My Weekend: I love to lock myself away in my studio to get creative...

Artist Keith O’Brien tells us his weekends are made up of family fun and also time for his artwork...
My Weekend: I love to lock myself away in my studio to get creative...
My WEEKEND Artist Keith O'Brien

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work...

I grew up in Mayfield and Mahon with four fantastic sisters, being the only boy I was not spoiled!? except I got my own bedroom. 

My wife and I settled in Carrigaline back in 2000 and we have two sons. I talked my way into an IT job many years ago and I've progressed to a senior manager role now at Merck Millipore.

As a young man in Cork I was into urban art and created some murals for nightclubs and charity. However, early last year I decided to create some abstract artwork on canvas and managed to get them displayed at a local restaurant... I was nervous and excited to display and sell something I had created. It seemed to just click, feedback from people was more than positive, I received great support for the restaurant owners and staff. I currently have two exhibitions one in Perry Street Market Café and the other in The Quay CoOp restaurant (the restaurants are currently closed due to COVID-19).

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night? 

To finish the week I play a game of indoor soccer to burn off what energy I have left after the week, then we have dinner at home normally a homemade pizza and a bottle of red wine with my wife.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I wake at 6:30am daily and I'm the first up in the house, I feel more energised in the mornings and my imagination / creativity kicks in when I go to my home studio - I try to map out my day, consisting of meetings and my ever increasing To Do list.. I'd love to say I'm organised but it's more like organised chaos.

Some of Keith O'Brien's work.
Some of Keith O'Brien's work.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

My weekends are for family and my artwork, the majority of the time is taking the boys to soccer training or matches, then locking myself in the studio to get creative.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

That’s an easy one, London is like a second home for my wife and I - we lived there for a few years before the boys were born and it’s a place we always enjoy visiting. We love to walk and browse the market stalls and shops at the old Spitafields and Portobello markets.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries? 

Living in Carrigaline, I'm spoilt for options, the Crosshaven walk is a great place to unwind and take an hour to breath. We also take our dog for walks on the Fountainstown beach when the weather is nice.

Some of Keith O'Brien's work.
Some of Keith O'Brien's work.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

My wife and I regularly meet up with friends for a few drinks and/or a meal, Cork has so much to offer. Alternatively I met the lads to watch a match.. rugby, soccer, whatever is on that weekend.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I don’t like the gym, so keeping fit consists of playing 5 a side soccer and swimming with our kids.

Entertain or be entertained? If it's the latter do you have a signature dish?

Entertain; my wife is a brilliant cook, I'm only the helper when we entertain but I'm a good bar man.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I'm a little bias here, we do like to visit Perry street cafes and the Quay CoOp for coffees or a bite to eat. But for date nights we love Orso restaurant (near the GPO).

Some of Keith O'Brien's work.
Some of Keith O'Brien's work.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Getting kids ready for the school week, and reviewing my Monday meeting schedule.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

6:30am - I get out of the house before the mayhem unfolds.

For more on Keith's work email info@funkd.ie or log onto www.funkd.ie Follow him on www.instragram.com/funkd_artwork

Contact him on 0872795438

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