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Jacqueline Duran Joyce lives in New York City with her husband Luke. 

Luke, a Galway native, and Jacqueline, tied the knot in Ireland last year – and there were some truly amazing snaps from the day.

However, as stunning as the wedding pictures were, no photos compare to the those that the lovely Jackie captures herself. 

A few months before the wedding, the couple decided to go on an adventure, and travelled the world (I literally mean every bloody corner of the globe btw). 

 

Central Park all dressed up for spring 

A post shared by Jacqueline Joyce (@jacqduran) on

While photography had always been a passion of Jackie's, she really started to pursue it while discovering some of the most amazing locations in the world. 

And let me tell you, thank GOD she did – because she 's got mad skills.

Jackie has captured everything, from the sky scrapers of New York City and the horses of Connemara to the lighthouses of Montauk and the mountains of New Zealand. 

One thing I truly admire about her work is that she sees beauty in the mundane.

In the flash of a camera, Jackie will take a photo of something so gorgeous, that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

All of a sudden, an old, unappealing boat becomes a work of art – immortalised through Jackie's photography. 

A self proclaimed beach-bum, Jackie has a particular penchant for all things nautical. 

 

I’m dreaming of a sunny day out East. 

A post shared by Jacqueline Joyce (@jacqduran) on

Growing up on the water, and spending many summers of her adult life by the beach – Jackie eats, sleeps and breathes the sea, and all that comes with it. 

This is apparent in her online store, where the majority of her magical prints have a nautical theme.

However, as much as I too am a water lover, it is Jackie's ability to capture the quiet magic of New York that appeals to me most. 

You see the Brooklyn Bridge, The Empire State and Times Square everywhere, all you have to do is typ 'NYC' into Google. 

 

Daydreaming of one of my favorite places!

A post shared by Jacqueline Joyce (@jacqduran) on

Jackie takes a different, slightly ethereal, approach to photographing the concrete jungle. 

My personal favourite photo? The picture of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan bridge at dusk, which appear blurred out in the background, allowing white flowers to take centre stage. 

This is the kind of thing I'm talking about – you still get the incredible hit of the world renowned bridged of the Big Apple, but with a gentle twist. 

 

Low lying clouds and possibly the most beautiful trees I've ever seen.

A post shared by Jacqueline Joyce (@jacqduran) on

Last year, the lovely Jackie set up her very own Etsy page (blessed), where people can go and purchase prints of her work. 

We genuinely love them all, and you will too! 

Have a gawk around her page, we DARE you not to instantly want to add everything to your cart. 

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“I really love that I grew up in such a nature based way. My mother has such a great imagination, we would go for a walk in the woods and she’d be like ‘let’s go look for fairies.’”

Julia Harley Francisco-Simoes, a stop motion animator from Boston, has some rather unique artistic influences.

“I like my art to be weird-fantasy. I’m definitely influenced by Wicca.”

As well as being a full-time art and design student, she is also a practising witch. No, I don't mean the Harry Potter kind. She's a Wiccan, a modern form of spirituality rooted in pagan beliefs. 

Julia, who was born in Portugal and moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, grew up surrounded by magic with a Wiccan mother. 

 

XD rawr

A post shared by Julia Harley (@julia.harley) on

“It was quite cool and secretive; she would go with her girlfriends to take part in rituals. She would always be burning sage around the house," Julia recalled. 

“We would go to celebrations like May Day, and dance around the Maypole. I was never made read the Bible or anything like that. We always had spell books around the house.  I suppose that’s something that I’ve carried forward with myself into my own life.”

Founded in the 1940’s the practise of Wicca centres around traditional Pagan beliefs and the worship of a variety of deities. The Wiccan Rede constitutes as a guide for practising Wiccans, with the mantra “harm none and do what will.”

“Many of the books I’d go to about Wicca are by authors with  names like Wolfstein, Silver Wolf, or other funny and gothic names. It’s sometimes like living in a Twilight novel,” she laughs.

Most Wiccans believe in the Horned god and the Moon Goddess, who can encompass hundreds of deities across a range of cultural backgrounds, from Greek and Roman, to Hindu and Egyptian, to African and Celtic.

“Which tradition you follow largely depends on where you’re from,” Julia explains. “Since we’re from Portugal I would follow the European traditions. Like warding off the evil eye.”

Many Wiccans pick a deity to follow in their everyday life, however this is not always the case.

“I don’t follow any particular deity, but when you do you try to emulate their values and what they stand for in your own life.”

When one says that they are practising witch, it can be all too easy to picture broomsticks and cauldrons. However this is not the only misconceptions Wiccan’s like Julia face.

“Most people associate Wicca with Satanism, when really they’re completely different.  It’s because of the pentangle. The inverted pentangle is a symbol of Satanism but in Wicca the regular pentangle represents the five elements- air, earth, fire, water, and ether [spirit].”

 

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Spells are less “bubble, double, toil and trouble” and more along the lines of positive thinking and picturing, or manifesting, things you want to happen.

“Spells are a form of self-divination. You picture something you really want in your head and drive all your motivation into that. It’s trying to manipulate your auras and the universe to help your purpose.”

“Each time it’s worked I’ve been a bit shook, to be honest. There are spells for ill-will and blessing spells. Most of them do come back. That’s why I only do positive ones.”

“I must sound crazy,” she laughs again. “Some of them are really bizarre. Like there was one love potion that asked you to lick a spoon and sleep with it under your pillow.”

Many Wiccans employ the help of herbs or crystals, Julia herself recommends placing clear quartz stone on the forehead to help with migraines. 

Fancy a little bit of magic in your life? Julia has shared two of her favourite potions that can be made at home, black cat not needed. 

"Love Tea: Drink this tea from a pink cup before a date, or if you are just casting a love spell- You can also use this to soothe a broken heart.

Steep 2 tsp of the blend in 8Fl. oz. (250 ml) of hot water for 5 minutes. Use 2 tbsp crushed rose petals, 2 tbsp dried lavender buds, seeds of Vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract.

"Relaxation Oil: Can be burnt in an aromatherapy lamp, or applied to the forehead or in a bath:  

"1 fl oz. (30 ml) almond or jojoba oil, 3 drops of lemon balm, 3 drops of lavender oil, 3 drops of passionflower oil and one drop of rose or rosewood oil." 

However, Julia won't be making any big batches of spells any time soon. She's far too busy working on fantastic album covers, sculpture, commissioned illustrations and music video- which you can check out here.  

Fancy trying out a bit of witchery for yourself? Julia recommends stocking up on reading material such as The Witch's Journal

While you may never have gotten that Hogwarts letter, that doesn't mean that you can't embrace a bit of magic.  

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“My first memories are of the barbed wire at the end of our street.”

Memories are very important to Deirdre Mackel. In honour of International Women's Day, we sat down with the Belfast artist and Deliveroo cyclist to chat with her about art, feminism, cycling and everything in-between. 

“My art is inspired by the little memories I have of childhood. They’re symbolic, but not overtly so,"she says of her art.

“I get the memory and I go with my trail of thought and see what comes out of it.”

What comes out of the past has a lot to say about the future. Several of Deirdre's works tackle the construction of femininity and break down what exactly it means to be a woman in today's society. 

"I did an ironing board sculpture and it really represented the futility of domesticity. Why do we bother ironing? Why are we wasting our lives doing the same thing day after day?" 

An image that Deirdre keeps returning to are dresses. For her, they have a personal meaning as well as feminist one.

"I remember drawing myself on the back of a wedding invitation when I was about three. I was curious about it so I tracked down that same paper online. I didn't realise that they were the colours that I always used in my painting." 

Dresses are not only a source of memory for Deirdre, but they also represent something deeper. 

“For me, dresses represent conformity and non-conformity. They’re the christening gown, the communion dress and the wedding dress. They represent what’s expected of a nice, Catholic girl.”

After studying Fine Art in The University of Ulster, Deirdre now brings art and creative projects to Belfast's local communities. She's passionate about finding healing through art. A recent instillation finds beauty in barbed wire. 

"That was my childhood. There was barbed wire at the end of our street, that was my play-ground growing up. That's why I call these instillations accidental gardens. It's all about finding those tiny spots of beauty." 

She works with community groups bringing out creativity in everyone from children to elderly groups. 

“One of my favourite things is creating art in what are known as ‘problem spaces’. These are places that have a lot of bad feelings and memories attached to them.”

One such problem space was an old RUC police barracks. With Deirdre's help and encouragement, a seniors group used their croqueting skills, tuning a place that many of them had loathed and feared into a colourful knitted garden. 

"Seeing them have a tea party in the garden surrounded by their work- that's the kind of thing that drives me." 

Historically, certain communities in Belfast suffered real or perceived barriers accessing art galleries. With the help of EU funding, Deirdre is breaking down these barriers. 

