The Block

Art & Culture — 1 year ago

Creative Living: Bebhinn Eilish

Artist and designer Bebhinn Eilish shares her creative life. 


Artist and designer Bebhinn Eilish makes work that’s distinctly Irish. This is both in terms of her mythical aesthetic, which draws on the history and folklore of Ireland, but also in terms of her politically engaged approach. 


Feminism has an important history and role in Ireland, with feminist activists having been instrumental in securing recent progress, including abortion access, Eilish weaves this stance through her work. “Happy International Women’s Day to all women, and not just your personal definition of womanhood,” the artist recently wrote on Instagram. “Forever grateful to be brought up in a fully female household with the most beautiful and inspiring women to guide me through womanhood.” 


Here, for our special Creative Living series, Eilish discusses creating round the clock, why she works best at night, and the myth of the tortured artist. 


Check out Bebhinn Eilish’s Untamed Power T-shirt here.

Everpress Team
Courtesy of Bebhinn Eilish

When do you feel most creative?

When I’m feeling sensual, or when I’ve just gotten into the bath. At three in the morning when I desperately need sleep but I absolutely must get an idea out of my mind. When I’m having a good streak and have remembered to wash my clothes consistently so I don’t run out of knickers! When I light the fire in the evenings and put on some good music. 

I’m fucking tired of this narrative of the mentally tortured artist creating sad and moving work, it’s boring. When I’m in good spirits I want to really feel like I’m enjoying life and creating because I love to do it – not because it’s my only form of true escapism, even though it is this too. 

Courtesy of Bebhinn Eilish

Tell me a little about your relationship to deadlines? Do you meet them easily? And do you need them to motivate you?

I graduated in 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design so I’m no stranger to a deadline. If I didn’t learn self-discipline and the importance of deadlines in college I wonder how many projects I’d have left on the back burner by now… 

I’m no stranger to a deadline

I find that deadlines are a lot more important for a designer than an artist, to a designer they are essential, for an artist they’re useful but not essential. I enjoy the middle ground: a loose timeframe to aim for with a project, but with no real pressure to deliver or rush the process, which is the best part. The process for creating traditional art is the reward in my working life, whereas the process for a design project is the bane of my existence.

Courtesy of Bebhinn Eilish

Do you need routine? 

Routine? No. Incessant impulse to create from the moment I wake up, until the moment I get into bed? Yes. 

How much do you adhere to a ‘conventional’ 9-5 working week?

Not at all. I work around the clock like some crazed faerie. 

Do you work better in the morning or the evening? 

At night, when the world outside my window has settled and I feel like I am the only woman on earth! I like the stillness, that no one contacts me, and that there are none of the pressures and challenges of day-to-day life. It’s definitely not healthy or sustainable, but if I’m in a groove and I haven’t been keeping track of time, I won’t interrupt myself… chances are I couldn’t sleep anyways; I’d be too busy thinking of the work I could be doing. 

Courtesy of Bebhinn Eilish

Do you work on the weekends? 

Of course, although I will not respond to emails or work with clients, but personal work for sure. Most of the time I don’t know what day of the week it is anyways!

Do you try to draw a clear line between ‘life’ and ‘work’ or does it all blend into one? 

My entire life revolves around finding the time everyday to create. Remembering to eat all meals and take time to get outside or exercise is an achievement for me. In the future I want to attempt to draw that line, to set some boundaries for myself so that I am cared for and nurtured and not just running myself into the ground everyday.

I like the stillness

On days when you hit a creative block, what do you do to get past it?

I’m not sure that I get creatively blocked. I don’t mean that in some weird egotistical way, where I think of myself as some free-flowing creative fountain, I just haven’t really experienced an inability to get the cogs moving or put pen to paper. 

Courtesy of Bebhinn Eilish

I do go through periods where I really need to take a break and step away from my work but I’m not sure this counts as creative block, it’s more an active reset. I also should add that I don’t subscribe to the idea of waiting and that, “It’ll come to you when you’re ready.” I believe in sometimes forcing the grind and setting yourself time to accomplish things. 

How has your relationship with your practice evolved over the years?

I finally have the confidence I thought I had in my teens and early twenties. I feel unstoppable, completely uninhibited, and excited to keep pushing the boundaries of my work. This is the type of confidence that comes from experience, and it’s exciting knowing I will continue to create powerful and provoking art. 

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