For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Ireland, featuring seven artists who create fantastic work, from illustrations to paper collages and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Paula is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Dublin, Ireland. Her work features gorgeous flat designs with beautiful patterns and animals. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
Yum Yum Recipe Booklet
Ireland is such a unique place, a tiny Island facing the ferociousness of the Atlantic Ocean. I live in the inner city Dublin, it's a thriving, bustling place but I love that it still has a small village feel to it. Dublin attracts many visitors and people from all parts of the world that come to live and work here. As a city, it has a very eclectic vibe while also a visible history and heritage. It's a constant source of inspiration!
Bewleys Illustrated Coffee Mug
There are many enchanting things about living in Ireland. I love the rich traditions behind storytelling, folklore, and ancient history. Combine that with its stunning natural beauty and friendly people, it's difficult not to be influenced by its charm! Nature is a constant source of inspiration in my work, and I love that within a half hour, I can be walking along a rugged sea front, or cycling along a countryside path.
Vintage Fashion Patterns
Dublin has a strong artistic community that's very socially active. Throughout Ireland there are many regular creative events and meet ups. Like most illustrators, there are days when I spend hours hidden away in my studio scribbling and drawing away. Afterwards, I really enjoy the opportunity to get out and meet other like-minded creative folks. I'm a member of the Illustrator's Guild of Ireland (IGI) and a founding member of the Blind Elephant Illustration Collective. Through these groups, I've gained a huge amount of support and advice to help my career while also making lifelong friends.
Steve is an illustrative designer based in Dublin, Ireland. His work features charming designs of whimsical characters with vivid colors. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
Tuzo - Mexican Kitchen
The Irish people are extremely friendly and helpful. Dublin is quite small for a European capital which makes exploring the city on foot very easy. There are an abundance of museums and galleries to visit, and one of my favorite things to do is to sketch in the Natural History Museum. Going outside of Dublin, the countryside is staggeringly beautiful and it's essential to explore the scenic coast of picturesque towns, villages, and ancient stone monuments.
The vast majority of my work comes from outside of Ireland but I think even that reflects my Irish mentality. I’m a huge fan of the British Arts and Crafts Movement, which drew so much inspiration from Celtic ornamentation. Music is also massively important to my work.
When I Die
Becoming a Successful Illustrator
There’s a close community here of Illustrators. We set up the Illustrators Guild of Ireland in 2000 and have grown from 5 initial members to over 80 today. We have monthly meet-ups, active Google and Facebook groups, weekend sketching retreats, as well as several themed group exhibitions each year.
Laura Moreno Yanguas
Laura is a graphic designer based in Kilkenny, Ireland. Her work features adorable children's book illustrations with lovable characters. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
To me, the most important thing when you live in a different place far away from your family and friends, is the people you meet in this new place. I consider Irish people one of the most friendly people that I know. They are all kind and they make you feel very welcomed. I think that's the reason I'm so happy here. I love this country!
Right now I'm living in Kilkenny. It's a very beautiful town that's an hour and a half away from Dublin. I'm surrounded by super talented people from all over the world. It's very inspirational and I can say that I'm learning so much.
Merry Christmas Folks
In Dublin, there are a lot of cool things to do in the art community. There are a lot of animation studios and co-working spaces for artists. The government supports and helps them out and this is simply awesome!
Peter is an animator and illustrator based in Dublin, Ireland. His work features incredible cartoon characters for some of your favorite television shows. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
I grew up in Ireland so it's my home. There are many things I love about this place. I live in Dublin, the capital city, but only a half hour drive away you end up in one of the most beautiful natural places on earth, Wicklow. Everywhere in Ireland is reachable in only a few hours of driving, so there's plenty to do and see. And of course, the people are great.
Ireland has a deep cultural history extending back thousands of years. We grew up learning about Neolithic tombs like the Newgrange, there's the famous Book of Kells, and there's plenty of mythology in the country too. You can't help but feel that influence as you grow up as an artist in Ireland.
Samurai Character Design
Seasons - Winter
The art community is really diverse here in Ireland. My day job is as an animator, and the animation industry in Ireland is thriving at the moment. There are many companies working on a huge range of television shows and films, each with their own identity. There is also a huge amount of talented illustrators, painters, sculptors, and musicians. Although it's a huge community, Ireland is still a small island, so everyone gets influenced by each other's work. It's very inspiring!
Cathal is an illustrator based in Cork, Ireland. His work features unique illustrations bursting with bright, vivid colors. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
In Ireland the tea is strong, the wifi's weak, you don't go out, and there are more shades of grey in the sky than in any bookstore. What's not to love?
It is hard to say how living in Ireland has influenced my work. I was born and raised here so I am as much a product of Ireland as my work. There is a specific way of looking at things that comes from living in Ireland, so maybe that plays a big part.
Cable Nationals 2016
Artists are a passionate bunch no matter where they are in the world and Ireland is no different. There is a strong yet underappreciated art community that manages to actively engage with what is going on around it.
Lola is a paper collage artist and illustrator based in Limerick, Ireland. Her work features surreal paper collages with insanely unique visuals. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
99 Percent Invisible No2
I have lived in a few cities and countries around Europe, and I always love coming back to Ireland. There is a certain wildness here at the edge of Europe that's hard to explain. We live deep in the Burren, a barren moonscape which I find very inspiring to explore each day.
Counting Sheep for Satellite Journal
I always find Ireland to be very friendly, very welcoming, and often surprising. I grew up in Scotland, across the narrow sea where things can be similar but never the same. I've stayed in Ireland many times and everything has always been great.
Pieces for Eye Republic
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The art community is comparable to those elsewhere in Europe, and it's both vibrant and exciting. I know great studios from Galway, Limerick, Cork, and Dublin. I love the small, intense, passionate art scenes you can find in the most desolate of areas. Music and art are very big in Ireland, and I would say they are both well appreciated and respected.
Mark is a graphic designer based in Cork, Ireland. His work features stunning graphic designs with sophisticated and elegant elements. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
Cork Film Festival
If I had to choose one aspect of Ireland that I really love then it's the people. Almost everyone has a great sense of humor and they're very friendly, especially in a smaller city like Cork. That sense of humor is definitely something you miss when you travel outside of Ireland.
Handcrafted Playing Cards
I'm lucky to live in a country with such rich history. There are so many stories, myths, and legends to take inspiration from.
Sin City Poster
In terms of design, Ireland has a small creative community. And I definitely think it could be bigger. I guess I'm not very connected but there are a lot of really talented designers here and platforms like Dribbble are a great way to discover new designers.
Many thanks to the artists who took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below: