When did you set up your business and why?
I have worked as an artist for about 10 years, but really started working part-time at it within the last five years.
I have been lucky to receive the basic income for the arts, so this now enables me to work full-time as an artist.
Can you explain your process?
I painted a family home portrait for a customer many years ago; it was so well received that I decided to make this the main focus of my business.
I also paint wedding venues and shop fronts. I have worked in acrylics, but more recently I have changed to oils and I am now concentrating on landscapes and old cottages.
I am planning to do an exhibition of my derelict cottages sometime next year and the oils are lending themselves well to this process.
What is your best seller?
The family home portraits are the best sellers. This is a unique gift and is always well received. Your home is usually your biggest asset and most likely filled with a lifetime of memories.
I like to focus on the details that are so important to the owner. I now have a name for painting family homes and I have constant commissions.
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
When I go to work, it is a pleasure. I look forward to going into my studio every day and completing a composition I am working on. This is my space.
I am never bored or alone when I have my painting. The best thing is when I hand over the finished product and I get the feedback from the customer.
There are not many jobs where the customer sends you emotional reviews. I am so lucky to be able to do this as a job.
What are your hopes for the coming year?
I am working on a new project this year and hope to have it completed next year. I am focusing on old Irish cottages and farmhouses that have been abandoned. I am compiling the history and producing the paintings.
There are so many of these homesteads in Ireland and this is our history. There is also a very interesting social and political conversation around this.
I am planning to do a blog and keep my subscribers in the loop with this journey. I would love your feedback on this project as the abandoned cottages are in many cases a rural problem.
What advice would you give to another start-up business?
Everyone has a talent or dream, something they are good at. If you believe in yourself and if you visualise yourself being successful, then there is a good chance it will happen.
It is not an easy journey, but if you enjoy what you do it will give you pleasure. There will be parts of the journey that you may not be good at (accounts for me), but take advice or, if possible, offload this to someone who can help.
Never give up, find solutions and take time out for you and your family because when you work for yourself there is no clock-off time. It's worth it!