Someone asked me recently, how I got started with my art business and what are the things that keep me inspired and moving forward. It was such a lovely conversation that I thought it might be nice to turn it into my first journal post. So here it goes, the story of how it all began. You might want to grab a cuppa for this one, it’s a bitín long. 
Art was always a big part of my childhood. I’ve been drawing and makings things ever since I was a kid. I have vivid memories of this big toolboxI had that my mom labelled as the “MAKE & DO BOX”. It was filled with paints, markers, crayons, glitter, lollipop sticks, googley eyes and other wonderful bits and bobs that we gathered and foraged. My mom has always nurtured and encouraged my creativity throughout my whole life (she even left me build a studio in her backyard but more on that later) and for all of that and more, I feel truly lucky. 
 
 
My art hero
Growing up I had a wonderful aunt Ursula who was and still is, a huge beacon of light for me. She was an artist, an interior designer, and a creative powerhouse of a woman. She really opened my eyes to what could be achieved and to the wonders of the world. I spent a lot of time with her, listening, learning, laughing, and being inspired. She hosted these wonderful art classes in her home, with an incredible painter Jerry Switzer as a tutor. I would go every week with my aunt and friends of the family. I was only 15 years old at the time. The class was mainly for adults, and I felt trés grown up being a part of it. Each week, we worked on our oil paintings, and it was incredible. This was really the beginning of when I thought that I could be an artist! 
Sadly, Ursula passed away in 2012 at age 47. I feel like a lot my work stems from this loss. From this place of love and connection. I don’t know fully what I believe in, but what I do know is that when I need her, I can feel her; in nature, in the stars, in music, in art. It’s this, this interconnection of all living and past things in the Universe, the trust in the unknown, the belief in magic - that inspires me to create. I believe that creating art is about asking yourself what you find beautiful and meaningful and why. 

Painting, for me, is deeply rooted in the process - a practice of self-discovery, and in finding meaning in what I do. 

 
 
 
Art college
In 2014 I graduated from the Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork. I spent four years studying Fine Art. I had an incredible time. I learnt a lot. I also had to do a lot of unlearning after leaving college. Making art is a struggle at times but you don’t have to be a struggling or starving artist. I firmly believe that you can have a fulfilling and sustainable career from selling your art. I also believe that your art doesn’t have to be “serious” to be taken seriously – at the end of the day, what’s more serious than joy? It took me quite some time after college to find my feet (and confidence) to pick up a paintbrush again, but I did. We built a little studio at the bottom of my mom’s back garden where I spent the next few years painting, developing my skills, and exploring new directions.
 
 
Selling my work & turning my passion into a business
Ever since selling my first painting at age 15 at a local farmers market (perched under a fluffy pink umbrella) I knew how important it was for me to connect with my collectors. I love being able to meet and get to know the people who buy my art. I started doing Pop Up exhibitions in my local town about twice a year (Summer & Winter), from restaurants, and cafes to taking over empty spaces. Having a deadline to build a body of work to has been instrumental in continuing my art practice and pushing me to put me and my art out there. West Kerry people have an amazing community spirit and I feel so grateful for all the support and encouragement I’ve received throughout the years, ye are deadly! I launched a website/online shop and I continued making, putting on exhibitions and educating myself on how to run an art business. As it grew, I was able to cut down my part time job from 5 days to 4 days, to 3 days and eventually to none. In October 2019, I began my full-time art career and it’s been an epic rollercoaster ride ever since.
  
 
What else is possible? 
In June 2021, I opened my Studio Gallery in the heart of my hometown. It’s an open studio and gallery where I can work, display my art, and meet my wonderful customers from. I love being able to curate exhibitions in here, to be able to display my paintings, prints and cards. My favourite thing about this studio is the feeling I have in here – full of possibility, passion, and ideas.  It’s a dream come true and I’m very proud to have created this business from the ground up. I’m so looking forward to seeing what this space holds for me and where my art will take me next. 
Thanks for being on this journey with me.

Onwards & Upwards, we go!

Le Grá Mór (with big love),
 

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