The Heroine’s Journey of Ciara McCollam

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Whether I’m painting or making music, I think what I love the most is completely losing myself in my work and finding that zen state when your ego flies out the window and you become totally connected with what you are doing. There’s nothing better than feeling yourself dissolve into some greater creative energy- that sounds really pretentious but it’s true!

What is my idea of perfect happiness? A combination of doing what I love and being surrounded by people that I love. Having fun and taking life as an adventure.

What is my greatest fear? Losing my freedom and staying stagnant.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Sometimes I take myself too seriously. I would like to be able to live more light-heartedly and worry less about what people think.

What is my greatest extravagance? My bank account usually curtails my extravagance a bit. In an ideal world I would drink much more champagne.

On what occasion would I lie? There are obviously certain occasions when a white lie is appropriate in order to be polite or something but, in general, I’m a terrible liar. I absolutely can’t do it.

What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life? I think it’s really important for people working in the arts to be inspired by role models, there is no guidebook and the path isn’t always clear-cut so it’s easy to lose your way. It’s important to look to those who have done it before for affirmation and inspiration. I love coming across something that stops me in my tracks and makes me think, “wow!”.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Apart from occasionally questioning my sanity, I think being an artist can be quite isolated. There is no sense of a collective effort and no ready-made community to walk into, unlike being in college or being in an office or something, you have to try and build everything from scratch.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Rather than a physical place, I think it’s more of a mental state that is achieved any time I am really into my work, which can happen every day. I’m pretty much always happy when I’m writing music, painting can be a bit more of an emotional roller-coaster.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would like to be more confident and assertive than I am, and less hard on myself. Hopefully that comes with age.

What is my greatest achievement in work? I think my album ‘Follow The River’ (released under the name Fig) is my greatest achievement so far. It was quite the odyssey doing the whole thing from start to finish but I loved every minute of it.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Kilkenny is a small medieval city in Ireland which is very pretty and has lots of culture despite its size. I think the place I feel most inspired is the gallery in Kilkenny Castle, it’s like something from a fairytale and I like to pretend that one day it will be my own personal studio.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I like going for a drink in The Brewery Corner which has a great vibe, and Rinuccini for yummy dinner.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My long suffering boyfriend who has to contend with being my cheerleader, my critic and my muse. And my family who are always very supportive of my questionable life choices.

Whom would I like to work with in the future? I have lots of amazingly talented friends with whom I would love to collaborate.

What project, in the nearby future, am I looking forward to working on? I am working on recording a new song at the moment, and my boyfriend is helping me with some percussion so I am looking forward to seeing that come together.

How can you contact me?

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