Fatti Burke


Fatti Burke is one of Ireland's best-loved illustrators and book makers. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2012 and has been really busy creating books and illustrations ever since. She is most well known for her popular educational children's books many of which were co-created with her father, John Burke. She enjoys when her work relates to things that she loves, including food, home and animals. 

What is your job?

I am an artist and picture maker. My job is to make drawings for books, advertisements and just for fun.

Do you have a favourite type of art?

I like art that tells a personal story, no matter what the medium. I’m really nosy so I like to see inside people’s homes, people’s lives. I love to see people’s favourite foods, their best friend, and their daily lives. 

Why is art important ?

Art is important because it captures a moment in time. It is like the artist saying to the world “I was here and this is how I interpret the world around me”. We all go through difficult experiences and we navigate them differently, and art can help us unite through hard times.

Describe how you make your art?

I make my art digitally mostly, using an iPad or photoshop on my computer. In my free time I like to collage and doodle, which gives my ideas for my finished pieces. I always start an illustration with choosing a colour palette, the colours I choose always seem to determine the end result of my work.

What is the job of art (or of artists)?

An artist’s job is to capture their experiences of a moment in time and to reflect their community. If you feel a certain way about something, or find something interesting or funny, you are guaranteed that someone else out there will feel that way too. With that in mind, artists can bring us together and help people feel less alone. 

How will you judge This Is Art! and what will you be looking out for ?

Individuality! The work doesn’t necessarily need to be a new technique or material, but a uniquely personal way of looking at something is what will excite me the most. I want to see the personality of the artist in their piece, and I’d like to sense a strong message in their work. Also, at the end of the day, I just love pretty things and things that make me smile! So fun and colour are huge for me. 

Is an artist statement important to you as a viewer?

I like to read artists statements after I view a piece, as it gives meaning to aspects of the art that I may have missed, and creates a bigger bond with the artist and the choices they made in creating the piece.

How do you write an artist statement?

I always find these difficult to write - I think all artists do. But they’re important because things that might seem obvious to you as the artist aren’t always obvious to the viewer. So your statement is helping the viewer to understand your work better. 

When did you know you wanted art to be your 'job' ?

Honestly, I’ve always had it in my head. I always knew that was the thing I was best at. English and Art were my favourite subjects all through my education and it wasn’t until I was in NCAD for college did I really realise that making art could be ‘a real job’.

What advice do you have for young artists?

Be yourself, Do your thing. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes because that’s where you find your unique style. By making mistakes you might discover a technique or approach you haven’t tried before. Playing around is the best thing about art, and things often lead off in a way you hadn’t planned. 

How do you know if you are a good artist?

If you’re proud of your work and can stand by the intention of what you set out to create, then you’re a  good artist. Remember, there are no wrong answers in art. Don’t base your art's worth on what other people say about it.

What is art?

Art is anything you want it to be. It’s emotional and freeing and playful. It is your unique way of expressing yourself and showing your true self to the world.