rachel bailey and clive the french bulldog
As Deputy Art Director at the Sunday Times Style magazine, work can get stressful. Luckily Clive is there to calm her down
Words and pictures: Simon Glazin
Rachel and I have a couple of things in common. Firstly our undeniable and unconditional love for dogs (snooping round her house for this shoot proves that she is as obsessed with Frenchies as I am with Dachshunds!). Secondly, both of our first 'proper' jobs were at the same magazine - the Sunday Times Style. The difference is, Rachel still works there. Eleven whole years later.
I remember meeting her for the first time... just as softly spoken then as she is now, always with her head down, working hard on the new pages. You don't get to be Deputy Art Director at a major national supplement if you're not up for the work, and if you're not super creative too. Which Rachel is. Around her house are various pieces of art she has created, and you only have to look at the new style of features in the magazine to know that she is dedicated to her craft.
We reminisce about our time together at the magazine, and Rachel tells me how much it has changed since then: from staff turnaround, new Editor, work load and designing fresh new layouts to keep the readership keen, and to attract more loyal fans. But it's Clive that has bought us together on this occasion, and he is absolutely adorable. You can tell these two are best of friends, he follows her everywhere, and he even got her through a traumatic breakup a few years back. But that's what friends are for, right?
Scroll down to hear from Rachel, and see more of Clive...
On life with Clive: We had a family dog when I was younger, who I loved but Clive is the first dog I bought all on my own, he was basically my 30th birthday present to myself. And he was the best present ever! He's such a joy to have around. Not long after my birthday I broke up from a long term relationship and Clive was the one who helped me through a really sad time by basically just being Clive. I'll always be grateful to him for that.
On work: I decided when I was eleven I wanted to be a graphic designer. Then at college I decided I wanted to work in magazines. I sometimes still can't quite believe that I actually managed to achieve it either! I've worked at Style for eleven years now, it was and is my first job. I've loved it so much as my role has really progressed. I went from a junior to Deputy Art Director in a short space of time and I've been enjoying it ever since. Day-to-day it's really hectic, coming up with ideas and getting the magazine out to the best standard is a full on job. But that's part of the fun of working on a weekly magazine!
On how online has changed the industry: Times are changing, but it's inevitable really and you have to go with the flow. The work load is bigger which is never a bad thing and also it means you have to think about photography and design not just in a print way but across all different platforms and how it will translate. Everything seems a lot more throw away and fast paced these days but I kinda like it! It's only going to keep evolving.
On career plan B: I've never had a plan B as I always knew what I wanted to do, although I do day dream that one day I'm gonna change careers and be a dolphin whisperer, yoga teacher, whale hugger or dog trainer.
On where her creativity comes from: My whole family are creative. My parents have always been into all that kind of stuff even if it was never professionally. I was always encouraged to like art. My sister is an illustrator so we're all pretty creative.
On her daily routine: Clive has his own bed on the landing in our house but he usually sleeps on my bed, especially when it's cold. We wake up around 7:30am. I usually go in the shower then head downstairs to feed Clive. I come back upstairs to get ready and Clive waits for me. I take him for a quick walk then we sit and have breakfast together on the sofa before I leave the house. I work all day so Clive spends his day with my sister, Melissa, and her boyfriend Sam. We all live together and they work from home. I see Clive when I return in the evening. We usually curl up on the sofa together for snuggies. Weekends I get to enjoy him all day though.
On career advice: One of my biggest tips is get out there as much as possible. It's great to learn the basics at art college or university but I think you learn the most through actually living it. Get work experience or an internship as quick as possible and learn on the job. It forces you to learn quickly although it can be scary. And also believe in yourself, especially in this industry, everything is so subjective and no matter what anyone ever says to you, it's only ever their opinion.
On her favourite Clive 'tail': So Clive's biggest fan is a little girl who used to live near us before we moved. She'd wait every day after school to join Clive on his afternoon walk. She's drawn pictures of him, always buys him birthday and Christmas presents and they even have a best friends necklace together. Now we've moved house they still keep in touch via email and every couple of months we go visit her or she comes to visit Clive. It's a beautiful friendship.
Clive is such a character and when he was a puppy we thought it would be really 'cute' to train him to give out kisses. So now when ever any comes to our house and bends down to maybe pick something up or take their shoes off, Clive thinks they are bending down for a kiss. He's straight over to dish out a big sloppy kiss. He even knows the command too. If you ask for too many though he starts to get annoyed and the kisses start to get a bit bitey.
On what Clive would say if he could talk: Are you gonna eat that?
One thing people should know about her: I'm so obsessed with French Bulldogs I even have a French Bulldog face flannel.