and what is next for you?

I am so creatively consumed at the minute I am at that bottlehead of research and ideas I feel like I am going to burst. I have just started a new series of 6 stripe works and also have some 3D sculptures in the works that have been in the pipeline for so long! Steve and I have been working on an interior product together that is in the initial stages of research and development and that's really put a fire in my belly. Last year or the last few really burnt me out and I am ready for a creative change or direction. Who knows where that will lead me. I also want to exhibit my work. I have always gone against the gallery vibe because I didn’t feel ready but feel intrigued to explore group shows and exhibitions again.