On CoinUpdate March 3, 2015, Michael Alexander published a great interview with Jody Clark, Designer of the New Queen Elizabeth II Effigy. Here's an excerpt.
The news that a new effigy of the Queen would be introduced by the Royal Mint this year made national news headlines in the UK as there hasn’t been this kind of change to British coinage since 1998. Michael Alexander of the London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre went to the unveiling to see firsthand the new portrait which will be included on British coinage from now on and to also speak with its designer, Jody Clark.
Jody Clark, a talented engraver/artist at the Royal Mint took center stage during the launch to show off his work to the world, his own creation of the Queen’s effigy which sees her Majesty with what has already been described as having a “smile” or warm expression. At 33, Clark is the youngest ever artist to have his coin portrait chosen and is also the first Royal Mint engraver to have their work used for this purpose since 1902. Since embarking on his career at The Royal Mint in September 2012, Jody has worked on some notable projects such as the medals struck to celebrate the 2014 Ryder Cup and NATO Summit which was held in Wales and given to attending dignitaries as well as on commissions for Costa Rica, Tanzania, Lesotho and Azerbaijan. His celebrated contemporary interpretation of the iconic Britannia adorned the coin’s 2014 proof collection.
During the unveiling, we had an opportunity to sit down and discuss the day’s events as well as the process of creation for such an important and history-recording event. I suspect we will be seeing a lot more of Jody’s work in the future so, as I usually say… watch this space for more information
MA: This, the fifth numismatic portrait of Her Majesty has already been described by today’s assembled audience as very traditional and finely detailed, – was there any specific characteristic of the Queen that you wanted to feature above anything else & do you think you’ve accomplished this..?
JC: Just the likeness which was the main thing I wanted to achieve, an accurate representation, that’s what I had in mind from the start of the project. Also, I wanted to get the expression right…
MA: Some have described her expression as almost smiling, was that an intention..?
JC: Not so much smiling as perhaps a warm expression differing from the last portrait. It was also hard to get the lettering surrounding the portrait right; in fact I probably spent almost as long on that as the portrait itself because it’s not my area of expertise. I took advice from an expert at the RMAC who made suggestions to enhance the design, like linking the letters at the bottom of the portrait.
The plaster model
MA: You and the rest of the country have seen the other four portraits used on British coinage, was there any element of those previous portraits which you took a bit of inspiration from..?
JC: I definitely studied the previous ones, I wanted my portrait to “work” almost as fitting into a set so to speak, I wanted it to work together with the other representations as well as on its own so I did have them in mind when I designed this portrait. I printed them all out for reference to make sure they all worked together as a set of effigies. That’s when I made the decision to include the same crown as Maklouf for consistency.
To read the complete article, see:
Interview with Jody Clark, Designer of the New Queen Elizabeth II Effigy
Wayne Homren, Editor
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