After graduating, Claire Milner travelled extensively, in Australia, Africa and South America. These travels had a great impact as she witnessed firsthand the generosity of those who have the least in life. When Claire returned to the UK she was inspired to create ‘Mother and Child’ which was exhibited in Cambridge. During this time she was approached by the founder of CamFed, to create five similar artworks for the charity which helps fight poverty in Africa by educating and empowering girls.
Claire subsequently worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in London; during this time she was commissioned by many large corporations and publishing companies. At the same time she began creating her own works and taking part in group exhibitions. Her interest in portraiture began when she was commissioned to illustrate portraits of British Chancellors Gordon Brown and Nigel Lawson, which in turn led to commissions of politicians, central European bankers and company CEOs such as Sir Terry Leahy, Sir Martin Sorrell and Lord Browne. She has researched portraiture in mosaics dating back to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras in a meticulous study of ancient techniques, and brings her wealth of experience working in the design and illustration industry as well as her extensive technical knowledge as a mosaic artist to achieve her own instantly recognisable style. Her large scale crystal mosaic portrait of Marilyn in 65,000 Swarovski Elements commissioned for, and in the private collection of Rihanna, was featured on the official website of The Estate of Marilyn Monroe and her work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Her portrait of Amy Winehouse appeared in an exhibition curated by the Amy Winehouse Foundation to mark what would have been the late singer's 30th birthday.
Passionate about the environment and the threats facing endangered species, Claire’s work has raised thousands of pounds for conservation. In 2015 “Burning Bright” created with 32,000 Swarovski crystals representing ten times the number of tigers left in the wild was exhibited at Hotel Café Royal, auctioned at The Savoy Hotel, London, and sold to an art collector in Germany in aid of Save Wild Tigers, The Born Free Foundation and The Environmental Investigation Agency. In 2016 Claire's crystal mosaic portrait of an elephant poaching victim was sold to a collector in New York in aid of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. In November 2017 Claire will once again be supporting the Born Free Foundation to highlight their 'Beyond the Bars' campaign at the Royal Horticultural Halls, London with the auction of her painting entitled 'The Unknown' commissioned by Virginia McKenna.