My name is Aaron Fahy, I’m a visual designer from Co. Waterford.
I used to work as a barista and I’d do design on the side but in November I transitioned across to just give it a shot and try and go full time with it. It’s slow to take off, definitely there are a lot of learning curves, but I feel I’m slowly but surely getting there; I’m learning so much from taking the leap.
Photos >>View Video>>
I used to take photos, that used to be my thing. I never used to design but once I got into design I just put my designs on Facebook thinking no-one would view them except my Mam and my Dad but one of the images was passed on through the internet, it went onto Pinterest and Tumblr and it lost credit along the way. It got picked up by a page on Instagram; they were trying to find out who made the design. Eventually they found me so that’s when I started designing a lot more. That was about five years ago now.
I’ve personally struggled, and still do to a certain extent, with my mental health but I’d like to think I have somewhat of a grasp on it now. The course that I did in college was Multimedia in CIT and once I came out of that it was like just stepping into the deep end; I didn’t know what was there for me. I was living in this bubble of just being with my friends and making stuff, to straight into the real world and that can really affect you mentally.
It kinda got a lot worse before it got good, so when I came out of college, all my friends did science courses and something like that so they were heading off to bigger and better jobs in Dublin. I moved home straight after college but I made the decision to go back up to Cork and I picked up a tech support job. I didn’t enjoy the job whatsoever and I chose the apartment I was living in because it was the last option. I was paying stupid amounts of money for rent, so that really affected everything in terms of how I was feeling; my mood, everything.
When my Grandad passed in 2017, he passed on Christmas Eve which wasn’t the best time but at the same time too I was living in Cork. I felt like I just kinda put what I really love, design, aside. I forgot about it. That was a tough time. My Grandad always had a get-up-and-go attitude; he’d get up at six and he’d be doing what he wants. He’d have the day done before it starts kind of a thing.
Change of scenery >>View Video>>
I think that was a wakeup call for me so I just accepted that I either stay here and struggle through or I could move home and have a change of scenery. I know it’s like you’re admitting defeat by moving home but at the same time it’s a fresh start. So I came home, picked up a job in a café and literally from there I got better. I dipped a little bit again but making the move was the best decision I’ve ever made; I’m more happy than I’ve ever been.
Still, everyone has those days that aren’t exactly the easiest but the way I try to combat that is really by talking. I’m fortunate as well now in the house that we’re in now, it’s my Mam, my Dad, and my sister, we’re all very open if we have a problem we just share whatever it is.
Connections >>View Video>>
Talking is one of the best things. I’ve made so many connections with creatives and just people in general on Instagram and Twitter. I haven’t met half these people but yet I do video calls with them, phone calls and we just chat about everything – life and lockdown – lockdown is particularly tough so talking is the best therapy I find.
I’m fortunate enough that I could come back to my parents house; I have a room and I have a place where I can work. Obviously the goal is to move out at some stage and I had plans to move out but with lockdown and everything going on, that’s put on hold for the moment which isn’t a bad thing it gives me time to work on stuff; I’m constantly building up my portfolio.
What I’ve started doing in the last maybe two months is, I start with warming up each day – I go onto Photoshop and try to learn a new technique or new effect or something. The beauty of that is when you’re experimenting you might stumble across something else that you didn’t know before. Through that then I’ve built up a lot of different techniques. It’s a good thing and a bad thing because I find that I’m constantly changing styles. I’m at a happy stage now with the techniques and everything that I’ve learnt.
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