Catherine Geaney is an Irish illustrator who draws under the name Nine Arrow.
Her beautifully colourful and detailed art is themed around the Irish language and she uses her art as a vehicle for learning more of the Irish language and sharing that journey.
Míle Buíochas / Huge thanks to Catherine for sharing her art insights with us! Before jumping into her interview below, check out her fantastic print, clothing and other work for sale on her online shop.
What's the latest piece of art that you have put out into the world?
I’m currently working on a project on 'Cló Gaelach' exploring old Irish fonts with their origin in manuscripts starting in the 16th century. The letter forms are uniquely beautiful and the script itself was designed around representing Irish so it has some nice features you don’t get when reading modern Irish. My latest shop creation is a cute enamel pin celebrating Halloween. It’s a gold plated grinning pumpkin with the Irish phrase Bob nó Bia / Trick or Treat on it.
What drives you to keep creating?
Curiosity and a desire to share stories. I don’t always know what I'm on about at the beginning of a project but the story always comes out in the process. I started working with the Irish language in 2017 and every time I go diving through books and dictionaries, Irish words always spark my imagination, and they have some great stories in them too.
Is there another artist's work that you would recommend, and why?
There’s an army of them but if I was to pick one I’d say Clodafoto. She creates beautiful artwork with thought provoking typography in Irish. I feel her work brings more balance to the “mindful quotes” we often see these days that can sometimes end up making people feel worse, instead she digs deeper and always uncovers something very topical and comforting. You can find her on Instagram @clodafoto and on Etsy.
Do you have any advice for creators that are just starting out?
I heard this advice best distilled by Australian artist Struthless from his youtube channel, and it really is what happened to me when I started to explore Irish. Basically if you find yourself lost at how to start as an artist, pick one thing you are interested in and dive into it, explore every part of it, work on it till you even hate it and then fall in love all over again. You will learn so much about yourself as an artist and what you really want to say.
Where can we find your work?