Entries in artist (5)

Saturday
Jun032017

q&a with artist and yogi Caol McDonald

 

Caol McDonald is a  artist, yogi and a wonderful person.  Many evenings I have thoroughly enjoyed whiling away the hours in conversation with him. Even a quick conversation on the stairs of flow makes me wish we had more time to chat.  Caol is full of wisdom and his eye for light is thrilling.  He has a gentle spirit with the strength of a warrior that really sees what is around him.  You can connect with him  on Facebook and Instagram and buy his art on his Esty shop from FlowCo and Souk Belfast, practice with him at Flow Studio Belfast and other places - check out his Facebook page for details of classes - I highly recommend you make taking one high up your to do list.  The painting Caol did for me inspires me to keep lifting up.

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you…

My name is Caol, a 27 year old creative type, yogi by day and painter by night with a passion for exploring the great outdoors

Where are you from, where are you based…

I live in the heart of Mid Ulster N.Ireland, currently based in Cookstown


Talk about your work ... How do you find inspiration?

As an artist my work is my voice, what comes from within; I have doodled and created art for years and that voice is still growing. I’ve lived in Ireland all my life, and it being a small island, it’s possible to journey and discover your surroundings become changeable landscapes from mountains and forests to oceans and cliff views easily, the lens through which my mind perceives this world has been predominantly a visual one, my inspiration comes strongly from the raw Atlantic islands scenery and the concept of the human spirit, and it’s always been my passion to try and communicate and strengthen the bond between Humanity and nature.

I am simply a secretary to my own sensations, living a life through colour, and through the resulting expressions I paint and record on paper I aim to help re-establish our connection to the natural ways of the world.

More recently I have been taking this visual lens on an internal exploration of the landscapes of human nature through yoga, and drawing parallels between these conceptual, internal landscapes and the external environment and listening to how both yoga and art can inform how one sees the world.

 

What are your future plans ..

In an ideal situation I hope to find a place where I can be self sufficient by teaching yoga, creating and to live ecologically here in Ireland.

who you are inspired by ...

Creatively…artists such as Brandon Boyd or Jose Parla to name just two, also people who are living for a living, people who are kind and who live compassionate lives to each other and the world we live on.

Describe your space ...

There is always a cup of coffee in hand, a candle lit and an open window

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Having a quiet moment to yourself each day, even (especially)if it’s simply to enjoy a coffee. 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...


While not necessarily the most encouraging I’ve ever heard, I was recently shared words written by Nikita Gill from my Mother that struck a chord

“You carry both lightning and thunder in that space between your bones and soul, become the storm you are hiding from, a hurricane does not run from the rain”


Your work life philosophy is ...

You weren’t born to pay bills and die, make room for enjoying life. 

What is your favourite smell ...

Petrichor…the smell of the earth after rain. (…or morning coffee)

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

My tastes in music vary but currently I like Nahko Bear- Great Spirit


Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

I’ve wanted to for years but only recently I have been eating a plant based diet; for just almost a year now, it took time for me to longer miss my old favourites I thought I couldn’t do without. Now my most often ate meal is roast chilli broccoli with some form of tofu, … but my favourite food is 100% peanut butter, I could eat that all day!

Three things or products that have changed your life...

The addition of my dog to the family tribe instigated my proactivity towards a plant based lifestyle, yoga has taken me to Asia and back, offered growth and opportunities to connect with some of the best people I now call friends and colleagues and of course Art.

How do you relax ...

Meditation…whether that be the traditional method, yoga or meditation via art

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

Adventuring into nature with fresh air, places away from daily routine where you can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world, I’m particularly drawn to the Irish Coast and the wild power of The Atlantic.

What do you most value in your friends ...

Individuality of character 


What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...

As somebody who lives with the constant urge to communicate or convey sensations…ideas and concepts, whether that be to other people or simply to myself via meditating or painting or writing, a few words I happened upon this year resonate with me

“Make ceremonies out of the air, and breathe upon them"

I conceptualise this phrase visually, as an artist or a yogi plucking inspiration from anything, what they see, hear and experience or from their own mind and using it to create something wonderful. A painting, a memorable day out or a great savasana!

