Caitriona Sweeney

What’s your story? Where are you from?

Caitriona Sweeney ProfileI am an illustrator from Dublin (though I have lived in Kilkenny and Helsinki), who spent most of my summers roaming around my Grandad’s farm in the west of Ireland.

I think this is where I got interested in the weather, especially the wind, nature and the cycle of seasons and how we relate to all that.

Tell us about your aesthetic.

Simplicity (even though I use pattern a lot!), Nature, the seasons - I am very seasonal! I feel a bit off-kilter when I'm not in-tune with them! My paint colours usually tie into or take inspiration from what's in season nature-wise too.

Natasa Jovanic Work

What is your artistic process like?

Once I have the idea, I do a few very rough and loose sketches for composition (helpful especially for picture books where positioning and scale of characters/objects/environments can help tell the story and convey emotion). Sometimes, if I want something a bit more unexpected and less-controlled, I skip the pencil stage and paint straight onto the paper. Then I open my box of watercolours and the fun part begins; mixing the colours on my porcelain palette. I enjoy how multi-sensory watercolours are; the clink and splash of the brush in the jar of water, the feel and colour of the paint covering the thick watercolour paper. Plus, they are very easy to clean up after.

Who and/or what inspires your work?

Everyone and everything - Life!! I get inspiration by keeping my eyes and ears open and just being attentive in daily life, which may be humdrum and unassuming, but I believe the person can be universal. Nature, especially the weather, the changing of the seasons are a neverending source of insight and inspiration for me.

Natasa Jovanic Work

What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

This is a hard one to answer...I suppose colour is like language to me, it makes me happy, it is a way of expressing myself and responding to things.

I think practising art enables you to see other things in life from different perspectives too, like looking at a problem from a different angle.

Also, something I'm really noticing in recent times; seeing a real-life original painting in the flesh (ie in an exhibition) is a completely different experience from just seeing it on-line, reminding me to get off-line and see some art for real!

Where did you study?

I got a degree in Printed Textiles from NCAD and a Higher National Diploma in Classical Animation from Ballyfermot College of Further Education.

Natasa Jovanic Work

What do you hope to achieve with your art?

I'd be happy if my art inspired people to feel or tap into a sense of kindness, gentleness, to notice and appreciate the small everyday miracles - and to provoke a gentle sense of humour!

Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I enjoy most food! A cup of strong tea with a slice of soda bread, butter and raspberry jam never fails me!

Favourite book?

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (the way she describes nature and weather!).

Natasa Jovanic Work

Favourite genre of music?

I can't limit myself to just favourite radio programme is Movies and Musicals on Lyric FM - I love an atmospheric soundtrack!

What are your hobbies?

Potting flowers and vegetables, swimming, listening to Movies and Musicals on Lyric FM while making pizza on a Saturday afternoon.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A gardener, florist, meteorologist - or physiotherapist!

Instagram: @caitriona.sweeney