Artist not afraid to have fun
Andrea Flanagan is a fine art painter and photographer. Recently she has leaned toward food photography too, an area that she admits is a lot of fun.
The Ballywheelin native explained: "My first passion of painting and artwork has been 27 years in the making. I have always had a creative spark since I was a child.
"Naturally gravitating towards the art world I decided to undertake a degree in Fine Arts in NCAD. Those four years thought me so much.
"I graduated with honours in 2010 and haven't looked back since."
She said: "I learned so much during my college years. The photography developed after I did some travelling, in a sense, my passion for photography ignited.
"Being away from the studio for five months in South America was amazing.
"I decided to expand my creative awareness, not to limit to one medium."
Andrea did a Masters in Photography in London Metropolitan University shortly after her return. "I loved it, there was a lot packed into the year."
She works primarily from her Wine Street studio. "Commission pieces that I do for people's homes are going quite well."
For the last 12 months, she has delved into the creative world of food photography.
"Having always had an interest in cooking and the lifestyle based around it, my venture into food photography was organic and I suppose a natural move for me.
"I researched this area of photography and decided to pursue it as a career."
She said that these sort of projects are an escape from the solitude of the studio.
"It has lead me to a very enjoyable career, dipping in and out of two worlds. My Dad always says that if you enjoy what you do, you never work a day in your life; Sligo has been a wonderful place to do this.
"I have received a lot of support here and Sligo people have a wonderful energy," Andrea added.
She explained that her approach is 'simple and direct'.
"The food speaks for itself. Composition, light, colour and texture are my focus."
Her career in this area has taken off over the last year, she is now the official food stylist and photographer for Good4U, a thriving health food company based in Finisklin.
Andrea said: "Working with the Good4U team has been lots of fun and we have exciting photo shoots planned for the future."
She also has photographed sweet treats from Le Fournil on Tobergal Lane.
"It is a lovely French bakery and its cakes are so easy to snap!"
She added that she really enjoys working on projects with fellow foodies, such as producers and chefs.
"I look forward to the years ahead and seeing where this journey takes me."
Andrea is already planning further into that future.
"My plans for Andrea Lucy Food Photography are to style and photograph for cook books and to be available for businesses to style and photograph all sorts of culinary delights throughout Ireland and the UK."
Her studio is located at 3 Wine Street, across from Quayside shopping centre.
"People are welcome to call in, have a look around and see the whole process as it works.
"I think it is good to open your studio doors, it takes down barriers."
She said that Sligo is thriving from an artistic point of view. "There is definitely people pulling together."
Next up is a trip to Iceland in September, which undoubtedly will be a stunning backdrop for her photographs.
"I'm very excited about that," Andrea said.