As for currently, in terms of books; I have an obsession with the works of J.R.R Tolkien and I just finished rereading The Silmarillion (a grand prequel to the more popular Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit). I also am keenly following any news articles or social media stories about the current political and environmental protest happening in America, where the Native treaty lands of the American Indians are under threat by Oil companies, I feel the Earth is an island and we have nowhere else to go, we need to protect what we have, Water is Life.


Share some words of wisdom ...

I came across this a while ago, I’m unsure of its author but I love it;

“You think in your idle hours that there is literature, history, science behind you so accumulated as to exhaust thought and prescribe your own future. In your sane hour you will see that not a line has yet been written; that for all the poetry that is in the world your first sensation on entering a wood or standing on the shore of a lake has not been charted yet. It remains for you; so does all thought, all objects, all life remains unwritten yet”

 

 

-------------------------

Thank you Caol, it was a joy to have your at our place.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Saturday
Jun032017

q&a with makeup artist and Curvy Chic Bridal owner Rebecca Bryson

Rebecca Bryson is one of the most talented people I know she is an artist in the truest sense of the word.  The way she looks you in the face and the using magic from her box of tricks brings out all your natural beauty when she paints your face with her makeup is remarkable.  Rebecca is an incredible professional makeup artist and I recommend her constantly to brides and others needing their face done for any occasion.  She is also an entreprenuer and recently opened Curvy Chic bridal and the dresses there are heavenly.  You can connect with Rebecca on Facebook, Twitter, Insta and on her website. Or Curvy Chic Bridal on their website, Facebook, Insta and Twitter.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I’m Rebecca, I am a hair and make up artist and own the only plus size bridal boutique in NI. It’s very busy being me! lol

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m based in Belfast, I was born in Northern Ireland, but grew up in New Zealand, returning to NI 10 years ago now.

Talk about your work ...

Primarily, I am a hair and make up artist specializing in Bridal and Editorial. I spend most of my days with brides helping them create their perfect wedding look or, working with other creatives coming up with exciting fashion looks. Secondarily, I run the only Plus Size exclusive bridal boutique in NI, Curvy Chic Bridal, helping curvy brides size 16+ find their dream wedding dress and the joyous experience of trying them all on! 


What are your future plans ... 

I’m building my empire! Lol. I love working in the bridal industry and fashion, and I want to keep building both my businesses, then retire with Colum and our dog Holly somewhere warm! In the meantime, I’ll keep my head down and keep working, I’ve recently been invited along with 39 others, for a masterclass with world renowned fashion make up artist Pat McGrath, so hopefully that will be a huge boost to my career!

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  

Colour, I’m a huge colour fan, I love seeing how colours mix, how they go together, even how they clash! I often find inspiration in the colours of flowers or raw pigments. I also love instagram for finding great make up inspiration as so many leading artists share their work.

Describe your space ... 

I have a studio space in my house, I think it’s meant to be a living room, but I lived the carpet and painted the floorboards a soft grey, which goes perfectly with my black and pewter chandelier and crystal wall lamps, and as I love colour so much, I have a big multicoloured art deco rug to bring in a gorgeous range of rich colours. 

How are you feeling today ... 

I feel great! I have just finished with a make up trial and I’m waiting now for my next Bride, who is coming to try on dresses, all the while planning make up for Ruth McGinely for the BBC proms. 

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Family time. I absolutely must have time with Colum and our dog Holly, it fills me back up!

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

I don’t know that I can pin point a certain quote or saying, but, I find others careers very encouraging, I think, if they can do it, then why can’t I? 


Your work life philosophy is ...

You reap what you sow. I work hard now, so one day I won’t have to!

What is your favourite smell ...  

Fresh flowers, particularly roses, I always have at least one vase of fresh flowers in the house. The popcorn smell Holly gets when she’s been sleeping. Colums beard oil. The last two bring me such comfort.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

At the minute I’m listening to Adele! I have a hugely eclectic musical taste, so it could be anything from Rage Against the Machine to Debussy just depending on the day!


Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

Probably quite a simple meal, but Colum makes the best fried rice I’ve ever tasted. I love fresh vegetables, Sesame Oil and Avocado.

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

My MacBook and iPhone, as terrible as that sounds, it has given me the ability to work on the go.  Our dog Holly, she brings so much joy to our life, she’s an absolute rascal but has such a huge personality. 

 

How do you relax ... 

Spending time with family, taking Holly for walks, and going out for yummy meals!

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

My family, spending time with friends. I love being wrapped up in a bunch of blankets all cozy with Colum and Holly!


What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

A few years ago, I drove from San Franciso to LA, down highway 101, it was beautiful, the California coast is really stunning! Colum and I would love to visit South America, somewhere neither of us have ever visited. 

What do you most value in your friends ...  

Honesty and reliability. I have learnt, epically with running two businesses, that your friends can be such an amazing support structure, so it’s vital that my friends are open and honest and reliable. 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ..

I’m ready a make up book at the minute! It’s called Face Paint: The Story of Makeup, by Lisa Eldridge. It’s fascinating for a makeup junky like myself! My favourite quote is “ I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you”, we have it on our living room wall.

Share some words of wisdom ...

Oh Gosh, I don’t feel qualified enough to give any words of wisdom! Lol. I would probably say, don’t give up. It’s cliché I know, but there is nothing more true. You will come up against challenges, some easy, some desperately hard, ask for help, there are people out there that WILL help you and get you on the path you want to be in. But whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep pushing!

 

-----------------

Rebecca, thank you for joining us at our place.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle - Life Remarkable 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov152016

q&a with artist Peter Collins

It gives me great joy to welcome the wonderful Belfast artist Peter Collins to the Salt and Sparkle Q&A. Peter's work is full of a viseral power.  It is capivating and powerful all at once, he is suprenely talented.  His use of light and colour lingering in the mind's eye long long after you have first seen his paintings.  I met Peter through his brilliant fiancé Deborah Swain and am really delighted to feature him and his work.  You can contact to commission a piece by shooting him an email, or checking out his Facebook page.

Who are you, what’s it like being you ... 

Hi my name is Peter Collins and I’m a recovering IT professional. I’ve worked in IT for the last 20 years but did my degree in Fine Art. My whole team and I were made redundant recently which for me was a blessing in disguise. It was not a bad occupation but it was soul destroying working in a role that didn’t make use of my talents. It’s given me this amazing opportunity to get back to my art. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in a year’s time but my worst nightmare would have been to look back in another year and still be in the same job.


Where are you from, where are you based ...

Born and bred in Belfast. Love watching it reinvent itself having grown up in the seventies and eighties.

Talk about your work ...

I’m enjoying learning to paint in oils again after a long hiatus. The creative process of bringing something into the world out of nothing is an incredible feeling and is about as close as I get to spirituality. However it is only hard work that pays off. There is no such thing as the artistic genius –there are just those people who work much, much harder than everyone else. I try to remember this mantra but it doesn’t always work!

I’ve adopted many styles in the past for commissions and so never really thought I had a style but I hope I’m now closing in on a personal signature in my work.


 

 

 

 

 


What are your future plans ...
I’ve set myself the goal of getting some paintings sold in a gallery –after that…

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...   

From my own experience and from what I’ve read of other creative people, inspiration tends to come while you are working so the most important thing is to be constantly working at your craft - whatever it may be. Being productive will take you in directions you will never be able to predict by sitting around thinking about it. “You can't plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind” 

That said, Van Gogh, Cezanne and John Singer Sargent are heroes for me. Colin Davidson’s work is superb and adds fuel to the fire every time I see it! Pascal Vilcollet and Conor Harrington are amazing artists who are also very comfortable working at a large scale. I admire people who have enthusiasm for what they do. Jamie Oliver taught me to cook over the years but it’s his genuine enthusiasm that is infectious. The same applies to Prof Brian Cox (on Astrophysics not cooking!)

