Creative Islanders: Fiadh Durham

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The Creative Islanders is a new interview series showcasing some of Ireland’s brightest creative talent and enterprise. It is about people who are stepping into their dreams, purpose and possibilities and embracing their one wild life. 

The interviews give a rare ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into creative practice, motivations and mindsets- shining a light on what makes people tick, and how, collectively, Ireland is alive with creative possibility.

There is such an allure in textile design and weaving for me. Seeing a manual loom in action seems like I am travelling back in time to something ancient and wise, and hearing the loom heave back and forth has a meditative lull for me. I’ve never studied weaving but have much admiration for those who can spin myriad treads into such wondrous patterns while making sense of the what looks like a complex piece of equipment.

It was with such lure I was drawn into Fiadh Durham’s shop in Dingle last summer. Fiadh had been mentioned to me by another friend but little did I realise that she had her looms on view and makes her beautiful textiles there also. Greeted with warmth, I was immediately impressed with Fiadh gentle touch and her passion for both business and weaving.

So it is with great pleasure that we head to West Kerry for this next instalment of the Creative Islanders series with weaver, maker, and creative entrepreneur, Fiadh Durham….

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What keeps you in Ireland? 

So much!  The people, the craic, the scenery, the towns, the clean air and of course it is home. I have always loved to travel. The list of places I want to see gets longer rather than shorter with each trip. When I was younger I had this idea that I would pursue my dreams as a designer abroad, somewhere much more exotic and different to Ireland but the more places I explore the more I appreciate living in Ireland. There are so many opportunities here, it is up to the individual to make it happen!

What makes you tick? What motivates you? 

It depends on what what element of my life or work I’m thinking about but in general I love a challenge, having something exciting to work towards. I love the idea of kind of custom designing ones own life, doing it your way, its not always easy but a major driving force for me is the thrill of the unknown. It keeps life interesting!

What do you do just for the love of it? 

One is listening to good tunes and another is being outdoors, whether it is running, surfing or just going for a creative ramble with my camera and headphones… soaking up ideas fresh air! I suppose we all have that thing we need to to get head space and these are mine. Growing up, I think we spent 90% outside and I think that has stayed with me.

What does the creative process teach you? 

Sometimes I might question the amount of time the creative process takes and I forget how important it really is in relation to my designs. For me, following a creative process teaches me patience, discipline and it allows for design development to happen naturally. I think good designers are problem solvers and you need time for that.

Why do you do what you do?

I love what I do. I don’t think it would be possible if I didn’t. I love designing and making (textiles especially) and I think in the back of my mind I always wanted to run my own business. Its only been in recent years that I have built up the confidence to realise that I can actually do it. The rewards of your worked being loved and appreciated outweigh the many headaches of running your own business.

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What were some of the key moments along your own journey that helped you to get where you are today?

Making the decision that I was in it 100%. Full time. It had to be done. Another thing for me was realising that I was in Dingle because I chose to be and not because I ended up here. It’s a dream place to live if you can do what you love.

I have been so inspired by successful creative artists and craftspeople over the years but funnily enough I’ve also been inspired by others who have not managed to make it work and if forces me to ask why and how will I do it differently.

How do you get unstuck? Any secret tools? 

A bit cliché but I’d say believe in yourself and what you love.

Where do you find inspiration? Any hidden gems? 

I am constantly being charmed by stunning colours and patterns around the Dingle peninsula especially but if you look hard enough I think you can find beautiful combinations in the most surprising places. I remember a speaker in art college once say that when you work as a designer that you see design in everything, everywhere you go, that doesn’t switch off. I wanted that to happen me and I think it has, so trick is catch the bug.

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How do you get through tough times? What sustains you? 

I try take a step back, get a bit of space from it all and then look at the bigger picture, it may be one bad day or week but things have a way of working out. Especially if you want it to, you just have to stay positive and keep going but be realistic about what is achievable too.

What key lessons have your learned about doing business or being a creative practitioner along the way? What have you learned from your ‘failures’? 

First thing for me is timekeeping; you need to be disciplined. Make out a plan and give yourself deadlines if someone else doesn’t. I’m not naturally organised so I have to really put the work in to these areas, it good to have what need to happen in the next day, week, month and so on.

I had to write a detailed business plan when applying for funding and I would advise anyone setting up a business to do this.

