The Heroine’s Journey of Braden Duncan

Braden Duncan (a.k.a. Clockwork Art). Artist & Curator. Watercolour & oil. Steampunk & circuitry. And kittens. I aim to take over the world with the strange & the adorable.

What is the thing I love best about my work? 

I’ve always enjoyed the imperfection of traditional media. I work primarily in watercolour, and its unpredictability often helps shape my compositions.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?  

Happiness is a choice. Granted, it’s an easy choice to make when I’m surrounded by art & kittens.

What is my greatest fear?  

‘I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer… I will face my fear, and I will let it pass through me… Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.’ (F. Herbert, Dune)

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? 

I have a difficult time saying no to interesting challenges; even when I’ve reached the reasonable limits of my time & energy, I’ll often take on exciting new projects while eschewing self-care. 

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? 

Boris Vallejo & Julie Bell ~ I had the honour & pleasure of meeting them both at Boris’ exhibit at Last Rites Gallery in NY this past year. They illustrated my childhood.

Stephanie Law ~ Her whimsical textures & deft renderings of flora & fauna inspired me to explore watercolours.

Redd Walitzki ~ Her unique process & ethereal subjects make me want to tumble head-first through her looking glass.

Yoann Lossel ~ Have you seen his gold leafing skills? You need to see his gold leafing skills.


What is my greatest extravagance?  

Culinary adventures & international travel. 

On what occasion would I lie?  

Lies are complicated; omission is far more efficient.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

That I rarely have time to follow a concept through to completion. I often work on deadlines, and it’s a rare piece that feels truly finished.

When and where was I the happiest in my work?  

I’m happy at present. Every stage of my artistic development has led me to where I am now – exploring my craft, creating opportunities for fellow artists, travelling for art conventions, and painting in my jim jams with my kittens. The choices I make now create the foundation for my future.

If I could, what would I change about myself?  

I would have more self-discipline & prioritise health & relationships on at least a semi-equal level with art making. Happily, my partner & friends & family understand that art is essentially my life, so they’re all fantastic enablers.

What is my greatest achievement in work? 

I’ve officially turned ‘crazy cat lady’ into a viable profession.

Where would I most like to live? 

I love the Pacific Northwest as a home base, and I’m partial to Tokyo & New York as well. More extensive travel will inevitably yield more possibilities.

What is my most treasured possession?

Cats aren’t possessions, otherwise my muses would be at the top of that list. Alternatively, I treasure the original artworks I’ve collected from fellow artists, and my quote books from high school & college. I’m also rather attached to my collection of leather jackets & designer boots.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Probably my peacock coloured hair.

What is my most inspirational location in my city?  

Nearly every neighbourhood in Seattle has a monthly art walk, so pick one & I’m probably there. I find genuine acceptance & encouragement in my art community, and many of us are dedicated to making our city a welcoming & inspiring space. The cat cafés are pretty rad too.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink in my city?

I will always recommend the tasting menu at Staple & Fancy & the mole negro at La Carta de Oaxaca. Café Kopi has the best chai in Seattle.

What books influenced my life and how?

Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull inspired me to try without being afraid to fail.

Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat books reminded me that magic exists even in the darkest of places.

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series saved my sanity in high school.

Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell helped me navigate the crucial transition from shiftless post-college retail drone to dedicated working artist.

Who are my favorite writers?

James O’Barr, Poppy Z Brite, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, David Mack, Chuck Palahniuk, Dylan Thomas

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

Give me classic rock or give me death! 

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? 

Cayce Pollard, Lisbeth Salander, Malcolm Reynolds, Phyne Fischer, Pierre Despereaux, Gonff the Mousethief

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Jon & Thea for essentially being super heroes & surviving situations that probably should have killed them, but somehow turned them into even cooler people. Kay for overcoming some serious adversities in order to become the amazing human she is now. 

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? 

*At least* once ~ MirrorMask, Velvet Goldmine & The Triplets of Belleville.

What role does art play in my life and work?

Art is life. Essentially every aspect of my life revolves around art making, art promotion, curating, travelling for art, inspiring & being inspired by other creatives, and taking pictures of my cats. Sometimes friends remind me to eat food, and I hear that sleep is good for you (although I have yet to see the evidence).

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My friends & fellow artists Grace & Stasia for their continual inspiration & encouragement. 

