Illustrators Ireland Art of Superstition Exhibition – How You Can Be Involved

Note: I’ve recently taken over from Matt as the web officer for Illustrators Ireland, so my own blog here on Laughing Lion will now have quite a bit of illustration news from Illustrators Ireland. Let’s kick it off with this!

This year’s big show from the members of Illustrators Ireland is called the Art of Superstition and it takes place in the Copperhouse Gallery in October.

Art of Superstition - Illustrators Ireland

There is a wonderful opportunity for two talented up-and-coming illustrators to have their work shown at this exhibition alongside the artists who brought you the hugely successful “Illustrated Beatles” exhibition last year.

So how do you get involved? The competition is open to Irish-based illustrators. You don’t have to have been born here, but you do have to live here in Ireland.

Superstition is defined as :

1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
2. a system or collection of such beliefs.
3. a custom or act based on such a belief.
4. irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
5. any blindly accepted belief or notion.

For your entry to ‘The Art of Superstition’ we’re looking for a most creative interpretation of the above. Entries must be received by the 1st of September, so you need to get your skates on.

The work can be created in any medium and the dimensions required for the work are shown below. Note that final artwork should be 360 dpi. However, please send your competition entry at a low resolution of 72 ppi in JPEG format by email to .

Art of Superstition - Illustrators Ireland
Ten entries which are considered original, creative, emotionally powerful and well executed in the chosen medium will be shortlisted. From the shortlist, a judging panel will choose two winners whose work will be exhibited in the Copper House Gallery as part of the Art of Superstition. The judging panel for the competition consists of Niamh Sharkey, Adrienne Geogehegan, Roger O’Reilly, Steve Simpson, Jesse Campbell-Brown, Leszek Wolnik and Peter Donnelly.

The winners will be chosen second week mid September. For more information check out the Art of Superstition Facebook page.

Good luck!

Eye Candy – LSD ABC video

I’m a huge fan of alphabet themed books, illustrations, posters – anything that follows the old ABC rules. I’ve even made a few illustrated ABC books myself, so I’m absolutely loving this LSD ABC video. Directed by French designers Laura Sicouri and Kadavre Exquis, LSD ABC is a super-cool retro-fuelled trip through the alphabet. It’s a mixture of gorgeous animation and illustration, combined with some very seventies style video footage.

A is for amazing.


Wild West Illustration

This is an illustration I did recently for The Looking Glass Magazine. The Looking Glass is a creative writing magazine exclusively for children’s literature and illustrations. The magazine features art work, short stories, novel extracts and poetry from both established and up-and-coming authors and illustrators.

I love pretty much anything to do with the sea, whether it’s swimming in it, kayaking on it, or sailing through it. I could draw sea-related pictures forever and indulged myself with the image for the magazine. It’s a man from the west of Ireland out sailing very late at night in stormy seas in a Galway Hooker. That “hooker” has nothing to do with a lady of the night but in case you’re not familiar with them here’s a description via Wikipedia.

The Galway hooker (Irish: húicéir) is a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland. The hooker was developed for the strong seas there. It is identified by its sharp, clean entry, bluff bow, marked tumble-home and raked transom. Its sail plan consists of a single mast with a main sail and two foresails. Traditionally, the boat is black (being coated in pitch) and the sails are a dark red-brown

The-Sea---Wild-West illustrated by Jennifer-Farley

“If they had taken Kong alive”

This is a new illustration I did for an exhibition organised by the Petty Cash Collective. Thanks a million to Niamh for inviting me to take part.

Here’s what Petty Cash is about:

‘PETTYCASH is a new live literature and visual arts collective who will be hosting a monthly showcase night in The Little Green. It started as a response to limited engagement among young people and young artists in Dublin in spoken word and performance poetry. Niamh and I went to college together and both had varying involvement in the spoken word scene in Dublin, but always found it to be a little bit insular, dated, and reluctant to engage in the most popular means of artistic distribution and marketing that young people most frequently engage with. We thought this was a problem. So we wanted to create a young, playful brand, that appealed to young people by marketing itself more like a clubnight than a literary arts night. We wanted to have artists of different backgrounds involved (especially visual artists, but also theatre makers, musicians etc.) to get a bunch of people in a room together who otherwise may not have met, providing a fun, engaging and informal environment for them to enjoy some art, and hopefully have conversations that they would not otherwise have had, hopefully leading to new projects.’

Quote taken from the excellent Skriobh blog.

So this month’s exhibition theme is Petty Crime. My picture is called “if they had taken Kong alive”. I always found/find the King Kong movies so upsetting – just devasted when King Kong dies, his only crime being he love the woman too much. So I wish they could revise the ending where Kong gets arrested for the night and then sent back to his island the next day. It would be a win-win situation. Here’s my illustration for the show:

Petty Crime illustrated by JenniferFarley

Phoenix Park Illustration Wins The Graphic Design Category of Uniquely Dublin

I’m a bit late posting this because I’ve been away for a few days but the good news is that my Phoenix Park illustration won the Graphic Design category of the Uniquely Dublin competition. The award ceremony took place in the fantastic Little Dublin museum on Stephen’s Green in Dublin. The awards were presented by the Lord Mayor of Dublin with one winner chosen from two finalists in each section. It was a bit nerve-wracking when it came to that point and when my name was called I was truly thrilled to bits. I had to refrain from hugging the Lord Mayor and tried to maintain some level of decorum but I was genuinely delighted. As well as (hopefully) raising my profile as an illustrator, there was a nice cash prize too 😉

Congratulations to the overall winners Oisin Byrne and Gary Farrelly of Radical Science. The shortlisted finalists work is on show until mid-May at the Little Museum.

Uniquely Dublin Illustration by Jennifer Farley

Book of Kells Illustration for Belfast Exhibition

I recently created an illustration for a very interesting exhibition in West Belfast. The Book of Kells is an art exhibition celebrating Belfast’s shared heritage, exploring the story of the Book of Kells and looking at the link between spirituality and creativity in Ireland for both Catholic and Protestant communities.

The exhibition opened on the 7th of March and continues until the 22nd of March at St. Mary’s University College on the Falls Road.

So the idea behind my illustration came from the quote “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars”.I wanted to show the constellations in the night sky as one or more of the birds and animals which appear in the Book of Kells. I also like the idea of the monks, the scribes who created the incredibly beautiful work had an illuminated view while much of the world was in the depths of darkness. My original plan (i.e. the barely recognisable sketch below) was a parade of musicians beneath the starry sky. The musicians represent the idea of community and the arts keeping people going during dark times.  Here’s my first sketch.

Book of Kells Jennifer Farley

I drew the type – it’s an uncial typeface and I originally drew it using a calligraphy pen on an envelope, scanned it in to illustrator and converted it to vectors. The large letter I also features a double bird head with a celtic knot, heavily influenced by the birds in the Book of Kells.

Book of Kells Jennifer Farley

After bringing it into Illustrator to create the vector shapes, I then brought it into Photoshop to add lots of texture. Here’s the final image which went into the exhibition.

Book Of Kells Illustration by Jennifer Farley

And a couple of close ups.

Book Of Kells Illustration by Jennifer Farley

Book Of Kells Illustration by Jennifer Farley


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