Do you have a morning routine? Or other creative habits or rituals? 

My routines always change but I do find it really helpful to have them, it keeps me grounded and healthier.

What books have inspired you?  Or what websites do you turn to? 

I do like to read books, especially when I’m on holidays but the things that really inspire me are more visual. My favourite weaving book is ‘Mastering Weave Structures: Transforming Ideas Into Great Cloth’  by Sharon D. Alderman

Designers and websites I am into at the moment:  margoselby.com, habutextiles.com, giveirishcraft.com, irishdesignshop.com, makersandbrothers.com

 

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What advice do you wish you had received as you were stepping onto your own creative path? 

I would have liked to have more mentors in the beginning, so many things that would have been easier if I networked a bit more. You have to put yourself out there. In saying that, you have to have the confidence in your instinct. Take some advice but also know when its not right for you.

And what advice would you give to your future self? 

Find a way to have a good work/life balance. I am a hard worker but I feel that surely its only all worth if if you have a healthy personal and professional life.

What is coming up next for you? 

I feel that my business is at the brink of being properly launched so the next year will be all about getting Fiadh products to a much wider reach. I have big plans for online trading but the thing I’m most excited about is the new designs to come. I am investing in a multi-shaft computer aided hand loom and I will use this to create limited editions of more complex, dynamic designs. I’m so looking forward to getting stuck into that in the new year.

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Thank you so much Fiadh! I look forward to following the growth of your business and talent. Clare x

Fiadh’s website is over here. 

And her Etsy shop is over here. 

 

 

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Learning to Ringmaster.

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Being a creative or social entrepreneur is akin to circus performance. You are learning to balance on tightropes as you juggle all your plates. Sometimes you feel like a bit of a clown as you put ideas out into the world not knowing if people will laugh or cry. Then there is the jumping through loops and hoops as you preform miraculous acts holding on by the skin of your teeth. Not to mention battling all the lions and tigers which enter the arena and the acrobatics you have to do with limited resources. And there you find yourself as ringmaster learning to co-ordinate it all with flair while selling tickets at the same time. Yes, a circus.

Am I mad, I ask myself? There are frequent moments when I wonder why I ran away with the circus. Shouldn’t I just get a proper job and when did lion taming become part of my remit? But once in the arena there is a charm and a huge sense of gratification which keeps you showing up again and again.

Brene Brown speaks about the power of being in the arena in her recent book, Daring Greatly and hinges inspiration on this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man*who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

(*or woman, obviously)

The arena, I have learned, while a place of daring and rich learning, can also be a lonely and a hard place too. There are so many times I have wanted to leave but only with the support of friends, mentors, coaches and leadership training have I been able to stick it out. And I am glad I am here.  It is through the strength of support and having people to bounce ideas around and who offer insights into my blind spots that I have been able evolve and keep learning. Which is how my own coaching offerings have grown and why I am doing the work I am doing. I believe in the arena and I believe it doesn’t have to be such a lonely place. 

Creative coaching is a whole array of tools and processes I have developed and use for working in the circus (metaphorically of course). From visioning exercises, to branding and communications strategy I offer one to one support to keep you thriving in the arena. It is like having an accountability buddy to keep you on track and a fellow ringmaster to help co-ordinate a masterful performance. 

I’ve been working with a wonderful woman recently called Sharon Green, who runs a company called Queens of Neon. Sharon shared some words recently which captures some of the creative coaching process:

I have been feeling my way along for a very long time, taking creative projects that come to me through word of mouth and throwing myself into them whole heartedly.

But I always wonder how I can get more of the projects that I love, how do I word my website properly to reach out to clients that have the projects that really make me tick. I was recommended Clare by a friend and she all at once made sense of my confusion. She made me see that it is a waste of my energy always trying to change the copy on my website until I understand what my dream and my vision is. To start back at the beginning feels very freeing and exciting.

She asks the right questions and listens intently picking out the words and phrases that make sense and always paying attention on an energy level so notices when things excite you. She helps you see your dream scenario and gives you structure and homework to help manifest it. In my case she is also bringing me out from the shadows to feature prominently on my website, honing in to what it is that makes my business unique and that is me. Its true therapy for the creative business person. I would highly recommend Clare to anyone, who like me, feels like they are close to filling their true potential but for reasons just can’t seem to just get there.

Pow! Thank you Sharon.

