In our interview series we take the time to get to know our players and members and get a little insight into their lives. We find out about their experiences of Gaelic football and hurling, how they came to the sports, their experience with the Celtics, life in Germany and in particular about life in our „Domstadt“.
This time we asked Finbar to tell us about himself. The character designer and illustrator recently moved to Cologne and has already created the first official mascots for the Cologne Celtics. And what can we say? They look fantastic – have a look yourself.
Note: If you like to get in touch with Finbar for any design or illustrating work you find his website and social media profiles at the end of the interview. You can also follow him there. Let’s support each other during the pandemic!
Hi Finbar, thank you for taking the time to tell us a little bit about yourself. Why don’t we start with telling everyone who you are, where you’re from…
I grew up in Drogheda on the East coast of Ireland and have spent time living in Manchester in the U.K before settling in Cologne in October 2020. I am a freelance designer and illustrator with a focus on the animation industry. I mostly work with clients based in Europe, the U.K and Ireland.
Speaking of your profession as designer and illustrator: you have made some really great mascots for the Cologne Celtics. How did you get the idea?
Thank you 🙂 The Cologne Celtics team reached out to me when I arrived in Cologne
to chat about ways we could collaborate on a project to promote the club. I wanted
to create aspirational mascot designs that represented the fun aspects of Gaelic games!
You did a fantastic job with our new mascots. They look great! So thank you very much and we are definetely very happy to welcome you here 😉 Let’s talk about moving then. What brought you to Germany?
I moved here to be with my partner who is from Germany. As a freelance designer for animation and illustration I have the flexibility to be able to work from Germany for foreign clients which is great!
How would you describe your life in Germany?
Living in Cologne has been a really enjoyable experience. Obviously the current situation with Covid-19 has meant that it has been hard to really explore the city and meet new people, but I love the architecture of the city and there are so many beautiful parks close to where we live. I’m looking forward to really immersing myself in what the city has to offer!
Can you tell us if you experienced any differences between Germany and Ireland? What has stood out most?
Something I have noticed is the approach to problem solving is quite different in Germany and Ireland. I have had to learn to be a little more organized when tackling problems here. In Ireland we like to use the expression „Feck it, its grand“ to say that something is good enough. In Germany there is more of a right way and a wrong way to approach a problem. Moving here has definitely helped me to become more organized in my life. Which is definitely a good thing!
Can you tell us any funny stories or observations about Germany?
Something I am still learning about and which I find fun is the German concept of „Lüften“. The very technical practice of airing out a room. There is stoßlüften, belüften, durchlüften, all slightly different but all important lüften techniques to keep your apartment feeling fresh! I aim to master this. Wish me luck 🙂
Well, Germans seem to be famous for having or inventing words for everything 😉 How’s your German by the way?
„Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch“. This is my go to phrase 🙂 I am slowly learning and improving and I always get a boost when I see how people respond when I try to speak to them in German.
Let’s get back to sports. Which is your preferred sport – Hurling or Gaelic Football?
Hurling was always my preferred sport growing up. Along with my brothers we would spend all day, everyday pucking the ball around on our local pitch. Louth is not exactly a hotbed of Hurling so we often got some strange looks. I have always loved the subtle skills of Hurling and I always love sitting down to watch a thrilling championship game with my family.
Did you play GAA back in Ireland?
I played underage hurling in Louth up until I moved to Dublin for my university studies. Our club unfortunately disbanded not long after and I have sporadically played on and off since then. Both with my university team and very briefly picking up a hurl again during my time in Manchester.
Can you describe what the GAA is like back home in Ireland?
The GAA is a brilliant organization all over Ireland. The fact that so much of the work is voluntary creates a great sense of community spirit.
And last but not least: Any favourite Gaeilge seanfhocail?
„May the wind be always at your back“.
Thank you, Finbar!
Would you like to know more about Finbar’s work? Check out his website: www.finbarcoyle.com
Make sure to follow Finbar on Facebook and Instagram as well:
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