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Clarisse Hassan

Clarisse Hassan is a French-British illustrator and designer whose work often takes the form of publications. In her images she reckons with themes of identity, connection and compassion through storytelling-based drawing. Her illustrations seek to address complex ideas and emotions, such as sense of identity or heartbreak through simple illustrations, drawing on the power of the instinctual. Through her work at the RCA she has developed a writing practice that has a symbiotic relationship with her drawing process, as creative provocation for her imagery.

She graduated with BA (Hons) Illustration from London College of Communication in 2019 and has created commissioned work for Penguin Random House, Dorling Kindersley and Apple.

Degree Details

School of Communication


My work at the RCA has been informed by my interest in exploring dynamics in interpersonal relationships. In other words, I like to examine what it means to be a person in relation to others. My practice could be likened to people watching, trying to make sincere and empathetic work about human experiences. Living during the Covid-19 pandemic has made me re-examine the central role that certain relationships play in our lives, romantic or platonic. 

I spent most of my isolated time finding ways to replicate the feeling of social interaction. I started taking acting classes on Zoom, being louder and bolder than I was comfortable being with strangers, interacting in character and creating scenes together. Every time a class ended, the post-togetherness, red-cheeked feeling of glee stuck with me afterwards. I also filled my time by writing, transforming memories and building stories from things half-remembered, half-imagined. 

This led me to consider the act of play, both in the sense of amusement and drama, and how it can help us escape the halted present but also transform the experience of being an adult in a way that feels radical. Playing like we do as children, or playing as protest like the Dadaists did, because the world around us feels too illogical and incomprehensible. Playing because there’s nothing else we can do. 

I decided to build a project out of this idea of radical play, combining my writing and my drawing to create stories that would show micro-resistances against the status-quo, such as the gender stereotypes and expected behaviours. Through my stories, I aimed to subvert expectations of womanhood and found myself writing young female characters and wanting to show their complexities. The result is a collection of 24 illustrated pieces of writing (in the form of poem, short story or scene) which aims to find meaning through radical play and reshaped memories.

The After Party
How to get into bed
Sleepless night
Deep end
Just tell me to come and I'll be there


A4 spreads (21 x 29.7 cm)
Recipe for a boring day
Ode to Yellow
Self love queen
Muddy walk
Dear person who feels lonely




A5 (14.8 x 21 cm)
Imagining Things


Hardback book, 76 pages



Talk Shop is back for an RCA 2021 Show event!

This Viscom student group was born from the process of establishing our practices and situating our work in professional spaces. Our goal was to create a space for peer-led learning, solidarity and community, where students could candidly discuss making a living from creative practices.

During this event, Talk Shop will be leading a conversation about the difficulty of accessing creative freedom and fulfilment in our creative studies while feeling bound by external pressures, such as immigration concerns, financial pressures and the perspective of a challenging and highly competitive job market. As students, we often find ourselves torn between conceptual growth and commercial viability, to the detriment of our work, our confidence, and our mental health. We’ll be joined in this discussion by Alec Dudson, founder of Intern. As someone who works to champion students and graduates in their creative careers, we know Alec will have valuable insight into this topic. We hope to start to identify what resources are essential for creative courses to truly allow students creative freedom, growth and balance. 

This conversation will be taking place virtually on the 25th at 10:30. We hope to see you there!