So if, like Sharon, you have big visions, creative goals, dreams of possibility but you would like some support to help clarify your direction, perhaps some creative coaching is for you. I offer a number of tailored packages. You can find out more over here. If this sparks interest, I offer a free 20 minute Skype call where we can figure if we are a fit for each other and what areas of the arena to focus on so that 2016 will bring you closer to it all.

May the games commence… (*insert circus theme tune!)

END of circus analogy now, I promise!

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The above photo was taken in Cambodia at a circus I went to. I had totally forgotten about this image until I used the new ‘Camera Roll’ feature on flickr. AMAZING. Any flickr users still out there? This tool is amazing…


Creative Islander: Charmaine Kenny

 

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The Creative Islanders is a new interview series showcasing some of Ireland’s brightest creative talent and enterprise. It is about people who are stepping into their dreams, purpose and possibilities and embracing their one wild life. 

The interviews give a rare ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into creative practice, motivations and mindsets- shining a light on what makes people tick, and how, collectively, Ireland is alive with creative possibility.

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I first met Charmaine Kenny about 10 years ago when she volunteered for Suas in India (I was working with the charity at the time). She stood out then, as she stands out now; with a brilliant mind (she was a Scholar in Trinity), fiery ambition, and a big and beautiful heart which warms any encounter. One of her targets back then was to raise 3k for Suas. Charmaine raised at least 12k through a clever auction in her hometown of Athy, and by enlisting all the help she could from friends and family-  in abundance. For Charmaine is someone you just really want to support because no matter what she does, she does it with passion, intellect, charm, humour and a fine innate grace.

When her boyfriend, now husband, entered her into the Rose of Tralee a few years ago we all knew she would win. How could she not? And so she did, which led to a wild year of travel around the world representing Ireland. It was then that the seeds of her current project were planted. Since then she has coupled her experience with an MBA from Standford University and has now been led back to Ireland to develop her own business- The Irish Workshop, a new online marketplace to showcase, promote and sell Irish art and craft internationally in collaboration with her business partner Fearghal Mulvihill.

By her own admission Charmaine does not term herself ‘creative’. But if creativity is innovation, and if creativity is having an idea, surmounting challenges, finding ways around obstacles, and seeing that idea through to fruition, then Charmaine epitomises it. And I think it is so brilliant to see people like Charmaine taking root in Ireland. She is ridiculously smart and with a strong business focus and rooted values, I have no doubt her new venture will be successful and will open international doors for many more of the traditionally deemed ‘creatives’ in Ireland. It is early days yet for them (they just launched last month), but so great to see such platforms being developed and who knows where it may lead too…

As you can see, I am a huge Charmaine fan and so am delighted to introduce you to Creative Islander, Charmaine Kenny…

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What keeps you in Ireland? 

My grandfather calls me the wild bird. I fly off for periods of time but always find my way home. I’ve lived abroad in London and California, but Ireland always calls. The people call, the community calls, the humour calls, the outdoors call. I love that I can live close to the heart of a bustling city yet only be a 20 minute walk to the sea and a 20 minute bike ride to the mountains. I love that I can drive home to my hometown in an hour. I love that I bump into people I know randomly on Dublin’s streets.

What makes you tick? What motivates you? 

Steep learning curves. When I’m not learning, I’m bored. As child growing up, bored was a word that was banned from our home. The use of the phrase “I’m bored” was nearly considered worse than swearing! Our parents always said that bored meant that there is nothing to do, but went on to explain that that’s impossible, because there is always something to do and if we couldn’t think of something to do, they’d give us something to do (this usually involved picking stones off the lawn, mowing the grass, or working the bog). And so, I’ve learned to make sure that I don’t get bored – maybe out of fear of someone else giving me a job to do! When my learning curve begins to flatten, it’s time to make a change.

Real Turf Fire Candle by The Bearded Candle Makers

Real Turf Fire Candle by The Bearded Candle Makers

What do you do just for the love of it? 

Walking for miles and miles. Sending nice greeting cards. Wednesday date nights with my husband. Working on The Irish Workshop (genuinely).

What does the creative process teach you? 

This is where I begin to feel an imposter. The truth is that I am surrounded by people who live, breathe, and exude creativity – that is the 60 makers that are our partners on The Irish Workshop. But I don’t necessarily associate the word “creative” with myself. I suppose building The Irish Workshop has pulled us through a creative process, and this has taught me to unearth talents I didn’t know I had, accept that it’s ok to lean on the people around me for support, and to become more patient for results.

