Tuesday, 13 October 2015

One Curious Chip .com is LIVE!

In recent weeks, I've been developing my portfolio, both online and in print, and I decided that it was about time I bit the bullet and got my own .com! In future, www.OneCuriousChip.com will be my HQ, so I've designed it in a way that means you should be able to find anything and everything you might want to see. My portfolio, about me, my contact details, my CV, and of course, my blog all have a new home! Please do feel free to check it out and click around. And if you think something's missing, or something could be better: please let me know! I'm sure I'll be tweaking various bits and pieces while I'm settling into the new space!
PS: Big thank you to Lightning Strike Comics for supporting the new site!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Transition from the Comfort of the Art Room to the World of Third Level Art | ATAI Conference 2015

Last weekend, I was invited to the annual conference of the Art Teacher's Association of Ireland (ATAI) to share my thoughts and experiences on the topic of transitioning from second level art into third level education. I had such a wonderful day, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take part!

Because I left secondary school relatively recently (just over 2 years ago) and because I'm still in third level education (with two more years to go!), the topic of my talk was an interesting one for me to explore. Ultimately, the main conclusion that I came to was the fact that educators - both at secondary and third level - are incredibly important, and have the power to instill a lifetime passion for creativity and give their students the confidence to pursue creative careers. I discovered my passion for art in secondary school, and with the support and encouragement of my teachers, I've grown and developed in directions I may never have reached on my own. And even now, at third level, and in the real world, I'm still building on the base that I found all those years ago.


I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to say that I always felt comfortable in the art room, and I am overwhelmingly thankful for the teachers that I had for their creative ethos and drive to support me and the other students in my classes. Despite the challenges and limitations that the state exams in Ireland present - most notably, the sheer scale of the leaving certificate art course - my teachers always did their very best, and it was their ethos and passion that gave me the confidence, motivation, and excitement that I needed in order to pursue art at third level. At third level, too, I have been fortunate in the course that I picked. My lecturers at LSAD, Clonmel have helped me to grow even further, and build on the art forms that I discovered my passion for in secondary school. I have always worked hard on personal work outside of the courses that I have followed - largely because the time limits in those courses have unfortunately been severe - but without the influence of those educators; I wouldn't have had the ability, the motivation, or the passion that has helped me to become the ambitious, optimistic, and enthusiastic creative person that I am today. 

So here's to teachers! You wonderful people deserve huge credit, and a thousand thanks. 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015



"...so little time."

Part 2!  Last week I shared Heartburn, which was an illustration inspired by my usual reaction to new experiences, ideas, and possibilities. This week, I'm sharing Brainfreeze... the aftermath of that.

Initial Sketch

Brainfreeze is essentially what happens when Heartburn burns out, and it represents my indecision. I'm thankful that I've found so many wonderful things that make me excited, but there is a cost in being passionate and enthusiastic about so many things. It's tough to make decisions. I find it difficult to decide if I want to follow this wonderful rabbit hole of an idea or that one. I stress out a lot; because I know that choosing this means saying no to that. You can do anything, but not everything, and all that jazz. Ultimately, decisiveness is something I'm trying to work on.

I designed these two illustrations together; to show my thought process. I don't know if anyone will see elements of themselves in them, but at the very least I hope you lovely people think they look cool. :)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015



"So many ideas..."

Part 1 of 2! The idea for these illustrations first hit me back in February-ish, but for one reason or another, I haven't had the chance to really bring them to life until recently. They're nearly more relevant now than they were then though, considering the incredible summer I've had, and all the decisions that I've had to make in the past few weeks in particular. I'm incredibly thankful, and overwhelmingly excited about everything that's been happening in my little corner of the world lately; and this little drawing sums up that feeling pretty well.

Initial Sketch

Heartburn - I'm a sucker for a pun, and visual puns are even better! - represents my excitable side. If you know me in person at all, you'll know that I'm essentially a storm in a teacup... If I like something, I tend develop an all-out obsession with it, so I throw myself at projects or ideas or stories with a passion and enthusiasm that sometimes surprises people. It's fun, it's fast, and usually it means I produce work that I'm proud of.

Full Image

That's just one half of the story though. I'll share Part 2 next week! ;)

Friday, 18 September 2015


Late post this week, I'm afraid! It's been a crazy hectic fortnight overall, between moving to my new little house and travelling to Derry for ComicCity, as well as getting back into the swing of college life and keeping on top of freelance-y work. It's been busy, but I'm learning so much, and I'm having an absolute ball!

Post-con blues have hit hard this week. I came home from ComicCity in the wee hours of Monday morning, buzzing with a renewed passion for creating things, and a huge appreciation for the people that work so hard to make things happen. This week, I've been feeling an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude, new admiration, and incredible excitement for the future in every sense! I've got lots of books to look forward to reading (check out the photo below!), lots of ideas I can't wait to get down on paper, and lots of experiences to anticipate!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Illustration | Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Back in June, I got a message to ask if I'd be interested in doing some design work with Lightning Strike Comics, for a charity comic book called The Life and Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Obviously, I was absolutely delighted to jump on board as a collaborator, alongside some really incredible artists and writers. I also provided an illustrated portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and arranged the text and logo placement on the front cover of the comic. I shared a tiny glance of the design work in this post (hopefully I'll show the design work in full here soon!) but today I wanted to share the portrait! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

Because the whole book was based on the very popular stories of Sherlock Holmes, I wanted to keep a slightly "vintage" and slightly "worn out" tone, and because I was illustrating a writer, I decided to bring in some inky, papery textures too. Compositionally, it was suggested that I arrange the illustration to appear in an oval frame, which is how it appeared in the final printed copy of the book.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how the portrait turned out, and to have my name in a comic book for the first time... I'm still smiling about that!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Caravan Palace

I'm moving back to Clonmel for college this weekend, this is technically my last post of the "summer." and I went swing dancing for the first time last week; so it's couldn't be a better time to share a Caravan Palace! (Note: This illustration is available as a print here. :) )

Can you believe it's September? I can't. This summer was such an incredible one, and the time has absolutely flown by! I still can't believe that in less than a week I'll be back in classes and lectures. And this year is going to be different in many ways. For a start; I'm going to be living on my own this semester! I'm moving into a tiny little house on Friday, although I still legitimately think I'd have been better off buying a little caravan and living in that instead.

Buying a caravan and doing it up into something cool and quirky and weird, and touring around Ireland or Europe or somewhere (anywhere), is something that I'd love to do at some stage. It's my idea of a perfect summer really; driving around a country or continent, discovering new places and new experiences. A little caravan palace? That's the dream!

Which brings me on to swing dancing! It's something that I've been wanting to try out for a really long time, and last week I actually managed to find a class and take it! Caravan Palace - a swing band - is one of my favourites (I fully intend to see them perform live someday! Just look at the video above! Incredible stuff!) and because I'm a former gymnast, I really missed dancing. So I took the class, had some fun, and I've been listening to Caravan Palace since.

Ultimately, this post feels like I'm about to head back into the routine. Ballpoint pen in my Moleskine sketchbook; it feels good, and familiar, and welcoming. Tomorrow, I'll have my last full day at work (the photo above was taken on my lunch break this afternoon - I've gone to that bench in that park most days this summer), I'll take a day or two to take a step back and breathe, and then I'll kick off next week in full swing!Till then!