My Weekend: It started out as a hobby but now my art is a business

Jeanette Collins, a contemporary artist from Carrigaline, tells us about her art, her ideal way to spend a weekend and also about the upcoming exhibition
My Weekend: It started out as a hobby but now my art is a business
Artist Jeanette Collins who showcases her large-scale paintings at the WE CR:EATE exhibition at St Peters, which runs from October 3 to 6.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work:

My name is Jeanette Collins, I am 31 years of age and originally from Carrigaline. I am a contemporary artist based in Cork city.

I adore using colour as much as possible in my work, and would best express myself with very large impactful canvasses using a contemporary abstract style. I also work full time as a consultant for a Cork-based company and have been with them for the past 10 years.

Many moons ago when I finished school, I went straight into the workforce, and sadly my art took a back seat. One day sitting in my apartment I decided to pick up a paintbrush and see if I still had any bit of my talent left in me, and thankfully I hadn’t lost it.

In the past four years, I have dedicated a lot of my time in working on my craft, and what started back as a hobby, has now become a business. I have the most amazingly supportive friends and family, who really drove me to put my art out there for everyone to see, and once I made that big step, it took off! I have exhibited my work across Cork in several solo exhibitions, and some of my art work can be found in restaurants/ bars in the city. My art has sold predominately in Ireland and mainland Europe, and I hope to keep expanding my customer base over the next few years.

One of the artworks by Cork artist Jeanette Collins.
One of the artworks by Cork artist Jeanette Collins.

I didn’t attend art college, so I did find myself quite unsure at the beginning and found it very nerve wracking to try and break into an industry that I wasn’t very familiar with. However, over the past few years, I have connected with so many different creative people and groups across the city which has given me the confidence to sell my work and share knowledge with others. Cork has such a vibrant art community which is constantly growing, and you can see it every day when you walk through the city.

I am so lucky to have my very own art studio in town where I truly love spending my time, you’d find me with my music playing and covered in paint making new pieces most days. I adore what I do, and I hope to dedicate my life to becoming a full-time artist.

I have organised a group exhibition with three other Cork artists called WE CR:EATE which takes place in St Peter’s from October 3 to 6, where we are showcasing each of our disciplines, painting, craft and photography. It’s a celebration of Cork artwork in the beautiful venue of St Peter’s, and we will be launching the exhibition on October 3 at 5.30pm with drinks, music and beautiful art!

Jeanette Collins will show her large-scale paintings at the WE CR:EATE exhibition at St Peters, which runs from October 3 to 6.
Jeanette Collins will show her large-scale paintings at the WE CR:EATE exhibition at St Peters, which runs from October 3 to 6.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

If I’ve taken the night off from my art studio I love to head out for a few drinks and catch some good music with friends in the city.

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

Absolutely love to get out and about nice and early. I live right by the Blackrock walk in Cork, so if the weather is nice, it’s my go-to, and then onto the Blackrock Market for some nibbles and chill by the Marina.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

I leave my job in the office. Once I log off my laptop it’s off to the studio or to meet friends. This can be hard sometimes, but I’m so lucky to have my studio space to completely unwind and switch off from the stresses of the week.

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

I’ve never fully done a trip by myself, so I would love to head to Berlin for a weekend away by myself and just go and explore on my own time. I would pick a city trip over a sun holiday any day, and somewhere with a lot of culture and decent bars.

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

I absolutely love West Cork. Even when the weather is rubbish, you can just throw on your boots and jacket, and head off on a hike. Galley Head, close to my parents’ house, is a beautiful little spot where the sea air smacks you in the face, invigorating but also giving you peace and quiet. Top it off with my dad’s home cooking and curl up next to the fire, and my batteries are truly recharged.

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

Most weekends I spend in my studio, as I work Monday to Friday, but when I want to let my hair down, I meet with friends and head to different music gigs around the city and have a few drinks. When I’m looking to have a chill weekend, I head to my parents’ house, which sits right by the beach in West Cork. I try and go for a morning dip at Red Strand and then a cliff walk with the dog.

Artist Jeanette Collins who showcases her large-scale paintings at the WE CR:EATE exhibition at St Peters, which runs from October 3 to 6.
Artist Jeanette Collins who showcases her large-scale paintings at the WE CR:EATE exhibition at St Peters, which runs from October 3 to 6.

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

I love music and art, so anything related to those, like an exhibition, gigs and festivals or browsing record shops. I also try to head to markets, especially vintage markets, around Cork as much as I can.

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

Entertain. I make a mean steak dinner, with a glass of red and records playing! Perfect!

Where are your go-to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

For a casual brunch, I adore Ali’s kitchen, for a special meal, Greene’s restaurant is a real treat and a nice way to spoil yourself!

Sunday night comes around too fast. How do you usually spend it?

Love a sushi takeaway from Sakura and curl up on the couch to watch a good movie or documentary.

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

Sadly at 6.45am, but I like to get into work early, so I can get away and have my time in studio in the evenings.

More about the exhibition:

A new exhibition by emerging artists opens at St Peter’s on North Main Street, from October 3 to 6.

WE CR:EATE exhibition opens on October 3 and runs until October 6. It’s a great opportunity to discover new talent, explore the beauty and historic walls of St Peter’s, and meet the artists themselves including:
Darren Coffey whose works draw from unguarded moments to multiple exposed scenes to show us what can be concealed in every day.
Jeanette Collins, above, who showcases her large-scale paintings which explore thoughts and emotions through her abstract style.
Sheena Yolzari who uses her incredible talent to up-cycle vinyl records into one-of-a-kind art works of all shapes and sizes.
Alan Hurley who specialises in portraiture.

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