People, places and things

..with Emma O’Toole

Emma O’Toole is the founder of her own ceramic practice @alittlepieceofmyheart and a Visual Art Assistant in Galway Arts Centre. Her work uncovers themes of strength and fragility, and she explores and manoeuvres clay to create intricate and emotive pieces. Here, we had the pleasure of getting to know Emma a little better with our Inspired questions.

­Describe yourself in three words:
Creative, Curious, Tactile.
What is something our readers might not know about you?
Something people might not know about me is that I am a huge fan of poetry. It has completely changed my relationship with literature, I now find it to be an endless stream of inspiration.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
One of my proudest accomplishments to date would be creating ‘A little piece of my heART’ on Instagram as a place to share my work and a place to hold myself creatively accountable. It led me to connect with so many talented creatives, to become a part of a community where we help each other and encourage one another along the way. This experience gave me the confidence to share my work and I was just beginning to sell my work when the world closed down. With markets being cancelled and the retail industry closed, I began to build and launched the site on the 16th of November 2020. I was blown away by the support – the website sold out overnight! It has been incredibly challenging, and there will always be more to do, but I am really proud of how far it has come and so grateful for the support I have received.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
I find inspiration in a variety of people and things, especially the women in my life; my nana, my mother, my friends. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many kind, strong, ambitious, and powerful women who know who they are, and are so unapologetically themselves.

Tell us something you love about Galway:
There are so many things I love about Galway, the creative energy flows through the streets and there are so many interesting characters. One of my favourites is the heron who stands in the Mill Street canal who always puts a smile on my face as I pass on my way to my studio and who I now consider a good friend.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Emma’s world here in Galway. You can follow her creative journey on Instagram @alittlepieceofmyheart and be sure to sign up to her newsletter for the launch of her upcoming collection later this year.

Image credits:
Kate Nolan