We had the good fortune of connecting with Clanci Conover and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clanci, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I am a relatively frequent risk taker – Not being afraid to push the envelope and challenge societal expectations is very important for me personally and for my brand. I have always been a creative, even before I was making my own jewelry at age 13 to fund a service trip to the Philippines. The nature of my goals entail risk and uncertainty, which translates to my creative practices as an entrepreneur, photographer, curator, and jewelry maker. I moved to Tucson from NYC a year after lockdown with no specific prospects or connections there, which many would consider foolish – I always make it work and am better for taking the leap in the first place, whether in my own life or in my practice.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an independent creative, I don’t fall into the traditional conception of “artist.” I have a great eye and a natural curiosity/desire to learn that combine to give me an edge when approaching curation, photography, and jewelry making. Curation for me extends beyond art; I am also a curator of music, clothing, housewares, and stickers, for starters. It’s a type of art in itself – an artist can make a beautiful painting, but when it’s hung in a room with intentionally placed furniture and decor, with the right album playing in the background and the host dressed to complement the painting? It is elevated to a context that engages the brain and presents a cohesive aesthetic.
My photography is highly selective; I frequently capture images on my phone camera because I don’t want to interrupt the moment or draw attention to myself. I like to take photos in new cities I travel to, specifically abroad, and share the city as I see it, how it’s processed and viewed through my own eyes. It provides some documentation of a place while putting a unique personal spin on each image.
When it comes to making jewelry, I just let the materials guide me. I sit down at my bead board and look through all my beads – glass, plastic, wood, stone, metal – and let them weave a story as I try new ideas. Overall, the biggest challenge for me is thinking of myself as an artist, as a creative. My interests are so diverse and I’m not technically gifted with my hands in things like drawing or sculpting, but at the end of the day pursuing creative avenues where you excel does make you an artist.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When friends visit me in Tucson, there are a few major spots to hit. Mt Lemmon is the best spot for hikes, picnics, and sunsets, just be respectful of mother nature! Tumerico is an amazing vegetarian/vegan Mexican restaurant in town, and Elliot’s on Congress is a great laid back spot for drinks. And lastly, for shopping I can’t recommend Midtown Mercantile Merchants enough! It’s an amazing antique mall that has a bit of everything, you could spend a whole day browsing. And on the off chance you need a haircut, Martin’s barbershop on Columbus and Broadway is the move.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oddly enough, my interest in the arts was very much fueled by a website called Freerice.com. On the site, you can answer questions in the subject of your choice, and for every correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated to people in need through the United Nation’s World Food Programme. My dad mentioned it to me in highschool, and I quickly became enthralled with the “famous paintings” category, promoting me to visit NYC for my 16th birthday so I could see world class museums. I was always artsy, but I never considered it seriously until that point. If I hadn’t used Freerice, I may have chosen a totally different path from the arts!
Instagram: @clancijo – https://www.instagram.com/clancijo/?hl=en
Image credits to Clanci Jo Conover