Tuesday 25 June 2013

Tell All Tuesday ~ Featured Artist: Ciara McGuire

Hi guys, guess what, guess what I've just pulled myself away from doing to post this TAT?!?

I was painting in my new outdoor studio eeeeeeeeeeekkkk!

The dream is a reality

...anyhow I'll tell you more about that (and prob tease you with some pics too) later as this is a TAT post, and definitely worth pulling myself away for, and this week I'm not pulling myself that far as the featured artist is another artist living just down the road from me in Britain, enjoy =)

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what kind of artist you are

My name is Ciara McGuire and I am a Mixed Media Artist. I am a 23 year old Irish girl but I am now living in U.K. I was born an artist and I truly believe that, in a completely non-arrogant way! Art sets me free, it makes me feel alive, it is my purpose in life. I don’t know why it is my purpose; I just know that I am meant to do it.

I mainly work on stretched canvases or canvas board but I occasionally dabble in other crafts such as altered art, paper-craft and of course, art journaling. My canvases are colourful, bright and happy and they usually convey an uplifting message. I use paper, paint, inks, stencils, stamps, modelling paste and pretty much whatever else I can get my hands on to create my artwork. Much like Jennibellie, I am eager to use recycled materials in my work as often as I can and I have a keen interest in upcycling too. I feel that it is such as shame that there is so much waste in the world and if we can’t control it we might as well try to make something beautiful out of it!

I am a very messy artist, I will let you all in on that little secret. My art desk/area puts me to shame daily. My mind goes too quickly for me to consider tidying my supplies away; I have to try to keep up with it! I am always leaving brushes in jars of water for days on end and leaving tubs of paint lying around without any lids on so that they end up drying out. When I get to my desk I have been known to just push mountains of stuff out of my way and attempt to work in the tiniest space imaginable. That is when I know it’s time to clean up. I’m sure most of you are wincing now at the thought of my poor art supplies not being looked after properly but I think they are happy. I bet if they could talk, they would tell you that they are being used exactly how they are supposed to be used – by a crazy, messy, eccentric artist ;) Well that is what I continue to tell myself anyway.

What is the biggest challenge you personally face as an artist and how do you overcome it?

I think I would have to say that the biggest challenge I have faced (and still face occasionally on bad days) is just having the courage to call myself an artist!

I don’t have any official qualifications; I have never been to an art college or studied art at university so in the past I didn’t believe in myself enough to put myself out there and say “Hey, I’m an artist. Have a look at my art”. I had (and still have) many wonderful people in my life who always encouraged me to pursue my dream, my true calling, but I didn’t have the confidence in myself and without confidence in yourself, it doesn’t matter how many people praise you, it’s no good.

However, as I grew up and got out of my teens (thank God!) I started to gain more confidence and self belief. On top of that I realised that there are tonnes of fantastic, brilliant artists out there who are self taught and are very successful. I started to believe that I too could make my way in the art world as long as I kept my chin up and created art at every opportunity. And so, here I am, doing just that!

What messages do you try to portray in your work and do you feel you achieve it?

Messages are an extremely important feature in my artwork. As you can see every piece of work I do contains some wording.

My main goal is to reach out to those suffering with depression and anxiety through my artwork, sending them an uplifting or guiding message – perhaps similar to an affirmation. However, I believe that everyone will see something in my artwork that will relate to their own situation in life.

I feel that it would be difficult for me not to achieve this, as my messages are displayed clearly on my work. As I said before, everyone can find something in my artwork that relates to their own life and as long as that continues to be the case, I will be more than happy.

Do you ever lose your mojo and if so how do you get it back?

Of course I do! Show me one artist who doesn’t and I’ll fall over with shock! There are times when I lose my mojo for a just couple of hours and I solve this by taking a break. I might go for a short walk or take a cup of coffee, just something that doesn’t involve sitting staring at a blank canvas with the feeling of fear stirring in my gut.

Then there are the times my mojo goes AWOL and it is nowhere to be found for days. This is the scary one because I don’t know how long it will last and the more I fret over it the less likely it is to come back. Usually when this “creative block” strikes I go searching for inspiration. I might go surfing the web for inspiration artists of artwork to muse me or read some of my favourite blogs or watch some Youtube videos. Often times I will give myself a challenge such as only allowing myself to use 3 colours or 4 different types of paper. Interesting by limiting myself I end up opening up a whole land of possibilities again. It’s not very often that I suffer with this problem though because for this I find prevention is better than cure and so that is why I art journal every morning before I do anything else. I find art journaling to be a fantastic way of getting my creative personality to cooperate with me. I start off with a blank page of my art journal and basically do whatever I want, there are no rules at all, just messy creativity. Whatever paint comes to hand first goes on the page, whatever scraps of paper are lying around get stuck down, the first stamp or stencil that I pull out of my stash gets used. You see where this is going right? I find by doing this simple exercise every day, it keeps my creativity flowing and I rarely then have problems with losing my mojo anymore unless it is for reasons such as sickness etc.

Tell us where we can find out more about you and your art 

Where do I start? It might be easier to tell you the places you can’t find me!! I am everywhere at the moment.

First of all, I have a blog, where you can follow my mixed media art journey. I post up regularly on my art adventures with some tutorials and daily life thrown in too. I also have an Etsy shop, where all my original artwork is available to purchase. The shop is in its infancy at the moment but I will be adding some new products to my shop in the near future so keep an eye out for announcements on my blog and other social media sites. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bloglovin’.

Thanks so much for sharing Ciara, I love the colours of your work - right now I am craving that teal blue colour, in practically everything I do...perhaps I'm art expecting lol well I definitely am but now I'm getting sidetracked lol your morning exercise sounds gorgeous, and actually I think it was exactly what I was just doing in my new studio. I have a 'warm-up journal' in my normal art room that when I am feeling stuck I just stick down some scraps or scrape on some paint around but now I'm thinking 'hell I'll just make my outdoor studio my 'warm-up' room!' because there is something about that freedom; that complete child-like state of creative freedom that is not about getting fabulous results but unlocking yourself...and to be honest I believe that is where the magic is really created anyway, so the results will usually be fabulous regardless =)

Do you want to be a featured TAT artist??
To be featured email me or find all the details here =)

Much love


  1. I totally relate to Ciara on the mountains to be shoved aside on the work table and the tiny space to work in. I thought, she is describing me! I think her work is fantastic and look forward to following on her blog. THanks again Jenny as always for TAT where you allow us to meet so many interesting artist.

  2. hahahahaha, draw some arms and legs on your dried pots and they can come visit my little piles laying about. I am very sure that my art stacks would happily give your dried pots a tour of my many, many stacked 4and5 pound see-thru cracker jugs. and hi there Ciara. its nice to meet ya.

  3. wonderful interview. loved it. laughed out loud about the messy part and pushing piles of stuff around to make a place to work. I am just like that. thought it would improve with age but it doesnt. :-)


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