Cassandra Walsh

Graphic designer and illustrator who founded 'The Perfect Paradox' publication for creative's)

John Rainsford

Reporter:

John Rainsford

Cassandra Walsh

BORN in Shannon, as a young child I moved to Ennis which I now call home.

Raised by my mother, Mary-Claire, she encouraged me to be creative even if that meant desiring a much bigger canvas for my crayons (like the sitting room walls!). I started primary school while I was still living in Shannon and then, when I moved to Ennis, I continued in Clarecastle. Later, I went to Coláiste Muire, in Ennis which is where I realised, with the help of my art teachers, Mrs Martin and Ms Hickey, that I loved, wanted, and could, pursue art after school but had no idea as yet about how I could make a career out of it.

The family never second guessed my dream, because to them, it was an exciting pursuit and encouraged me to keep working towards it.

They never wanted me to regret not having given it a chance. I started in Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) in 2013, with no idea of what to pursue and quickly became absorbed by a vast range of possibilities. However, by the end of first year, I had a strong interest in Visual Communications which entailed a broad spectrum of design areas. In 2014, I chose Visual Communications as my major and after three years of hard work, in November 2017, I became a BA (Hons) Graduate of Visual Communications-my greatest achievement thus far.

I consider myself to be an artist by nature and now a graphic designer.

Art is in my family mostly by way of my late grandmother, Ann. She hand-painted several ceramic plates in her spare time along with many other interests like knitting, embroidery, and sewing, which I dabble-in from time to time. However, I do not work as an artist per se, rather art is something that I keep for myself (but it has nonetheless given me a huge advantage as a designer). For example, I have the ability to incorporate art in its many forms into my design work giving me so many more possibilities to take in the visual communications aspect of a subject. Furthermore, a skill in drawing and painting allows me to communicate an object, a feeling, a message, or a story, more accurately or even more abstractly, than I might otherwise do. Otherwise, I would struggle to communicate through the structured nature of my digital design work. Today, I enjoy both traditional and digital mediums – gouache, watercolors, graphite, ink, digital painting, and vector graphic work. That said, I wouldn't say that I have a set style. Each medium is quite different giving me more freedom as I do not have to adhere to a specific look.

My work in design is strongly inspired by ‘minimalism’ and is quite evident in my final year project entitled; ‘The Perfect Paradox’.

This is a limited edition; (yet fictional) publication for creative’s inspired by the concept of ‘perfectionism’. The idea is vague and indefinable, like a paradox, which makes for the ‘perfect paradox’. The publication encourages us to embrace imperfection because it is ‘flaws’ that make things interesting. The book was designed, printed, cut, and bound by myself. I used lightweight paper for its delicate feeling and bound it by hand for that handmade imperfect aesthetic. My inspiration for this project was my own pursuit of perfection in both the art that I create and my passion to be a graphic designer.

The creative industry forces us to search for flaws in everything that we do.

Human errors are often frowned upon, with the design processes being overly reflective and critical. There is also an excessive need to pursue perfection while loosing sight of the original focus. Even when we feel that we have achieved ‘perfection’, the contrasting feeling of dissatisfaction becomes like a form of madness. However, one does not need to be an artist or designer to be affected by the pursuit of perfection; it can be found in any aspect of someone’s life. Perfectionism can be destructive to oneself and it is important to take a step back and accept that we are only human. This does not mean that we have failed if we don't achieve perfection because perfection differs from one person to the next.

In my opinion, art education is a subjective thing, with Art College working for some but not for others.

Art can be taught but it is not like teaching mathematics or science. Instead, it is taught through the way that we look at life, people, experiences, feelings, objects, and how we see ourselves. You learn to be more observant, to view how objects look in different environments, and how we truly feel about something.

For more about Cassandra please see: www.cassandrawalsh- design.com and www.behance.net/Cassandra- Walsh