A breath of fresh Éire this Christmas

The who’s who and the what’s what of shopping local this Christmas!

As Christmas draws nearer and your brain begins to fill with baubles, Christmas carols and questions about who you might blow kisses at underneath the mistletoe. Be sure to not forget to shop local for your Christmas presents. This year more than ever we need to support one another and a very simple way to do that is to add a few gifts from Irish artists or shops to your list to Santa. Rumour has it that it also grants you VIP access to The Nice List for 2021.

Ireland is without doubt the land of saints and scholars, but one cannot deny the amount of innovation and creativity that oozes from every corner of our beautiful island. Although many of us know we should shop and support local we just don’t know who to support or where to start. This blog post will allow for you to breathe a breath of fresh Éire onto your Christmas list and help support incredible local talent.

Ross Carvill

First up, we have the incredibly talented Ross Carvill who is a Dublin-based artist and illustrator. Carvill sees illustration not only has a job but his life’s “greatest passion”. He illustrates only by hand so each piece is unique. His colourful and surreal paintings, drawing, sculptures and everything in between invite you boldly into his surreal world of colour and contrast. His work can transport you away from these strange times and into a bold and colourful world and now we all really need that!

A large amount of his work focuses on animals so his weird and wonderful prints would be perfect for the loud and proud animal lover in your life. As an artist he often challenges himself with new designs, platforms and mediums and this is visible through the breadth of work he has under his belt. Over the last year his work has become more widely known with his illustrations used in the RTE series “Strange Owl Times” and his designs brought to life on the labels of several Irish Craft Beers. His work is becoming more sought after, so we recommend you purchase something of his sooner rather than later!

His Instagram (@ross_carvill)is a menagerie of design and colour and if you wish to peruse and purchase some of his work, his website link is here.


Next up, we have The NimCo which is a new and exciting homeware and accessories brand based in Dublin, Ireland. It was launched in May 2020 by designer Niamh McCabe, who brings her love of graphic design, interior design and textiles together in this unique shop that is Nim.

Niamh is also the Creative Director and Owner of Spacey Studio an interior design company that focuses on bringing joy into the home and workplace using colour and texture. The NimCo offers customers an alternative and creative spin on everyday homeware items. Whether it is colourful 100% cotton face masks to make the new normal not so normal or luscious patterned blankets. Her work is bright and eye-catching and perfect for making those working from home days — a little cosier.

Browse this stunning new shop here.

SONDER Magazine

It may be the case, however, that bold animal illustrations and funky interiors are not be your idea of a perfect stocking filler. Instead, maybe, this Christmas you envision yourself nestled by the fire with a magazine in hand. Well then, this Christmas might be the perfect time for you to purchase a zine jam packed full of contemporary Irish writers and poets!

If you love to read and pride yourself in always knowing the next big name in Irish literature make sure to pick up Sonder Magazine available both online and in store in Marrow Bone Books in Dublin. Sonder Lit was set up in May 2019, and it is a Dublin-based print journal. Their print zine focuses on the idea of sonder, the self, and others.

Sonder is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. In a world where we have spent most of our days observing rather than interacting, this concept really touched me. This magazine focuses on showcasing different voices in a variety of ways such from flash fiction to poetry and short form non-fiction. Their work showcases some of the amazing budding writers we have in Ireland.

If you would like to pick up their latest issue follow the link here.

Ciara Makes Things

I stumbled upon Ciara’s work several months ago and have been overjoyed that I did every day since. Her graphic style is reminiscent of a illustrators such as Polly Nor and Irish graphic designer Laura O’Callaghan. Her work focuses on powerful women, doing everything and anything one could imagine. Her illustrative style is playful and draws the viewer in from the get-go. Her mellow colour schemes and two-dimensional images are inspired by what is going on around her in life and would be perfect for a friend or a loved one who enjoys the work of the designers listed above.

Follow her Instagram @ciaramakesthings and you can purchase her work here.

Hen’s Teeth

What if you are looking for all of the above and maybe a little more? Maybe you needed just one gift but have stumbled upon this blog a little too late in the season and you need to get all those pesky Christmas gifts out of the way in one fell swoop. Well then Hen’s Teeth is your go to! Hen’s Teeth — store, gallery, diner and wine bar in Blackpitts, Dublin 8 will provide you with art, food and music from a number of incredible Irish creatives.

With a variety of photography, illustration, mixed media and screen prints the Hen’s Teeth range encompasses some of the best and brightest talents from both Ireland and abroad. They print in a variety of mediums and have a close relationship with framer, Hang Tough, to deliver stunning, high quality art pieces that are ready to hang.

Their breathtaking prints, vinyls and food definitely deserve your support over this festive season! So make sure to follow them on Instagram @hensteethstore , call into them in Blackpitts or browse what they have to offer online here.

This blog has outlined just a few of my favourite creatives and their work however, it has only just scratched the surface. Let me know the Irish creatives you will be supporting this Christmas in the comments below.

Now, I bid you all a Nollaig Shona and a Happy New Year!

Hello, my name is Emma and I like drawing, laughing and telling stories.