Can you explain your background in creativity?

Growing up, I was always creative which led me to study architecture before I moved into project management.

When I was on maternity leave with my first child, I got some inspiration from a pottery class in Skibbereen, which reopened my mind to my creative abilities.

I then started sketching local areas and buildings around Ireland in a contemporary style.

A while after that, I went on a family holiday to Dingle, where I became completely immersed in Ireland’s beautiful landscape.

When I came home from the holiday, I was so refreshed and started painting some of the sunsets I saw there.

The first sunset I painted was over Dingle Harbour and I ended up getting 40 orders. From there, things started to pick up and I started to build my business.

Can you explain your creative process?

My creative process is centered around sketching, which I think is complemented by my background in architecture.

I usually start by writing down any ideas I have on the kind of piece I would like to create.

Sketching is then the next step and if the sketches are successful, I move them on to a painting or make them into prints.

What inspires you?

I feel very drawn to painting sunsets over the sea, as I love to catch nature's movements.

A recent seascape created by artist Orla Hickey.

I am also really inspired by botanical style pieces, as they have endless possibilities.

Recently, I’ve started a new series, which is actually quite abstract and cubist. I’ve taken my own personal story as the inspiration behind it, which incorporates elements of my children and the fact that I live in a very rural place.

What are your best sellers?

There are currently four strands to my business.

Firstly, there is my wholesale work, which supplies 20 Irish stores, then commission work, painting workshops and corporate pieces.

A botanical piece created by artist Orla Hickey.

My painting commissions are most popular, along with my Cliffs of Moher prints.

What are you hopes for the future?

I have recently had the opportunity to design some homeware for an Irish brand, which I am really excited for.

This is a massive achievement for me and I hope to do more work like this in the future.

Orla’s work can be found through her website or by her Instagram handle @orla_hickey_art.

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