Spotlight: Creative Stories from Around Ireland

SPOTLIGHT: Unusual and beautiful textile designs

We stumbled upon Martha’s textile designs on Instagram, and just had to talk to her about her creative process. Here are her answers to our questions.

Martha May

Firstly, who are you?

“I am Martha Maguire of Martha May Design, I'm in my mid 20's living and I work in Cork city. I grew up in the countryside but always knew I’d end up living in the city. I still love the peace and quiet of home and being able to switch off there. I went to college in Galway where I got my degree in Art and Design, specializing in textiles.

I'm a Textile designer and maker, working half the week on my own business and the other half of the week in an art supplies shop. “

Gallery Designs

Why do you do what you do?

“For two reasons: it’s what I love to do and it’s what I'm good at. I've always been someone who makes things and that need to create is in my blood, I think. When I was younger, I made cards for people and that love of creating just kept growing. I knew I would go to art college, but it was only from doing a plc portfolio preparation course that my love of textiles was developed.”

Mixed Textiles

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

“I start by taking pictures of things that interest me, mainly architecture, but I like to take inspiration from nature too. I like to break things down into lines and shapes and colours. I work on sketches and collages first and then I stitch on fabric or print. I like to mix print with embroidery as I feel it works well in portraying my designs.”


What do you do when you hit a creative wall?

“I like to look at other people’s work so on Instagram, Pinterest or at a gallery. I find going somewhere new helps a lot as well as playing around with new techniques.”


Do you have any advice for other creatives out there?

“Do what you enjoy because you love it and it makes you happy. Don't do it for fame or money; that will come if it’s meant to happen. All you can do is work hard and be creative because it gives you joy.”

See more of Martha May's designs on her Instagram.

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