When I was younger I remember my family’s coat of arm’s taking centre stage in my grandparent’s hall and they were so proud of it. So when Brendan from Painted Clans contacted me with regards having my own coat of arms painted I jumped at the chance – so many memories bubbled to the surface and I was so excited to see my family crest on my living room wall.
Painted Clans specialise in Hand-painted Modern Family Coat of Arms & Heraldic Products and the products that they create are just beautiful and can create such a beautiful addition to your home. They would also make the most amazing gift – can you imagine how happy a new couple would be to get both of their crests in one frame symbolising brings the two families togeather. I am more than delighted to be featuring an interview with Brendan today and learning more about the brand and how it came to be.
Have you always had an interest in art and design?
I’ve been sketching as a small kid and I’ve continued my interest in art and design into college. I’ve studied design and communication in the University of Ulster, Derry and Augsburg, German.
Can you please tell us a little about your brand ‘Painted Clans’ and how it came to be?
The whole thing started out as a wedding gift for friends living in Australia. I wanted to give them something sentimental, personal and modern. But it only became a business idea a year later when friends and family started commissioning Coat of Arms as Christmas gifts.
Have you always had an interest in ancestry?
Not always but In 2011 my New Jersey cousin Mary Carlson came to Ireland to explore the history of her ancestors. Not wanting to disappoint, my family hurried to research how my two great uncles Hugh & Barney McCarey came to travel to America. This experience sparked an interest in digging deeper.
I love that your pieces really bring a person’s heritage to the forefront and back into the heart of the family. I myself always remember in my grandparent’s house having their crest in the hall. Have you found that many have reacted in this way?
Yeah, My parents have their Coat of Arms in their Hallway too. A lot of people reference memories and parents and grandparents old plaque. They like how I bring a modern twist to it which makes fit better into the modern home.
Has it been challenging launching your own design business – what is the greatest challenge that you have faced?
Big time!!! I’ve never had the mindset of working for myself so when I embarked on this adventure everything was new. The biggest challenge was promoting my product. Shouting out to the world to look over here didn’t come naturally.
You are very active on Social media and in this technical age – how important is it to be to ‘be online’ for your brand?
I’ve attended some social media courses and I’m a big fan of the media giant Gary Vaynerchuk. Your online presence is everything but just being loud is not enough. Good content is key but creating interesting content week in week out is tough.
Are here any artists that you admire and look up to?
From product designer Dieter Rams to Picasso I’ve a huge interest in all form of art and design. My good mate Daire Irwin is one of Ireland’s most talented artists.
To date what has been the proudest moment for the brand?
I’ve got two small kids so being able to work for myself and being able to spend more time with them is awesome.
Would you have any advice for other artists that are looking to showcase their work?
Showcase Ireland was a brilliant experience which helped me better understand my product and the market. I’d advise exhibitors to invest a lot of time into your stand. With over 5,000 buyers you need to stand out! Talk to as many people as possible as everyone is in the same boat as you, you will come back with a wealth of knowledge.
What does the future hold for Painted Clans?
Increasing my visibility in America and expanding into other nationalities are my main goals for 2017.
A massive thank you to Brendan for the interview and my modern Family Coat of Arms. I am simply in love with my Painted Clan Brennan Piece – it is now taking centre stage in our living room and is such a great conversational piece as well. I was also so impressed with the quality of the work – I have no doubt that this will last for years and I will hopefully pass it onto the next generation as well. It really is something that I really treasure.
I would highly recommend that you look at Brendan’s work on Painted Clans. They would make the perfect gift for a wedding or an anniversary or as a focal point for your home. And imagine how special that one would be for a Christmas gift. They are so unique and something that people will treasure for so many years. You can also check out their Facebook, Twitter and their stunning Instagram which shows so much of their great work.
All images kindly provided by Brendan for use.