"You only have to look at the giant murals on the Falls road to know that the creative instinct was always there. They’re phenomenal works of art, now we have tourists come just to visit them.

“Twenty years ago, there was a distinct lack of place for the arts and creative activities. Now a lot of the community art projects are funded by the EU. We’re working with artists to create public art trails around the city. It’s all about turning the physical scars of the conflict into something people can feel proud of and have ownership of.

“It greatly contributes to the health and wellbeing of people in the community, being about to claim ownership of a sculpture or a piece of art is a powerful thing. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about art in the community.”

As well as looking out for the community, Deirdre also takes care of her own health and wellbeing and makes some extra cash dollar at the same time. 

“I've always loved cycling. I remember seeing lads on Deliveroo  bikes and thinking that that was something I’d like to do.

“I saw an ad not long after, so I just decided to go for it.”

Being out on the bike is a fantastic way to keep fit, after her first day she "couldn't move for days" but now takes it all in her stride, or spin if you will. 

While there are good and bad days on the bike, the positives far outweigh the negatives of the job. 

“Some days it can be freezing for you can get soaked. I’ve fallen off my bike once or twice but the great thing is you just hop back up and keep going.

“I really enjoy it, I get to see parts of the city that I never would otherwise and have made some great friends for all different kinds of backgrounds.”

Most of Deirdre's co-cyclists are men, which "surprised" her. 

"I definitely think that it's a great job for both men and women. You get out and about in air, there's just so many advantages.

"Or maybe I'm just mad," she laughs. 

Her advice for any aspiring creative types out there? Just go for it. 

“If you want to do something, all you need is to want to do it. There’s just this switch that decides ‘right, I’m going for this now’. Listen to it." 

An artist with a spinning ambition, Deirdre is definitely one to watch this International Women's Day! 

To find out more about becoming a Deliveroo driver see here. 

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One Irish artist has pushed the colouring pencils aside and has instead looked to his kitchen cupboard in search of a more unconventional material.

Mike Gibson, who was crowned ‘Creative of the Year’ at last year's SHEmazing HP Awards, has discovered the second-best use for Nutella, (the first being spooning it into our mouths) and is creating celebrity portraits made entirely from the tasty treat.

Over the past few years, the Laois native has built an impressive online following thanks to his hyper-realistic celebrity portraits and general creative flair.

 

I may have painted @dualipa in NUTELLA 

A post shared by Mike Gibson (@mikegibsonartwork) on

The now 23-year-old showed an interest in drawing from an early age, and thanks to encouragement from his parents and teachers, he was able to build up an incredible skill-set during his teenage years.

Mike began uploading his work to Facebook five years ago and the images quickly gained a lot of interest online.

Since then, his drawings have been shared by thousands of fans across the world, and the young artists Instagram page, mikegibsonartwork, now boasts over 60,000 followers.

 

Work

A post shared by Mike Gibson (@mikegibsonartwork) on

His work has been praised by a number of high-profile celebs including Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, Meghan Trainor and Jessy J.

However, it's Mike's latest creative endeavour that really has people talking.

Adele, Conor McGregor, James Kavanagh and Taylor Swift are just some of the celebrities to have undergone a Nutella make-over – and while we never thought we'd say this, these Nutella portraits actually do look too good to eat.

 

Sorry the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,why? Cause she’s SPREAD

A post shared by Mike Gibson (@mikegibsonartwork) on

 

Hello from the other Slice? Painted Adele using just Nutella

A post shared by Mike Gibson (@mikegibsonartwork) on

One thing’s for sure, there’s a bright future ahead for this talented young artist, and we can't wait to see what he does next.

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Meet Carrah Aldridge – a 22-year-old artist who creates the most intricately decorated Starbucks cups we've ever laid our eyes on.

The Ohio native has racked up over 80,000 followers on Instagram thanks to her creative deigns and life-like drawings.

And while pretty much every post on Carrah's page left us lost for words, it was the gorgeous coffee cups that really stole the show. 

Each creation features a unique combination of colours, shapes and patterns, all effortlessly drawn directly onto the cup using colouring pencils.

That's right, no fancy equipment, no photo-editing – just cups, colouring pencils and raw talent.

Here's a few of our favourites:

 

My starbucks cup designs Finished, Unfinished, Big, Small. Part 2/2 #starbucks #starbuckscoffee #starbuckscupart @starbucks

A post shared by Carrah Aldridge (@creative_carrah) on

 

My starbucks cup designs Finished, Unfinished, Big, Small. Part 1/2 #starbucks #starbuckscoffee #starbuckscupart @starbucks

A post shared by Carrah Aldridge (@creative_carrah) on

We wonder what it's like to be so damn talented? 