Why do you do what you do?

I’m passionate about craft and about Ireland – I get real energy from discovering and seeing the incredible work the makers, designers and artists of Ireland are producing. I’m fascinated by consumer psychology and using data to guide how we can influence shoppers. And I’m rooted to a core value of fairness. The Irish Workshop pulls these three things together: we are creating a fairer way for small creative Irish businesses to get their work into the hands of shoppers.

How do you get unstuck? Any secret tools? 

I usually get unstuck by emptying my head of all its noise. And the only way I’ve found to do this is by doing high intensity cardio exercise;  exercise that requires so much energy that I have to give it everything, concentrating so much on moving my body, that I let go of what’s in my noisey head. A series of good spinning classes usually does the trick. But of course, when I’m stuck, going to a spin class is the last thing that I want to do!

Blue Rose Collar by Aine McConnell

Blue Rose Collar by Aine McConnell

Where do you find inspiration? Any hidden gems? 

I find a lot of inspiration from other people – hearing their stories often makes me realise that they aren’t too different to me and that I can also achieve. My old classmates from Stanford University are a source of inspiration for sure. It is an incredible bunch of people and I felt like a fraud in their midst for the two years that we did our MBA. There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit in the class, and in the last year many of them have launched companies ranging from biowearable sensors for athletes, a subscription of artisanal teas from around the world, back-office operations for dental practices, and smarter mobile deep linking technology. Only yesterday I received an email from another classmate who is creating a line of dolls whose characters are smart, ambitious, and opinionated. I love their drive, their ambition, but most of all their sincere attitude of believing that they can change the world.

How do you get through tough times? What sustains you? 

A Stanford professor once said to us that “regret for what you’ve done is tempered with time, but regret for what you have not done is inconsolable”. This deeply resonated with me. I know that if I didn’t try my hand at creating a business, a piece of my soul would mourn forever. It is during the tough times that doubt can creep in and make you question why we’re doing what it is that we’re doing. Reminding myself of this quote helps me get through the tough times, and when I get a more permanent office this quote will be framed above my desk – currently I have the quote scribbled on a sticky note stuck to my computer screen!

 

James Joyce by Vincent Keeling

James Joyce by Vincent Keeling

What key lessons have your learned about doing business or being a creative practitioner along the way? What have you learned from your ‘failures’? 

I used to get really disappointed when a maker I was excited about didn’t want to list on The Irish Workshop. I found it difficult to understand why because if they sold through us they retained 80% of the sales price (versus <50% in ordinary retail), we don’t charge signup or listing fess (so no financial risk) and we are giving them a window into international markets where they didn’t have a presence at all. In my head, it was a no-brainer. Now, I view it differently – the disappointment gets replaced with energy. It’s as if they have thrown down the gauntlet to us to prove ourselves worthy of their time and their work. I am happy to take on that challenge!

Do you have a morning routine? Or other creative habits or rituals?

I listen to the radio. I like how efficient it is; I can get up to speed on world news as I brush my teeth. I don’t like to leave the house without having a fresh smoothie. I can be a bit of a workaholic so I have a little mantra that says “do two nice things for your body every day” –  these things can be having that fresh smoothie in the morning, getting some exercise, eating extra healthily. They can be little things like walking further to get my lunch so that I can just move. The little mantra makes me measure albeit in a pretty crude way if I’m taking care of myself.

What advice do you wish you had received as you were stepping onto your own creative path? 

I’m a natural introvert so I’m happy in my own company but I wish that someone had told me how lonely starting out can be unless you consciously check that you have daily human interaction. I remember when I first kicked off research from which The Irish Workshop was born; my husband would arrive home in the evening to be greeted with a 20 minute burst of non-stop chatter because I may not have spoken to anyone else that day!

And what advice would you give to your future self? 

I sometimes look back at things I have done and things I have achieved and think “how the hell did I do that?”. I think that as we get older we become more risk averse and that can put constraints on our dreams. I advise my future self to not only assess the practical/logical risks but to also assess the risks in giving up dreams.

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What is coming up next for you? 

