Jam Art Factory – Independent Irish Based Art and Design Shop
*** The interview (and most of the photo’s) in this post was originally posted in February 2014 in my Win a Fabulous Pat Byrne Forgotten Pages Print from Jam Art Factory post, however as I just picked up my own Pat Byrne Forgotten Pages Print the other day for Smith’s room (he’s 11 months old and his new bedroom is getting decorated, actually our whole house is getting a makeover so Jam Art Factory will be seeing much more of me in the coming months) … I’ve decided to share it again.
You probably know by now, from reading The Life of Stuff, that I have a crush on Jam Art Factory. Based at two locations in Dublin, 14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar and 64/65 Patrick Street, Dublin 8 with a steady online presence, Jam Art Factory is a treasure chest full of Art and Design from Irish based Artists and Designers.
The talent we have here on these shores is second to none. With Artists and Designers like the aforementioned Pat Byrne … Jacob Stack, At it Again, Carol Mahon, Clover Rua, Fatti Burke, DMC, Orla Barry and Shane O’Connor … just to name a handful or so … we’re spoilt for choice.
Thanks to Design Shops like Jam Art Factory, who a few and far between, we (those of us who love art and supporting artists/designers but are not flush with cash), are lucky to have the opportunity to own, love and adorn our walls, and sometimes ourselves, with art & design that is made with such passion, originality and in many cases humour, be it dark or not.
An Interview with Jam Art Factory
It had been my intention to feature Jam Art Factory in its own post so a little while ago I arranged to pop by the Temple Bar shop to have a chat with the masterminds behind it all, brothers Mark and John. When there I took photo’s of the shop and asked the guys a few questions to give you an idea of who they are, what they’re all about and where they see themselves going.
- How long has Jam Art Factory been around?
Jam Art Factory, Patrick Street was opened in May 2011 primarily as a Contemporary Art Gallery but ended up morphing into a shop for Art and Design, all made or designed by people living in Ireland. We added the second shop in Crown Alley, Temple Bar during the summer in 2013.
- Where did the inspiration to start Jam Art Factory come from?
The inspiration came from my (Mark) background in Art and Design. I studied various Design Courses and I’ve always had a keen interest in Art. Up until we opened the shop I was doing my own work with a few exhibitions around Dublin and London. We wanted to showcase the work of up and coming Artists and Designers living in Ireland. Over the past few years we’ve had a lot of work from Graduates of different Art Colleges throughout Ireland. We have a lot of extremely talented creative people in this country.
- What is it like to run a business as brothers?
Running the shop as brothers is quite good. I focus more on the creative side and John focuses more on the business part. It’s a good mix as it works well for the shop to have two people to deal with two totally different aspects of the business.
- How do you source your stock/the Designers?
We source different Designers from Markets, Craft Fairs, word of mouth, end of year College Shows and a lot of them would come directly to you, sometimes its hard to find a space for each one as our two shops are quite small. We have to be very selective with the pieces we get in.
- Who’s a ‘one to watch’?
One to watch… To be honest it’s hard to pick just one, we’ve so many talented Designers and Artists. However I love the work of Shane O’Connor. He designs limited edition digital illustrations of Irish (but mainly Dublin) streets. He mixes bright colours with geometric shapes and simple black lines to make really striking pieces. A lot of work goes into each piece and his work is very affordable, starting at €25 for an a4 limited edition print to a huge framed piece for €300. You can view his work here – jamartprints.com/shane-oconnor
- Where’s the most exotic place you’ve delivered to?
We’ve sold work to all over the world. Which shows that Irish Art and Design is very sought after. We’ve sent pieces off to Brazil, Russia, United States and just today we got an order from Australia.
- If you can see Jam Art Factory opening a third shop where would it be?
If we were to open a third shop I don’t think it would be in Dublin as it’s quite small and we’d like to keep the brand unique. I was just in Berlin after Christmas for a few days and they seem to have Design Shops similar to us on every corner. Would love to do something there or maybe somewhere in Italy. However I might have to change around the stock a bit as I don’t think they’d quite understand the “feck it sure it’s grand” stuff.
- How do you explain the phrase ‘Zip Up Yer Mickey’ to tourists who shop at Jam Art Factory?
Explaining the “Zip up yer Mickey” print to tourists is usually a difficult one. If their first language is English it’s not too bad as I can explain to them about Twink (I usually get a response of “what’s a twink?”) and her voicemail…. However, if their first language isn’t English sometimes I have to do a few awkward gestures and point towards certain areas of the body. It’s like some sort of interpretive dance.
Shop addresses are: 14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar and 64/65 Patrick Street, Dublin 8. You can shop online by Artist and Internationally too.