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While some researchers believe that Instagram is a vortex of low self-esteem, other's are using it for body positivity.

A 21-year-old artist named Cinta Tort Cartró is the latest to make waves on the social media site, as she is turning period problems into works of art.

As well as that, she uses her account, @zinteta, to show case body 'flaws' in a different and beautiful way.

We absolutely adore her vivid and imaginative images, so we picked out a few of our favourites:

 

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Áine Marry is about to graduate from the degree in Painting and Visual Culture from NCAD, and her final exhibition showcases a struggle that many of us are familiar with, but have never been able to externalise.

Áine uses her artistic talents to personify the experience of having mental health issues, most prominently, depression and anxiety. 

Her exhibition pieces at first glance seem to be bright, cheerful depictions of a yellow-haired cartoon version of Aine, but on closer inspection, the work explores the inner dialogue between the person and the disorder. 

 

A post shared by Áine Marry (@ainemarryart) on

Like all the best ideas, the inspiration to begin creating these characters came naturally, from Áine's own experiences with metal health issues, which she feels began around the age of 10 with anxiety.  

'They started off as drawings. I had a notebook and it was just a Saturday one day where I hadn't showered and I just literally drew this avatar in a t-shirt and shorts saying 'oh I should probably shower' and I drew another one of this little person in a bed and all of these thoughts about anxiety,' she recalled.

'Once I started posting them to my personal Instagram, people liked it.'

She then brought her paintings in to her tutor at NCAD, who saw the massive potential for development in Áine's concept.

 

A post shared by Áine Marry (@ainemarryart) on

'Then the characters of depression and anxiety, I created them and they started to have a lot more too them, I could put them in different scenarios, like the Tinder profile, I wanted to put them into modern day situations because we live in tis modern social media age.' 

Áine's characters live in the digital age, as does her actual art, with an Instagram dedicated to her project which has over 1567 followers to date who follow her process.

Seeing the lives of others through a digitally altered snapshot has become the norm, and while Áine's art Instagram helps others by sharing her relatable work, she feels that the online world can contribute negatively to those who are struggling. 

'Before I had my art one [Instagram], I had my personal one, and sometimes you put something up when you don't feel that great, and you feel like you need this response of likes to make you feel better about yourself, like you're worth something, so it can be definitely dangerous.'

 

A post shared by Áine Marry (@ainemarryart) on

'But, it can be helpful,' she said, referencing the more personal pieces of art she has uploaded on her page that she has been wary about sharing.

'They are the ones I get the most response from. I get messages saying 'thank you so much' and it's so worth it then.' 

Despite the improving societal attitude sto mental health, Áine still feels there is a way to go when it comes to removing shame from the label

'I still feel stigmatised and I would still squirm while talking about it with maybe family and friends.'

'It hasn't been talked about in so long, and now the conversation has finally been opened and it's stigmatised to a certain extent.'

 

A post shared by Áine Marry (@ainemarryart) on

As a society, the English language has adopted and borrowed terms such as 'depressed,' acting 'bipolar' and 'panic attack ' from the mental health conversation. 

This casual use of the terminology, while harmless for the most part, can contribute to the dismissive nature held by some over the struggle of those with the actual disorders.

You know like when you say a word so many times it loses all meaning? It's called semantic satiation and it's a thing, I promise.

'There are people who can't get out of bed for three weeks because they genuinely can't live, where as you have people who are just tired and they're like 'I'm depressed, and that's not to take a way from anyone like you're not allowed to feel that way, but there is definitely people taking advantage of it,' she said, drawing on examples of celebrities using the terms to seem more relatable. 

 

A post shared by Áine Marry (@ainemarryart) on

If the term 'I'm depressed' now stands for 'I'm sad,' then how does one with an actual mental health problem describe their symptoms to the wider world without feeling it has been minimised?

Áine's own struggles began when she was a child, but got worse when she transitioned into college life, leading to her seeking help. 

'As a young girl it's really easy to start hating yourself visually, I just feel like that's the day and age we live in it's very easy, something can just click in your head where you're like 'I don't look okay,'' she said, reflecting on her relationship with her mental health in her childhood.  

'I let myself get really really bad in college, I didn't know if I wanted to be here,' she said. 

'You have the core problem but then you have all these other issues that stem from it, so it's been an ongoing thing, but recognising it in college, opening up and talking about it, and being like 'it is what it is' has really helped.' 