The Irish Workshop has my 100% attention for now. Working closely with my business partner, Fearghal Mulvihill, we will continue to focus on building out our community of makers to offer shoppers a richer product range. We will continue to partner with makers who take pride in their work, who are ambitious to grow their creative businesses, and whose products have a strong Irish narrative. In parallel, we will put considerable efforts into building up our customer base and experiment with different marketing channels – so many ideas, so little time!

 

Lynchmob Aran Hats by Davina Lynch

Lynchmob Hats by Davina Lynch

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And again, the link to The Irish Workshop – just in time for Christmas! Thank you Charmaine  x


Creative Islanders: Superfolk

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The Creative Islanders is an new interview series showcasing some of Ireland’s brightest creative talent and enterprise. It is about people who are stepping into their dreams, purpose and possibilities and embracing their one wild life. 

The interviews give a rare ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into creative practice, motivations and mindsets- shining a light on what makes people tick, and how, collectively Ireland is alive with creative possibility.

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Next up in the series is Superfolk founded by partners in life and business Jo Anne Bulter and Gearóid Muldowney. Based in Westport, in the wild west of Ireland, Superfolk design and craft exquisite homewares. Inspired by the outdoors and with respect to the raw and rugged landscape and materials which surround them, both Jo Anne and Gearóid’s work exude craftsmanship with comes with much patience, practice and a deeply rooted passion for elegance and beauty. I greatly admire their decision to move out west, working to create a business in tune with the landscape while generating employment and opportunities for the region.

Jo Anne also inspired me recently to take up lino cutting again, and gave me some very useful tips and hints (thank you!) I also love popping into their Instagram feed to have a visual dose of the west… they take some stunning images.

Now over to some words from Jo Anne & Gearóid..

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Photo Credit:Henrietta Williams

What makes you tick? What motivates you?

Jo Anne: I love to understand the relationships and connections between things and am curious about simple things in nature, animals, our weather and our environment. In designing I always want to try to understand the core or the essence of a material, a process or a problem. I want to always be proud of the work that we do and I love sharing that with others. Some people connect in a very emotional way to the sensibility of what we make and really get it and that’s very rewarding. We want to build a business where we will be creating employment in the west of Ireland.

Gearoid: I like to identify problems and rectifying them. I enjoy fixing things. But at some point its best to start afresh and thats why I design new things. Being able to understand your built/designed/made environment helps orientate a person. Being able to tell a story through our products is normal; materials have a history, objects are created in a context, keeping that context part of the product is an integral part of what we do.

What keeps you in Ireland?

Jo Anne: Our families – My father passed away in 2006 and Gearoid’s father died in 2012. The sense of sadness and loss is profound, but, bereavement also brought a deepening appreciation for our family, our friends and the feeling of ‘at home’ we have with living in the west of Ireland.

Gearoid: I love Ireland. My upbringing and my education has given me a wonderful appreciation for this island. My parents and my primary school teachers introduced me to the rich cultural heritage that is ours to discover. Ireland’s geography, natural history and culture fascinates me. With Superfolk, we are trying our best to use all of these elements to our advantage. We don’t want to leave.

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What do you do just for the love of it?

Jo Anne: I love learning about what I am seeing around me and anything that involves fresh air and being outside – walking, hiking, climbing, kayking, snorkelling, camping. I love trying to identify wild flowers and plants. I want to understand how a single plant can tell the story of its habitat – the relationship between the climate, topography and geology of a place. I want to know not just the name of everything that grows in the wild but why it chooses to grow where and when it grows – the wider inter-connected story of habitat. And I love watching Homeland. And Vikings.

Gearoid: I like being outside. I use fly fishing as a legitimate excuse to roam the countryside, study maps jump fences and talk to strangers. Fly fishing gives me the license to stand in rivers in silence, whilst water rushes all around you. I can stand motionless in a ditch listening for a plop of a trouts lip as it sips in flies trapped in the water surface film. I like the silence of big open spaces. Hiking in the hills of Mayo energises me. We have a large dog, ‘Woody’, a Wiemaraner and he demands plenty of exercise, so he’s another excuse to be in forests and hills and beaches.

What does the creative process teach you?

Jo Anne: Good work will not be forced. We might push really long and hard trying to make something work and eventually have to admit defeat. Good work is more instinctive, more fluid and truer to ourselves. When we are slogging at something it can be hard to stop and accept that what is more easy, free and simple is the better work. The slog is an important part of the creative process but its not the work. I think this is described best in the phrase ‘the simplicity on the other side of complexity’.

