Clive Arrowsmith (to the right of Kansai Yamamoto pictured in November 2012) is an Internationally acclaimed photographer born and raised in North Wales and now living and working in London. This is his blog where he reflects on the work he has done and is doing. For his commercial site please visit clivearrowsmith.com
Clive Arrowsmith Biography
Clive was a creative and artistic teenager whose parents thought he would follow his Father into a safe career with the local authority in North Wales. Clive’s attempts at office life however did not work out well, as he was caught playing guitar and flirting with the secretaries (to put it mildly). He subsequently got a scholarship to art school and studied at The Queensferry Art College across the border from Wales 40 miles from Liverpool at the same time that John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe were studying at Liverpool College of Art. The art students met because of the London Derby Horse Race, as each art college hired out open top buses as viewing platforms for the race. The students got a cheap round trip to London (2 pounds and 10 pence, old money and plenty of beer) it was a fantastic and fun way to meet. Whilst in London, the students would go to Soho and Picadilly and attempt to get into strip clubs but were constantly moved on by the police. From then on Clive would spend his weekends in Liverpool with John Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe (who he was particularly close too), George Harrison and Paul MaCartney, drinking more beer and sleeping on the floor of their squat in Gambia Terrace. After completing his studies in Liverpool he secured a place at Kingston College of Art to study painting and illustration, where he also studied with Eric Clapton. The connection between music and the visual arts, set the tone for his career, as Clive has always related to and worked with the worlds most iconic musicians. In the late 70s he even recorded with Boz Scaggs and released his own record.
After leaving Kingston College of Art Clive began working for Redefusion Television/LWT on the classic music show ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’. This led him to start taking photographs behind the scenes alongside his regular work doing the graphics and titles. He quickly realised that he loved photography and Clive says that:
” My time as a painter taught me everything I needed to know about photography, as I was never an assistant photographer, I was just thrown in at the deep end. Barney Wan then Art Director of English Vogue and Grace Coddington the then Fashion Editor came around to my house in Kensington to see my pictures and drawings. The next day the Editors Secretary came in and said “Come in tomorrow and discuss your career with Vogue” and that’s how my career in photography began.”
Clive has led an extremely colourful life (7 children, 4 wives) and he certainly made the best of the excesses of 70s and 80s before regaining his equilibrium by studying Tibetan Buddhism and giving up all stimulants. To date he has photographed the great and the good across the world in the entertainment, fashion, media, politics and arts. He has photographed classic album covers like ‘Band on The Run’ for Wings, 2 Pirelli Calendars and a multitude of fashion and beauty shoots for Vogue, Harpers, Tatler, De Beers, Zandra Rhodes, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Gucci and many, many more.
Clive is has also always been really interested in film and alongside his active photography career he has several film projects in development as well as Director credits on many videos and commercials, famously winning a Silver Lion at Cannes.
For further information, or if you would like to purchase any prints of the pictures featured on this blog (prices on application), please contact Clive’s PA and daughter Eugenie Arrowsmith on:
eugenie (AT) totalcreativefreedom (Dot) com or use the form below.
We look forward to hearing from you.