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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Down to a fine art!

Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 6:12pm

One artist's illustrations of higgledy-piggledy buildings of Cork city and picturesque landscapes of the county have captured the eye of art fans.

Fiona Foley’s passion for drawing led her to set up her illustration business, Pear Shaped Studio, which she runs from her cottage near The Gearagh. She also creates children’s art, capturing the magic of a child’s imagination with her whimsical illustrations.

Fiona creates fine art prints, greeting cards and accessories, which are available from her stockists in the city and from her online Etsy shop. She spoke to the Cork Independent about her love for art which led to her starting her own business.

Where did the idea for Pear Shaped Studio come from?

Unfortunately, Ireland was hit by a recession when I graduated from college in 2012 and it was extremely difficult to find a job in the area I studied. I have always had a passion for illustrating and designing, so I decided to return to college to study graphic design and illustration in St John’s Central College. I completed a one year course that gave me all the tools I needed to set up my own illustration business. I can’t speak highly enough about the course and the staff in St John's Central College. I think sometimes, things do go 'pear shaped' or not how we plan, but it does work out in the end. I decided to call my illustration business Pear Shaped Studio for that reason.


How do you create your illustrations?

I use a variety of mediums to create my illustrations, including water colour pencils, pen, ink and crayons.


How long are you in business?

I have been illustrating and attending markets since 2015 and I set up my online Etsy shop called Pear Shaped Studio in 2019. I stock in a number of independent shops, cafes and galleries including Nano Nagle Place, The Glucksman Gallery Shop, Cork Flower Studio, The Three Spoons, Pinocchio’s and Fellini's.

I am really proud to support Cork businesses. All my printing is carried out in Cork and I also buy all of my art and packaging supplies from local Cork businesses. This is an extremely important part of my business.

Do you work alone?

It's mostly just me but I do get lots of help from my parents and my partner Fran, especially during the build-up to Christmas markets.

Whats your hopes for 2020/2021?

I am working on a number of new projects this year. I also hope to illustrate my first children's book in the near future.


Fine art prints of Cork City range in price from €25 to €75. To pourchase one of Fiona's illustrations online, visit

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