15 June 2019

“Start by making anything and see where it goes!”

Meet illustrator Cathal Duane, creator of Cruinniú na nÓg 2019’s fantastic artwork.

With Cruinniú na nÓg mere weeks away now, you may have noticed this captivating image appearing on your screens and noticeboards. We’re inviting children and young people nationwide to ‘Cruinniú to Create’ this year, so we decided to put creativity into action by commissioning superb Irish illustrator Cathal Duane to create the perfect piece for us.

With his works “inspired by strange thoughts, weird connections and cosmic oddities”, Galway native but Cork-based Cathal has been drawing since childhood and today counts The Atlantic and the BBC among his many client commissions.

His simple, colourful and textured style made Cathal an irresistible choice for our Cruinniú na nÓg illustration. Bursting with vibrant colours, expressive movement and creative joys of every description, Cathal drew inspiration from the sheer breadth of activities in this year’s programme.

Following that old adage ‘try, try again’, Cathal rather modestly recalls a childhood spent “drawing all the time and being very bad at it! I enjoyed drawing and discovering new approaches to it so much that I kept doing it anyway and now I am proud to say I am less bad…”.

With the illustration itself depicting young people engaged in all manner of exuberant and thoughtful creativity, what would the illustrator like young people to take from the work? “I would like people to look at the piece and realise that there are many ways to be creative and that anything you are interested in can be done in a creative way.

Creativity is like playing to me. Playing with ideas, techniques, materials, etc. I have come to view creativity as more about the process than the end result. So I would advise anyone: Never try to make something creative, just start by making anything and see where it goes!”

Sounds like great advice to us!

Find out more about Cathal Duane at cathalduane.com and see what’s happening for Cruinniú na nÓg near you, here.