Meet the artist: Get to know Una Heaney

Meet the artist: Get to know Una Heaney

Q&A with artist and designer, Una Heaney

How did you start making art?

I’ve always been a doodler, filling the margins of notebooks with patterns, houses, and flowers mainly. As for making or calling it art? That wasn’t until the covid lockdowns of 2020 when I was freed up to get more creative. I bought my first ever sketchbook and a couple of black pens in the Summer of 2020.

How did you discover your style?

My style came about pretty immediately because I quickly realised that I’d happily draw flowers and leaves all day long if I could. I was just using the same black pens for a long time so black and white illustrations with lots and lots of detail became my signature style.

Do you have a favourite colour or palette?

Yes! I think most people think that it’s black and white because that’s what I used exclusively for the first year or so. It really was just because my first pens were black! However, my happy place is sage green and a dusty rose pink. I experimented with a lot of colour in 2023, but I knew it was too much for my taste, so I’m now sitting somewhere in the middle.


What inspires your art?

I think the inspiration for my art has been building away in the background for a long time. I’ve always loved trees, and growing up in a small rural village, I have fond memories of playing in long grass and wild flowers. I also read a lot of Enid Blyton growing up and I think I have this idyllic image in my head of meadows and picnics which I can totally see coming out in my art, in particular my most recent designs.

Who/What motivates you?

I’m a mum of three little ones, so there is strong motivation there to build a brand that lets me be flexible and spend time with them. I often think too, of young me, she motivates me a lot. I dreamt of being an entrepreneur before I even knew what that was. I was always dreaming, drawing and doodling as a child and I want to do my best to follow through for her.

How do you handle constructive criticism?

Surprisingly well actually! I’ve come into this industry with limited knowledge or experience so absolutely every interaction, positive or negative is a chance to learn. I’m a bit of a nerd for analytics, so I love looking back on cause and effects, actions and results. I really believe I have to be comfortable in “failing” because it provides me with vital data.

Describe your creative process?

I will always start with a sketchbook and pencil. Even when it comes to designing the patterns for my hand-painted candles, or the homewares I have coming soon, they all start with a pencil and paper.
I am definitely a daydreamer, and I find a lot of ideas and designs come to me over time in this way and by the time I start to work on them, I already have a pretty fully formed image in my head of what I want to create.

I love to play around with shapes, patterns, and colours so I will do that digitally mainly. I use an iPad Pro with a large screen so I can really play around with my designs.

Who are your favourite artists?

Ireland is full of incredible artists and I've found so many since starting this journey.

Here are some of my favourites:
Emma Campbell, I love the playfulness and movement in her art, her vibrant colours and her natural style.
Teresa Owens, her pen work is amazing! Such incredible detail and character all done in black pen.

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