Describe your space .. 

I’ve converted an unused front room into a studio. The light is great but I’ve also rigged up lots of daylight lamps for a boost due to our erratic weather. Years in the I.T. business has taught me the “clear desk” philosophy which actually applies very well to an artist’s studio. So I try to keep the clutter to a minimal by clearing up at the start or end of the day. (My fiance may dispute this!)

How are you feeling today ...Great! The the sun is shining!

A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Coffee; and the dogs! I’m lucky to have two amazing dogs who know how to keep me fit!

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...

It’s not what happens to you in life but how you deal with it that counts. I used to stress a lot about things which inevitably turned out to be pointless and trivial.

Your work life philosophy is ...

Do whatever you want but work hard at it. What defines you is not your chosen calling in life but how you do it. For me happiness and fulfillment come from being creative and productive which lifts your mood and in turn lets you appreciate life and the people in it. I happiest when free time is coming up and I know I’ve achieved or created something good.

What is your favourite smell ...  

 Peat fires. Preferably in Cork or Kerry! Also Italian pine trees. Preferably in Italy! Did I mention coffee?

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...

Anonhi – “Drone bomb me” -very different. When I’m really concentrating or experimenting I need chilled out music like Massive Attack or even Classical music, but if I’m on a roll it’s got to be something more “full on” like Queens of the Stone Age or some Dance/HipHop.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...

I love to cook so that’s a tough one. But my “go to” comfort food dish would have to be pasta Puttanesca. 

3 ingredients? Basil, Lime, Garlic: For homemade Pesto, Margaritas and everything else, in that order!

Three things or products that have changed your life...  

My Fiancé Deborah: (not a thing!) One of the most positive and open people I’ve ever met and a joy to be around!

Travel: everyone should do it. When you are young it is literally mind blowing. Every child in this country should be sent abroad for a few months at the age of 14 or 15. It would solve a lot of problems.

The Internet: Having grown up pre-internet it still astounds me how empowering the internet is for expanding your knowledge and for practical research. Alas if only more people would make use of it rather than watching cats and indulging in public displays of ignorance.

How do you relax ... 

I love cooking. Especially for other people. I only worked out recently that I somehow find it relaxing! Walking the dogs in all our beautiful parks and green places, reading a good book or some quality TV.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... I’m definitely happy when I’m being creative as it defines who I am and so gives me that fulfillment. My happy place is either on the sofa with, or travelling with my wife to be Deborah.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...

 My favourite journey is heading Cork and Kerry. It’s where my family are originally from and I haven’t really explored it properly. I would love to see Machu Pichu in Peru and also a long road trip around France. 

What do you most value in your friends ...  

The absence of expectations and the Craic.

 

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now 

Favourite words: “We’re booked!”

I’m reading Moby Dick at the moment. I’ve a long list of classics that I thought I better start working through!

 

Share some words of wisdom ... 

Personality is how you behave around others. Character is what you do when you think no one is watching.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you Peter it was such a pleasure to have you at our place.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

Monday
Sep072015

q&a with artist Brad Blackman

 

It is a great pleasure to welcome the incredibly talented artist Brad Blackman to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  Brad is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and has shown his work across the USA and in Europe. Most recently, he exhibited with Quidley & Company Fine Art in Boston.  His work is fine art and filled with clever representations of light that draw the viewer into the work, and he explores themes of man’s mortality and search for peace via urban landscapes and abstract-realist compositions. Brad and I connected via Twitter when he recommended the book Do Over,for me to read (it was a great read).  Then I spent a really pleasant afternoon getting lost on his website, looking at his paintings.  You can follow Brad on Twitter, Facebook, as well as his website, and you can commission one of his beautiful paintings. He is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Art Shows.

 

Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I'm Brad Blackman. I'm a fine artist who makes a living as a graphic designer. I'm also a dad and a husband.

