Artist Talk with Niall O’Lochlainn

After the first virtual Artist Talk last week, Maybelle Rainey had the idea of getting a guest artist to speak every week. So this week we had “Art Maker”, Street Artist, Illustrator and Teacher, Niall O’Lochlainn, to talk to the pupils about his art work.
It was really interesting for pupils to hear about his work and processes. It was also great to hear about the range of work and commissions he does and how each one leads to the next.

Tania Stokes writes:

Last Thursday we had the great pleasure of listening to a talk from Niall O’Lochlainn. Niall is an art maker based in Dublin who specialises in street art, illustration and design. If you want to familiarise yourself with his work, his Instagram is a good place to start… though you might also try hunting around the city for his fantastic murals.

In his presentation, Niall shared some iconic experiences with us that were made possible by his art. He talked about how a small artistic favour done years ago for an anonymous rapper led to him getting recommended for a job for Wu-Tang Clan. He got to create the promotional poster for a Berlin concert they were putting on, and he considers it to be among his proudest works. “One of my musical heroes got to see a piece of my artwork through this… That was a cool moment.”

Niall’s involvement in the street art community has had its share of highlights too. Doing professional work for various clients has helped broaden his horizons. He told us he had never been sporty, but that on one occasion he was commissioned to paint a hurling wall at Stradbally, which got him involved with the club there for a few days. “It’s nice when you can link in to a culture that you’re not good with… through art you can get into that culture.” 

Likewise, his own personal art has opened up new worlds for him. Painting on walls in the streets at all sorts of strange hours of the day has resulted in some memorable encounters. “You don’t get that sort of stuff when you’re in a studio”, he says, telling us about the time when a homeless person bought him a smoothie out of appreciation for a giant mural of a granny he was painting. Hearing about the characters Niall has met along his journey put a good few smiles into our day.

I love Niall’s art, with all of its personality, quirky shapes and the interesting stories behind each piece. It was truly inspirational hearing him talk so passionately about it, and I want to end with a quote from him that I think sums it up very well: “I like to think that these pieces all have a bit of me in it. Y’know, that little bit of hip hop.”