Friday, July 04, 2014

Cork Person of the Month

In what came as a huge shock to me, I am delighted and humbled to say that I've been awarded Cork Person of the Month. This is a huge honour for me and firstly I want to thank Manus O'Callaghan and everybody who is involved in the awards.

As everybody who knows me knows, I work in an industry where I literally can work from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection. But the truth is, I love Cork so much that I can't even think about living anywhere else.

While the scenery can be breathtaking at times (shout out to Ballycotton), it really is the people of Cork that makes it such a great place for me. Take a look at these awards this year. I am privileged to be in the company of such a wide variety of amazing people. Whether it's the trainers of a Cheltenham Gold cup winner, a Fishmonger who won the friendship of a Queen, a woman who won her right to Justice in the European Court of Human Rights, or the charitable nature of many others, I am blessed to be surrounded by such great people.

I've had book launches and illustrations exhibiting all over the world but I will never forget the support I got at my first book launch in Cork last year. There was a huge mixture of family, friends and fans of the book that provided such an overwhelming sense of support. It really is a county where you are always greeted with a smile that is backed up by genuine encouragement and well wishes.

Of course, this award would not have been possible without the backing of so many publishers over the years, none so more than Marvel. The opportunity they have given me to work on Spider-Man has helped me have my work shown all over the world and they truly have been a great company to work for. Everton, you folks aren't half bad either!

But really for me, the best thing about this award is that hopefully it will continue spreading the word that the time of Irish illustration is now. As a nation, we are just starting to make our mark on the world. Right now the major world wide companies are specifically coming to Ireland for our quality and professionalism, which is only helped by the Irish charm

They have listened to our music, watched our movies and read our books over the last century. But as it was a thousand years ago, in the times of the great illustrated books, like Kells, Leinster and Durrow, the rest of the world is starting to take notice and has begun invading for our illustrative talents. The only difference is, this time, they come bearing gifts!

As for my own work, I'm just at the start of what I'm hoping will be a career defining Spider-Man 2099 run. There will be a lot more illustrations for Everton too so I expect to be in the crowd cheering on the likes of Seamus Coleman. And last but not least, Hollywood has come knocking, so there will be more on that in the future!

So to the award organisers, thank you again. Hopefully at the overall Cork Person of the Year awards, if our President returns to host, he will have liked the drawing I did of him on the Late Late Show.

And finally, for the nomination and the eternal support, thank you Laura.