What’s your background?
I completed a BA Honors Degree in Fine Art in England in 1997. I received an MA in Art in the Digital World from NCAD in 2003 and commenced working part time for IADT in 2005.
What work experience have you had?
I have worked in a lot of various jobs, the main one in Web Design, which led me to fortunately becoming redundant in the last Dot Com bust of 2000. I was lucky to get a good redundancy package, which enabled me to focus on my art again. I joined the Black Church Print Studio full time, before this I could only work there weekends. I set myself a year of not worrying about money and to develop new work.
What did you do when you finished your degree?
I moved to Dublin without a plan or knowing anybody, I still question the reasoning behind this. I ended up doing a FAS course in Multimedia & Web Design because of pressure from the social welfare office. I then obtained an intern job, which started a cycle of 3 years working in a commercial company. The knowledge I learned there has come in useful for many aspects of my work.
Did you feel prepared for the real world?
Not in the slightest. It became apparent very fast how important money was in order to be able to make artwork. I also quickly became aware of how you can get trapped in a 9 to 5 job for the money and not have the time to make artwork.
What are you doing now?
I am currently based in a studio in Temple Bar Gallery & Studios. I am still a member of Black Church Print Studio and working as an associate lecture in IADT.
What advice would you give to students who are in their final year of art college?
Enjoy both the freedom and uncertainty of being an artist as it never leaves. Keep in mind your original motivation to become an artist and stay focused on your work. Remain open to trying new experiences even if unrelated to your art. Look inward for validation not outward. Be aware of change and transformation and adapt.