 Áine's exhibition, along with her fellow graduate's work, will be on display on NCAD's campus this weekend. 

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Avocados now make up 90 per cent of a millenial's diet.

We joke. But really, they're everywhere now, and some people are even making lattes out of them.

And just when we thought the obsession with avocados was over, we find this avocado art.

It's seriously impressive.

Australian-based carving artist, Danielle Barresi, has recently become Insta-famous due to her avo-art, and honestly, we can't get enough of it.

Many other artists have now followed in Danielle's footsteps, and it's pretty impressive work:

 

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Pretty cool, indeed.

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From food, to fitness and fashion, there's a lot of things on Instagram to become obsessed with.

However, our latest favourite has nothing to do with any of the above; instead, it's an account dedicated to 2D art.

With a twist…

 

A post shared by Visothkakvei (@visothkakvei) on

 

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Illustrator Visoth Kakvei has blown us away with his drawings, which look 3D to the naked eye.

He told Cosmo: "At first, I started Instagram just to share personal stuff and pictures. And then I found it's pretty cool if I [share] my drawings."

And if you want to follow in Visoth's footsteps, he said: "It depends on how talented, passionate, and patient you are."

 

A post shared by Visothkakvei (@visothkakvei) on

 

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So in other words, you really need to put the work in to see the results.

We just think his talent is out of this world.

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It's the weekend, and sometimes all we want to do on a Saturday night is lie back and look at some pretty pictures on Instagram. 

We are here for you, and totally support your desire to switch off for a bit.

When we recently stumbled upon the mind-blowing coffee art of South Korean barista, Kangbin Lee, we found ourselves stalking his Instagram for hours. 

Kangbin recreates iconic paintings of the masters, our favourite scenes from Disney classics, and cartoons – and they are literally almost too cute to drink.

Occasionally, the barista even throws in some standard heart-shaped latte art – but that is not what we're here for. 

Kangbin uses edible inks and a dotting tool to manipulate the foam and colours, and it is honestly one of the most impressive things on the Internet.

He has (rightly) accumulated quite a following on social media, with over 74,000 followers on Instagram. 

Coffee and pretty pictures – what's not to love? 

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Life has got to be pretty good for Cristiano Ronaldo. 

He's worth too many millions to count, has an esteemed sporting career, and he just got an airport named after him. Isn't is well for some?

However, it seems that not everything is blessed in Ronaldo's life, if the awkward photos of him standing beside an honorary piece of art are anything to go by. 

The footballer was commemorated with a bronze bust of himself in his namesake airport, but the bust left a lot to be desired in the realism department.

The bust really doesn't resemble the dashingly handsome Portuguese player, and Twitter has been completely taking the p*** out of it. 

The bust has been likened to everything from Sloth from The Goonies to an actual sloth.

Some have also claimed that it more fittingly resembles former Irish footballer Niall Quinn or the stone bust puppet from childhood TV show Art Attack.

The internet is in a complete photoshop frenzy, as people attempt to manipulate Ronaldo's face to match the bust. 

Ronaldo has yet to comment on the online reaction to the bust, and the hashtag #RonaldoBust is still going strong.

Feature image: Twitter 

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Ash Soto is a Florida-based artist who uses her own body as a canvas. 

The reason for her artistic endeavours? The fact that she has vitiligo, for which she was plagued by bullies her entire life.

Now Ash is reclaiming her body for herself by displaying it in an array of creative ways, all glorifying her vitiligo. And she looks amazing doing it. 

 

A post shared by Ash Soto (@radiantbambi) on

The body-positive Floridian is working on loving her speckled skin, and her 92,500 followers love it too. 

"They say your body is a canvas, I'm just painted differently," she captioned a post about her skin on Insta. 

"Finally at a point in my life where I can say I love the skin I'm in. It's a learning experience each day but I'm getting there."

 

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Outlining her vitiligo patches is Ash's speciality. 

By doing so, the body-positivity activist creates an effect that resembles a world map. 

 

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"When my vitiligo first started spreading and that's when the jokes started which caused me to never wear shorts or short sleeves again," she captioned another shot, showing her skin before and after her vitilligo spread.

"I've been called cow, I even was once told I had Michael Jackson syndrome."

"How can an innocent girl trying to find herself take that?"

 

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We applaud Ash for standing up against those who previously made fun of her and for encouraging people to embrace them selves and the skin they're in.  

That's definitely a body positive message we can get behind.

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