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 Day in the Life... with Fatti Burke


For most of us, life has changed significantly over the last few months. The pandemic has brought with it lots of challenges in terms of how we work, socialise and relax. Illustrator Fatti Burke returned from Portugal to her hometown of Waterford at the beginning of lockdown. From this lovely location – a stone’s throw from her parents’ house – she’s been adjusting to a whole new routine. 

“I put a lot of effort into keeping myself sane!”, Fatti begins. “I don’t do a 9-5 anymore, like I did before Covid. Instead, I mix my work and leisure equally throughout the day. For the first couple of months, I was doing everything from one room – working, eating, exercising. Now, I’ll work for a few hours, then go for a walk or run, have lunch or do some yoga.”

Like many people, Fatti embraced some fun new habits during lockdown. “I bought myself a keyboard", she says. How’s it coming along? “I’m getting better, though I feel sorry for my neighbours!” She’s also embracing the beautiful local countryside. “I like to walk and run around the area - I’m lucky as I’m near the Waterford Greenway. I find I’m embracing the outdoors so much. After living in cities for so long, all I want to do now is be in nature.”

When she is working, Fatti has plenty on her plate. Right now, she’s finalising the fifth in a gorgeous series called Little Library, showcasing a selection of Irish heroes. Co-written with her father, John, this one’s about former Irish President (and Fatti’s idol), Mary Robinson. What’s it like working with Dad? “A dream!”, she smiles. “It’s always brilliant working with him, he’s a great storyteller. Actually, this is the first book where we’re both based in the same country. I can go to his house and hear his opinions, run things buy him, hear his recounting of the story.”

Fatti’s also worked on a fun An Post initiative for kids. Re-ImagineNation competition invited children aged 6 – 12 to imagine themselves as a character in their favourite book. Along with several other Irish illustrators, Fatti took part in the 'Sketch A Story' event. It was an online tutorial to help children get creative, producing artwork that depicts them in one of the book’s scenes. “The project also encourages Irish authors and illustrators to create new stuff – so I’m really glad to be a part of it.”

If you missed the Sketch the Story event, watch it below!

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