Shopping local this Chirstmas? Have we got a gift guide for you! Creative Spark is home to a number of creative industries, from small businesses to our fantastic Print Studio members you are spoiled for choice this Christmas. Before dive into our gift guide we also would like to highlight a few reasons as to why you should shop local:
It's Environmentally Friendly
Everyone is playing their part to reduce your carbon footprint. Little changes here and there can make a big difference, even choosing where to shop! Instead of opting for the ''add to cart' button this Christmas, why don't you take a trip to your local shop?
You Support Local Businesses
As we approach the end of our second year of the pandemic, supporting local buinesses is of paramount importance. Many small and medium enterprises in Dundalk and the greater Louth region have struggled to keep afloat so by opting to shop local this Christmas you not only help your local community thrive but you're also guaranteed to get service with a smile!
The weird, the wonderful and the quirky
Looking to find a unique gift to match the personality of a loved one this Christmas? Rather than buying a gift that has been mass produced for the millions why don't you find something truly one of a kind? Whether it be a piece by one of our fantastic print studio members or something else, you will show how much you care with a thoughtful, unique gift.
If you're stuck on gift ideas, below you will find our Creative Gift guide!
Tidings is a luxury unisex accessories brand consisting of 100% silk scarves/pocket-squares. Combining contemporary design with the best of hand-rolled Italian silks, the collection merges rich craftsmanship with sheer luxury. Each scarf has been hand-painted/drawn by creative director Niamh Gillespie whose impressive design pedigree includes working with greats such as Paul Smith, Liberty of London, and Alexander McQueen. Mixing dreamy, typographic prints, infusing hope and positivity with just enough tongue-in-cheek to soothe any ails. Holding space as a most covetable, unisex fashion accessory not to mention the perfect gift, the collection is a joy. Send a message, make a statement, and do it with heart. Choose from slogans such as ‘Chin up!’ and ‘It's ok!’
Niamh also has a range of fine art prints. Niamh's work is filled with bright and intricate patterns inspired by the beauty in nature which surrounds her. Her love of Typography and attention to detail can be seen in her work.
Omin is a graphic artist with a 20 year history rooted in Graffiti. Hailing from Dundalk, Ireland. Omin has been painting and traveling extensively becoming established on the international graffiti art scene. Omin works across a variety of mediums and surfaces. These range from large-scale murals, canvas works and various print processes.
Omin’s graffiti pieces encapsulate traditional graffiti elements where letterforms can become deconstructed or in some cases verge on the abstract. In the pursuit to discover new techniques and textures Omin's style is ever evolving.
Check out his limited edition screenprints and fine art prints here;
Megan McGuigan is the designer behind the brand Seeking Judy. The newest iteration of Seeking Judy takes the shape of a skate inspired streetwear brand, with heavy grunge undertones. The brand consists mainly of unisex graphic tees, hoodies and sweats, but also features reconstructed garments, such as a recently released recon bikini. In addition to reconstructed pieces, the body of SJ’s work revolves around screen printed graphics on bleach/tie dyed garments, informing the grunge aesthetic and providing a one-of-one feel to each item.
Gráinne is printmaker and image maker from Dundalk . She is currently Creative Spark print studio technician and coordinator. She is a graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, where she received a BA Honours degree in Printmaking. Her work celebrates Co.Louth with a range of dundalk shopfront illustrations as well as her fine art screenprints of the counties landscape.
Bláthnaid is a Dundalk-based designer with a Bachelors in Fashion Design (NCAD), and a post-grad in Bespoke Tailoring (National Tailoring Academy, Dublin).
She has previously created pieces with hand-painted silk and silk fibres bonded onto wool. Now she is working on screen printing garments with her own designs, which are influenced by scuba diving, science, the natural world, music and much more.
Sustainable fashion and accessories by Rowan.
Recently graduated from Aberdeen Grays School of art our newest member Rowan started his new company called stoned dead/f experimenting with new ideas and print onto t-shirts and handmade garments. Check out his pieces on his site.
Every Soilse Irish Candle awakens a particular landscape and memory, the scent being a wonderfully tantalizing and evocative fragrance inspired by the natural beauty of the Irish outdoors.
The collection comprises of 6 innovative and invigorating fragranced candles inspired by my travels in Ireland. They are presented in a 7.5 oz recyclable glass and impeccably packaged by hand with luxurious satin ribbon and embellished with foraged finds from the seashore and forest walks making them a truly ideal, versatile and luxurious gift.
All candles in our Irish Candle and Apothecary Collections are lovingly hand poured and made from 100% soy wax, infused with a unique blend of essential oil based fragrances that are all naturally produced and environmentally friendly.
Located in Blackrock The Makers is the perfect place to pick up some beautiful gifts from local artists and makers this Christmas. The shop is the result of many months work by Paula, Rachel and Kathleen. A shared love and appreciation of locally crafted products and a need for a place to allow people to see, feel, smell, touch and appreciate the fantastic creative products that are created locally and available to buy was the driving force behind the setting up of the makers. A lot of time and thought was given to the products and disciplines to be stocked as well as the location of the store, Blackrock felt like the right home for such a beautiful curated shop.
My name is Siobhan and the art of photography is my passion.
I create botanical and composite photographic art prints. During lockdown, I photographed flowers and plants in my garden. I see emotion, colour and beauty in the different stages of growth and decay. I love that I now look much closer than I ever have before and invite the viewer of my photographs to do the same.
The composite images I create are based on ideas/fairytales/feelings I have about the world around me.
To find out more about Siobhan's work and to purchase one of her pieces click here
What about Creative Spark?
Did you know you can get a Creative Spark Gift Voucher? For any friends or family who would love to participate in some of our community, creative and enterprise courses a voucher is the perfct gift!
We also have a shop feature on our website! There you can find some wonderful pieces done by members of the Creative Spark Print Studio members.