My partner Jon for being generally awesome. 

My friend & patron Kay for believing in me & giving many of my original works a lovely new home.

My mum & dad & Brobot for being supportive since the beginning.  

With whom would I like to work in 2018?  

I’d like to continue working with fellow curators Gayle & Laurie & Julie to help create fantastic opportunities for local artists. I’m also looking forward to getting out of the studio & into the wilds with Redd.

Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018?

I think it would be rad to meet Dave McKean (I love everything he creates), Jel Ena (she paints adorable black kittens too) & Zoë Williams (we just missed each other last time I was in NY).

What project in 2018 am I looking forward to working on?  

In the spring, I will be officially stepping back from my day job of 15 years to pursue art making full time. I plan to redesign my studio, expand my current watercolour series, create a web comic, return to oils, and essentially paint *all* the things.

Where can you see me or my work in 2018?

This year, you can find me & my work at art conventions in WA, OR, CA & CO; exhibits in WA, CA, MI & NY; over a dozen retail spaces between WA & OR; and online via the Strange Dreams Surreal Art Collective. I keep a schedule of my upcoming exhibits & events on my website, so stay tuned for more!

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? 

Do the thing you love. Regardless of age, ability & socio-economic status; whether you’re creating, learning, exploring, conceptualising, or sitting on your bum playing with kittens; inspiration is everywhere, and life is too short not to enjoy the hell out of it.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Thea Wolfe, Kay Lutz, Redd Walitzki, Siolo Thompson, Stasia Burrington, Vera Pashkevich

How can you contact me?








Here follows a message of Peter de Kuster, founder of The Heroine’s Journey 

The Heroine’s Journey Membership

Become a Friend of The Heroine’s Journey 


We’re sometimes not too sure how we get into good friendships. It seems to happen rather mysteriously: we talk of somewhat randomly ‘clicking’ with people. Trying to plan for it sounds like cheating. But in a busy world, the desire to socialise authentically, with interesting, like-minded people, deserves to be addressed directly.

That’s why we created The Heroine’s Journey Friends scheme. Membership gives you the right to invite creative professionals to publish their story for free on The Heroine’sJourney online. Each story made possible by you is anchored around the big idea that when we our quest let’s us travel from a person who interests us to another person who interest them and exchange stories we learn more about ourselves, meet people who can make a difference for you and have more impact in the world with telling our story.  Every month, in your own city or somewhere in the world you can invite creative professionals you like to tell their story for the Heroine’s Journey website.

If you have passion for your work, you will find kindred spirits in this way of travelling.  The stories you will see of creative professionals you have invited for The Heroine’s Journey are guaranteed to be stimulating and reassuring – as well as prompts to genuine connection and insight. Every creative professional you bring forward to have their story free published on The Heroine’s Journey online, you will be offering a great experience to everyone you meet.

We have two memberships programs  I and II

The Heroine’s Journey Membership I  Programme Includes

  • The right to offer 30 creative professionals of your choice each year to tell their story with The Heroine’s Journey questionnaire as free publicity.  The stories are published on the Heroine’s Journey online. Every professional published knows you are the one who made this available for them.
  • The right to update your own story at The Heroine’s Journey – questionnaire and picture – two times each year to keep up with your new events, shows, books, performances, videos.
  • 10% discount on all The Heroine’s Journey seminars world wide

Price is :  Euro 299 for one year 

The Heroine’s Journey Membership II  Programme Includes

  • The right to offer 50 creative professionals of your choice each year to tell their story with The Heroine’s Journey questionnaire as free publicity.  The stories are published on the Heroine’s Journey online. Every professional published knows you are the one who made this available for them.
  • The right to update your own story at The Heroine’s Journey – questionnaire and picture – four times each year to keep up with your new events, shows, books, performances, videos.
  • The right to tell your story in more detail with the Heroine’s Journey questionnaire up to six pages online and add up to ten professional pictures of yourself and your work.
  • 20% discount on all The Heroine’s Journey seminars world wide
  • free entrance to the special The Heroine’s Journey in One Day conference which is held once every quarter in 2018 (the four locations in 2018 are Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona)

Price is :  Euro 449 for one year 

The programmes last for 365 days, after which you will be asked if you’d like to renew your subscription.

You want to become a Heroine’s Journey Friend?  Mail Peter at to receive info how to make that happen.

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