Clara Schumann's 193rd Birthday

More Doodles

Sep 13, 2012

A doodle for Clara seemed like an obvious choice due to her enormous talents that started when she was still just a little one. Considered a child prodigy, her first concert was at the age of 11. Upon further research we realized there was also quite an amazing story beyond what she's most widely remembered for. She was an outspoken and courageous woman who followed her heart and fought for who and what she believed in. In sixty one years of performing, she forever shaped the classical music genre and was one of the first pianists to perform by memory, setting the stage for future performers. 


Beyond her own performance career, Clara was a teacher and a mentor to students. Additionally, her and her husband raised eight children while also developing their own musical careers. I knew Clara was a truly exceptional person when I read that at age 29 she marched to the front lines of the May Uprising in Dresden (one of the final events of the Revolution of 1848), straight past a group of armed men to rescue her children. She then turned around and marched right back through the pack and out of the city. She was truly a dedicated, passionate and strong-willed person and it's evident in her work, how she was with her family, and in her everyday life. 

When it came to the creative for the doodle we first focused on her as a pianist. Below you can see an early sketch. 
As we continued to learn about Clara it was clear she was this amazingly open and loving person; depicting her closed off and back turned didn't seem appropriate. We then started to think about how we could capture both her renowned talent AND her compassion as a teacher and parent who would go to the ends of the world for her family. Here you see the first (rough) take at this direction.

Now, if those little cherubs don't make you want to tickle the ivory I don't know what will! In all seriousness, we felt really strongly that showing the incredible balance, composure (pun intended), and compassion were key (pun also intended) to creating a tribute to this phenomenal and inspirational person. She makes me wish I kept with those piano lessons! Sorry, Dad! 

Posted by Leah Weisberg

Location: Global

Tags: performer, German, Romantic era, Birthday, Music, composer, piano, pianist, teacher