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Meet the Maker:Ruth Cahill, Designer

Posted 19.07.2023
Meet the Maker

Duck Blue is a greeting card and illustration company based in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Established in 2009 by Ruth Cahill. Her imaginative illustrations are created using pen and watercolour and she designs, prints and packages all her cards & prints in her light filled studio using only the finest papers, paints and uses only biodegradable packaging. Her ethos is simple she creates ‘Cards you want to keep…’ Why not pop them in a frame to enjoy forever.

What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?


Being a busy mother of two and entrepreneur my days are busy! Firstly packing my two teens off to school then I love nothing more than a hot coffee, turning on the radio at 9am and sitting down to my day ahead in my light filled studio with its beautiful maple tree by the window and my bird feeder full of birds to keep me company.

I usually spend the morning fulfilling my website orders, I print to order so there is no waste and when all the orders are ready for dispatch I settle down with my paints and a fresh page and start a new drawing. These drawings can be followed using the hashtag #duckbluedailydrawing.

On a good day I get a new drawing finished, photographed and made it into a digital format that can be turned into a card if it reaches my exacting standards. I want my drawings to be simple, colourful and to draw my customer in to feel nostalgia or a warmth from seeing it. Perhaps it evokes a memory or a place or someone they love. My ethos is to create ‘Cards you want to keep…’ I like the drawings to do the talking, not text. Just the simplicity of the image.

I usually finish off my day by heading to the post depot with my orders. A good day done, one I always enjoy.

What do you like most about your work?

Being creative and drawing what I want to draw everyday. The satisfaction when I see a new design I created and knowing instantly my customers will love it.

What do you like least about your work?  

The monotonous task of packing large orders by hand when all I want to do is paint and create something new.

What’s your favourite craft item in your home?

My new paint brushes.

Only do it if you love it. You need to work hard and be original. Anyone can copy someone else's work. Be you... quality will last.

Ruth Cahill
What other maker in your discipline do you most look up to?

I love so many disciplines and watching other illustrators and card designers. I love seeing their processes. Especially when they are so different to mine, Such as watching Cara Murphy the Silversmith doing her beach silver bowels last year and the enamelling process. Its fascinating.
How do you start your day?

With a coffee and a smile.
What’s the first thing you do when you leave the studio?

Smile and be grateful for the orders I got that day and for being valued enough for people to order from me. Every order has value.
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Duck Blue

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