Gearoid. How to be honest. Well made things are honest. There are no tricks, if you want to make something that will last, and function well there are no short cuts. Use good materials and do them justice.

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How do you get unstuck? Any secret tools?

Jo Anne: Turn it upside down. In my foundation art course my tutor Robin Jones would tell us to frequently turn the page of a drawing upside down to make us look at the drawing with fresh eyes. So I try to find similar ways to keep fresh eyes and perspective on whatever I am working on. Turn the page upside down, take a step back, take a break, go for a walk. Learn to change your position relative to your work and learn to see with fresh eyes.

Gearoid: I don’t get stuck much these days. When I was younger I might have been more precious about my  ideas and less willing to give up on something that wasn’t working. I’ve gotten better at scrapping something that isn’t working, ideas are two a penny.

Where do you find inspiration? Any hidden gems?

Jo Anne: We are designers but it is really important to us that we are always looking outside of ‘design’. When Gearoid and I travel to new places we always look out for the folk museum, the natural history museum, the odd strange decorative arts museum.  I really love any outdoor folk museums even really touristy ones. I love ‘Den Gamle By’, the outdoor folk life museum in Arhus in Denmark.

Gearoid: Humans have been designing and problem solving for thousands of years. Its only in the last few hundred years that we have begun to document some of these results. My interest in vernacualr life tools is endless. I love folk museums especially if they have an outdoor element and archaeology, you cant beat digging in the ground and speculating.

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How do you get through tough times? What sustains you?

Jo Anne: The memory of that first feeling of Spring in the air – at any time of year. And anything William Wegman ever made. Walking and listening to podcasts.

Gearoid: I used to smoke, rolling tobacco and I really enjoyed the peaceful time it gave. It allowed me time to meditate on things. It turns out smoking kills you, so I walk the dog now or go fishing.

What key lessons have your learned about doing business or being a creative practitioner along the way?

Jo Anne: Don’t take criticism personally. Listen and understand criticism as subjective insight.

Gearoid: Play the long game. Make good work. Don’t rush things. Give yourself time to do a good job. Be nice to people and don’t waste time on negative thoughts.

What have you learned from your ‘failures’?

Jo Anne: Never be afraid to cut your losses. Don’t keep going with something that in your gut doesn’t feel right because you are too afraid of losing what you have already invested.

Gearoid: Not to give up. Move on quickly and regroup. Moving forward and not dwelling in the past is important. Keep moving forward.

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Do you have a morning routine?

Jo Anne: Roughly along the lines of …Feed the dog, go for a walk, come back have porridge and coffee and have a short meeting about what work is needed to be done that day.

Gearoid: Porridge. Clean and tidy, start work as soon as possible. Morning is the best time to have clear thoughts and energy.

Or other creative habits or rituals?

Jo Anne: Walking meetings – when we are figuring something out together rather than a sit-down brainstorm we take walking meetings where we walk and talk through our ideas. For some reason when we are more active, walking, you can be more insightful and make big decisions more confidently.

Gearoid: I like to have a place for everything so I’m constantly trying to put my life in order or de clutter my life. It is a struggle, the world wants me to have so much stuff.

What books have inspired you? Or what websites do you turn to? 

Jo Anne: The Wild Flowers of Ireland by Carsten Krieger and Declan Doogue – It tells the story of wildflowers and wild plant life from the point of view of habitat – I love to think about the inter-relationship of factors that create an amenable habitat for plantlife– in a funny way it is really quite relevant to home-wares designing. Also ‘The Way That I Went’ by the naturalist Robert Lloyd Preager. When I’m drawing I listen to podcasts like ‘On Being’ and podcasts about slow food movement and plant life on ‘Heritage Radio Network’.

Gearoid: I have referred to the SAS survival handbook since I was a child. Its a guide to doing everything a human needs to do to stay alive, it has nothing superfluous of luxurious in it its a stripped back guide to living. Its not a bad place to begin if you are designing lifestyle or homeware goods.

What advice do you wish you had received as you were stepping onto your own creative path?

Jo Anne: Trust your gut. Don’t wait to be perfect (because there’s no such thing)

Gearoid: Be brave.

 

 

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Find out more over on their website Superfolk 

Follow them on Instagram here. 

Thank you so much Superfolk. You are, indeed, super folk. Clare x