On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator I'm classified as INFJ, which apparently is one of the rarest types. I guess that means I'm a contradiction. The person most like me that you might have seen on TV is Ted from How I Met Your Mother. I'm the kind of person who loves to stay up all night drinking coffee and talking about life, the universe, and everything.
I have severe-to-profound hearing loss. For the longest time I thought of this as a non-issue. An inconvenience, maybe. Most people don't think about it after first meeting me since I get alone fine with hearing-aids, or they don't notice them until they've known me for a while, but the ever-present silence has actually had a profound effect on my work. 
I didn't realize how much my deafness meant to me until a few years ago, and even more so now that I have small (noisy) children.


Where are you from, where are you based ...

I'm from Nashville, Tennessee. I'm one of the few that actually grew up here. I moved away for a few years for college, but I came back and stayed. I fell in love with a girl here, married her, and now we are raising our children here.


Talk about your work ...
I started making art when I was about two. I have always thought of myself as an artist. I drew anytime I could get my hands on a crayon, pencil, pen.
But in college I fell in love with painting. I actually had no interest in it until I took Painting I for my graphic design major. 
There was something mesmerizing about putting paint on canvas. The way oil paint feels on my fingers. The way the colors blend together with a brush. I've been hooked ever since.
I experimented with exaggerated colors in portraits, and landscapes. Blue skies would be orange, gray shadows would turn purple, my friends would be green or blue or red.
After a while I felt like it was a hack, and began to paint "normal" colors, but I always got a bit of extra color in somewhere.
Then a few years ago I tried to paint every single day, making little urban landscapes on small canvases. I got burned out and gave up painting for about eighteen months. 
Not long after that I got an iPhone and discovered how much fun it was to shoot things with Instagram. I began to experiment with not just urban landscapes but abstraction. About two years ago I began to dabble in painting abstractly. 
At the same time I began thinking about silence and the role it has had in my life. Now, rather than fighting it and resenting it, I actually embrace it. 
Last November, I tried the Art Every Day Month Challenge and decided to explore abstraction in painting. I also tried acrylic instead of oil, since I could work quickly. I got up early every morning and worked on smallish abstracts before going to my day job.
Since then, my work is almost all abstract. I use hazy, foggy imagery to underscore the idea of quiet and as a metaphor for not having all the answers in life, and being okay with that.
My abstract painting tends two different directions: quiet and hazy, or sharp and graphic.
What are your future plans ...
Figure out how to make a living as a fine artist! When you look at the really successful artists, you notice that they have a specific product and a specific market. They produce(d) work that appeals to a certain audience. I think right now my job is to figure out what it is I make and who wants it.
How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...  
My children. They are six, five, and three. They amaze me every day. They're so funny, and inventive.
Describe your space ... 
I have a corner in the bonus room over the garage. It's not much, but it's my space. I have a bulletin board with all sorts of things pinned to it, usually reference material for whatever I'm working on at the moment. I have tools like rulers and a color wheel hanging off it.
How are you feeling today ... 
The weather is changing here in Nashville, and I've got allergies, so I'm a little stopped up. Not as bad as I was last week, having to take NyQuil at 3 in the afternoon and sleeping until morning.
A non-negotiable in your life is ...
Dinner with my wife and children. I'm blessed to be able to do this 99% of the time. If I can't, either I'm on a deadline, or major changes have to take place.
Most encouraging words you have ever heard ...
My friend Mitch told me in college that I have a good eye for color. That's always stayed with me, especially as I've noticed he has a good eye for color.
Your work life philosophy is ...
Make time for family and put time for them on the calendar. I may not be available all the time, but when I'm available, I'm all there. Put the phone away at dinner time.
What is your favourite smell ...  
Paints!
Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ...
I listen to a lot of podcasts or 90s ambient on Pandora inspired by the film The Matrix.
Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ...
My mom makes a really good chicken vegetable soup. She would always make it for me when I came home from college.
But I can't think of much of any single ingredient I love more than coffee. :)
That said, I like simple meals that consist of something like grilled chicken, flaky bread.


Three things or products that have changed your life...

1. coffee
2. oil paint
3. hearing aids that connect to Bluetooth devices
How do you relax ...
I wind down by watching old sci-fi shows on Netflix after everyone else has gone to bed. Right now, I'm working my way through The X-Files.
What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...
Places where time stands still and everything grows quiet. It might be in the woods, on the water, or on a mountain. Where all you feel is the sun and all you hear is the wind or water. Natural places that are very high or very low.
You'd think it would be in the studio. But I can't relax there. That's a place where work gets done.
What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  
In college I spent a semester in Italy, and I would love to return. I would especially love to take an extended visit to Ireland as that's where my wife's ancestors are from and she's never been. 
I really want to visit the UK again, especially Wales, since that's where my ancestors came from prior to the American Revolution. 
But one place I really want to see is Iceland. I've seen such amazing footage of it in films and on television that I feel like I have to go. The sky. The land. The mountains. It looks harsh and comforting all at once.
What do you most value in your friends ...  
Loyalty. Reserving judgement until all has been heard. Seeing the good in everything.
What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ...
Right now the word "haze" has been a sort of mantra and inspiration. It's the opposite of clarity, yet I think a lot of clarity can be found in the mist.
I'm not reading anything at the moment, but I recently finished up Do Over by Jon Acuff. It's a great book about how to think about your career.
Share some words of wisdom ...
I'll quote the Beatles: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
----------
It was a pleasure to interview you Brad, thank you for taking part.
That's it for now ...
Nics
Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

 

Monday
Aug172015

q&a with illustrator, designer and stylist Sara O'Neill 

It is wonderful to welcome Sara O'Neill - artist, illustrator, designer and stylist - to the Salt and Sparkle q&a.  I first came across Sara's work during Belfast Fashion Week several years ago, her ability to put things together is ravishing, she has a unique vision and creative eye, combined with an ability to bring colour and lines together that is remarkable.  Her Instagram account is filled with the most beautiful photographs filled with effervescent light.  You can follow her on facebook , Instragram and Twitter, She has also designed a range of ethereal silk scarfs called Éadach which are available at BTS Concept Store, Una Rodden Couture, Gráinne Maher Fashion or from Sara herself. 

 

 


Who are you, what’s it like being you ...

I am Sara O’Neill, stylist and scribbler. Fiancée to Al, a big wave surfer. Daughter to Eddie and Bernie, sibling to Beckie and Rory. Friend to a handful of crazy people. All very intelligent, interesting, passionate people who make me laugh a lot. Owner/ maid/ belly scratcher to golden retriever, Blyton. 

I like being me, it’s a cool life but can be a bit hectic, my mind never switches off and I have so many ideas, things I want to create and become obsessed with. But that’s the way I’ve been since I was a kid, I’m used to it by now.

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I’m from Portrush and after fifteen years in Belfast, returned to the coast last year. Belfast was great, first of all for uni then building my career and client base. But I think when you’re brought up by the sea you’ll always be drawn back. I love it.


Talk about your work ...  

I do a few things, I keep busy. I’ve worked as a freelance stylist for nearly a decade now, specializing in commercial and fashion work, working alongside some brilliant teams. 

Five years ago I got back into drawing, I avoided it for a few years after uni. I’ve since had a few exhibitions and am represented by a London/NYC commercial illustration agency. My illustrations tend to be quite feminine and stylized but it depends on the client brief of course- book and album covers, company branding. I also write a lot, mainly for ad agencies and magazines. 

Last year I combined the skills I have developed from years working in fashion and illustration and launched a range of limited edition printed silks- wearable art.

Éadach has been brilliantly received and I’m always thrilled at the strength of feeling for the pieces- customers get quite emotional.

After completing my BaHons in Fashion and Textile Design eleven years ago I swore I’d never go into design but that just shows you should never say never!

If you told me back then my prints would be featured in Grazia or the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, I would never have believed you- in fact, I’m pretty sure I skipped the print workshops at uni! 

What are your future plans ... 

