The Art of Business With Louise O'Boyle

Based in Ballymena, Louise O’Boyle has secured a number of high profile and lucrative commissions that have allowed her to turn a passion for art into a successful business.

“My motivation for starting and building my business has not been one solely of necessity but passion – I love what I do, the excitement of new projects has allowed me to continually challenge and develop myself,” said Louise.

With a number of solo exhibitions under her belt Louise decided to set up her own business and successfully completed Invest NI’s Start a Business programme in 2002, which gave her the practical skills and guidance she needed to set up her own commercial venture.

“Since getting started I do not regret my decision at all. The various commissions I have undertaken have allowed me to use art to express and discuss ideas with a much wider audience.

“I have always been an artist. I studied fine crafts at Manchester Metropolitan and Applied Arts at the University of Ulster. These qualifications helped me to hone my skills and also learn how to teach, which has allowed me to unlock the hidden creativity in other people,” she said.

“As part of my business involves organising workshops and art projects, with a number of different community groups, I am also able to encourage potential artists to reach their full potential,” she continued.

Recently Louise has completed a large glass and ceramic artwork installation for the Credit Union in Derry called ‘A captured reflection of the past, present and future’, and has produced other commissions for clients such as the North Eastern Education and Library Board, Groundwork’s NI, the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, Limavady Borough Council and Lisburn Borough Council.

Louise has received extensive recognition for her success, in 2002 she was a finalist in an international ceramics award in Australia and in 2004 was awarded the Shell Livewire Young Business Award.

She has also received assistance from Invest NI’s North Eastern Local Office, to create a new website to display her work and attract commissions from outside of Northern Ireland -

On the 3rd April Invest NI will officially launch ‘Go for it’ week to help potential and existing entrepreneurs like Louise gain the support and advice they need to start and develop a business.

The week-long celebration of entrepreneurship will feature events such as an ideas generation workshop, a seminar on energy efficiency, and a roadshow featuring IT and telecommunications technologies.

Commenting on ‘Go for it’ week, George McKinney, Invest NI’s Regional Manager of the North Eastern Local Office said:

“In organising this week we are encouraging people to Go for It, take a chance and start or improve a business. Only by doing this will we be able to ensure the future success of our economy.”

The week will culminate in Go for It the Enterprise Show at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena on Friday 7 April from 3pm to 9pm and Saturday 8 April from 10am to 5pm.

Open to all and free of charge the show has been specifically designed to give advice and support to potential entrepreneurs planning a new business or growing a business. This will cover a wide range of business issues such as business planning, marketing, taxation, rural affairs and IT.