You don’t have to be good at just one thing


Danielle Clough is good at almost everything she tries. That can be a problem. In a world that rewards specialisation, multidisciplinary talents can struggle to find direction. But Clough has embraced her diverse interests, creating a body of work that is truly unique. As an artist she is genuinely open-minded – not within, but in terms of her medium. Broadly speaking you could sum her up as a visual jockey, photographer, designer and embroiderer – for now.

Undeterred by the result of the clothes she used to make from curtains as a little girl – “they were terrible,” she says – Clough was determined to become a fashion designer. But two weeks in to fashion school she realized that the profession would restrict her. She had some exploring to do. And off she went. Since then her work has made it into a bunch of big festivals and magazines, and her 2016 client list boasts names like Gucci and the United Nations. Now her followers are kept intrigued by the anticipation of what Clough will come up with next. Just don’t expect the conventional. She’s currently into tennis racket-head embroidery.

In part this is a strategy to avoid boredom. The eternal nemesis of the creative. For Clough, the cure is to live a multi-faceted life, drawing from diverse sources of stimulation. That’s why South Africa inspires her. Because, like her creative projects, our country shows that differences can co-exist – and even make life richer.