Clodagh McGinley is an Irish artist that works under the name Clodafoto.
Her elegant work combines supportive and inspiration themes, minimalism and retro computing styles, and Gaeilge (the Irish language).
Míle Buíochas / Many thanks to Clodagh for sharing her art insights with us! Before jumping into her interview below, check out her lovely work for sale on her Etsy shop.
What's the latest piece of art that you have put out into the world?
At time of answering, it’s this.
What drives you to keep creating?
To be really honest, I don’t think I’ve figured that out (yet!). I’ve always been creative. When I was a teenager I completely went off art for one reason or another, so I think it came as a bit of a surprise to people when creativity was something I wanted to pursue as an adult (and, to be fair, 16 year old Clodagh would be mortified at the idea of people seeing things she made). Ultimately I know that I need some kind of creative expression in my life in order to be happy - I think that’s one of my biggest drives.
Is there another artist's work that you would recommend, and why?
In terms of artists who work with An Ghaeilge, I really love one of your previous interviewees, Catherine Geaney of Nine Arrow! I can’t speak highly enough of her. She’s ludicrously talented. I also love Shona Shirley Macdonald of Mireog Designs; the detail in her work is phenomenal.
On a broader scale, I really do like David Hockney. I also love Aaron Lowell Denton, Tessa Forrest and Justin Stewart - TF and JS are the creators behind subliming.jpg and veryrealfantasy on Instagram respectively.
Do you have any advice for creators that are just starting out?
It sounds a bit harsh, but stop romanticising creativity! It doesn’t matter how much you love something, there are going to be days where you absolutely hate what you’re doing. There will also be days where you love it, days full of ‘lightbulb’ moments... creativity ebbs and flows. You can’t force it, and you can’t deny it.
Also, you can never get away from yourself, for better and for worse. It’s often helpful to search for inspiration, but search for what inspires *you*, not what you see working for someone else. It will really show if you’re just imitating another person.
Lastly, if you plan to show your creations on social media, keep a certain amount to yourself. You are only human, and there will almost certainly come a day - even if it really is only one day, and even if you swear you don’t pay attention to social media - where you place more value on ‘likes’ than how happy you are with what you’ve made. It’s totally normal to want to do more of something when you’re rewarded for it. Ultimately though, the biggest reward is when you are happy with what you’ve done. Social media is fleeting, but you have to live with yourself for quite some time. Set good boundaries for yourself, and be happy when no one else is looking.
Where can we find your work?