Laura Callaghan is an Irish illustrator who provides a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the modern woman.
Laura reminds us never to take ourselves too seriously with her narrative-driven work regularly poking muck at our like-driven social media culture.
Despite the clear commentary her work provides on modern culture, perhaps Laura’s most poignant teaching is not in the art itself, but in her unwavering commitment to authenticity and its continued role in her success.
Working predominately in watercolour and pen, Laura said her signature style developed on completion of her masters when she secured herself a regular day job in a biscuit factory.
While seemingly non-glamourous, Laura credits this job with finding her artistic feet and said the secure income enabled her to begin creating art outside of work hours, which was purely on her own terms and far away from the pressures of client expectations.
“Once I stopped thinking about what style clients wanted or what would get me work and started drawing purely for pleasure that’s when my style really began to develop,” Laura said.
Now an established artist in her own right, Laura regularly interacts with art students and is refreshingly real about the development of her skills (including her use of the hilarious #beforeicoulddrawhands).
“When I’m giving presentations and talks I always include a lot of very old and very bad work, it’s taken me years to get to the point I’m at now with my illustration and its still a process…,” Laura said.
“I can look back on work form last year and cringe at the errors.”
“It’s important to be realistic with students, it does take a long time to get established…it can take years to develop your style and abilities and that’s ok!”