Professionally, to stay focused, building the different aspects of my business. Work does take up a lot of time, but also allows me a degree of freedom and flexibility. Personally, I’m getting married in the very near future, so that’s exciting.


How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...

I find inspiration everywhere, different things inspire me at different times- music, literature, art, history, people.  At the moment I’m very inspired by my surroundings here on the north coast. The coastline here, combined with the Irish myth and legends my granny told me as a child, is the inspiration behind Éadach.

Describe your space ... 

When I’m writing, designing or drawing I work from home, often hopping from room to room depending on natural light, or in the garden.

Our house is decorated in calming pale colours, neutrals and blues, light and airy rooms with lots of natural textures and bits and bobs collected and inherited over the years, often with a beachy/nautical theme.

My kitsch side always surfaces though, so there is the odd flamingo, pineapple, neon sign and a smattering of animal skulls around the house. When I’m styling I could be on location anywhere or in a studio.


How are you feeling today ... 

Focused. I’m currently working through all the ideas that have been floating around for months, getting them out of my head and onto paper, silk, my Mac before the AW15 madness begins.


A non-negotiable in your life is ...

Space. Work can be all-consuming sometimes, so space to clear my head is essential. That’s usually in the form of a walk around the cliffs or on the beach by myself or with Al and Blyton. And sleep. I love sleeping.

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn


Your work life philosophy is ...

Dream like a bohemian, work like a boss. 

What is your favourite smell ...  

I have many! I love natural outdoor smells- honeysuckle on a summer evening, tomato plants in a greenhouse, the beach after a storm, a forest after the rain.

At home, I love St Eval’s Bay and Rosemary candle from BTS Concept Store and I always have loads of flowers everywhere.

My new scent obsession comes from Fir Beard and Body- they have the most beautiful, evocatively scented beard oils. I’ve nabbed ‘Driftwood’ and use a tiny bit on the ends of my hair. ‘Campfire’ is the most gorgeously heady, smoky smell that conjures up images of glowing embers on a beach.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now ... 

I have the musical taste of a dad, crossed with a moody 80s/90s teenager.

I listen to a lot of music when I draw, I find it helps my pencil work flow.

I love Fleetwood Mac, the Doors, the Stones, anything from the late 60’s/ early 70s really. Then I love Nick Cave, L7, loads of indie and new wave stuff, punk, ska, dodgy rock and metal. Also old jazz and blues.

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients ... 

I love Italian and Mexican food. I’ve been veggie since I was 11 so anything with lots of spices, herbs and gorgeous fresh ingredients is always a winner.

Favourite ingredients include avocado, watermelon and halloumi.  

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

Books, 3b pencils, eyeliner


How do you relax ... 

Bumming about and exploring the coastline with Al and Blyton, going camping if we have a couple of free days. Hanging out with friends and family, going for coffee and a walk. Dancing around like a deranged ballerina and singing badly.

Making things look pretty. Gardening. Reading. Yoga- Jennifer Greenlees takes a great class in the beautiful Arcadia building in Portrush, amazing to hear the waves crashing just outside.


What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ... 

Sunshine. Or a really good storm. Beautiful sunsets. All beside the sea (are you sensing a theme here?) clambering around the cliffs or on the beach, taking photos. A good book in my bag and a coffee in my hand.

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...  

One of the drawbacks of being self-employed is that you forget to take holidays sometimes, so I have not travelled as much as I would like to. I will remedy that. I love wandering around cities with beautiful architecture, history and culture: Florence, NY, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam have been favourites. I like people watching, eating, finding cool markets and boutiques and just soaking up the atmosphere. 

What do you most value in your friends ...

Loyalty, intelligence, humour. Good conversation and bad dancing.

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now ... 

‘Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same’, from Wuthering Heights.

I love classic literature, and novels set in the past with a gothic air. Anything by Yeats. I’ve just finished ‘Rebecca’s Tale’, a spin-off of the Du Maurier classic. It was beautiful.  

Share some words of wisdom ...

Dreams don’t work unless you do.

.............

Sara, it was a real pleasure to interview you for the Salt and Sparkle q&a.

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable