JOB: Owner/Artist/Designer, Flox Design Ltd.
QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication)
"Training as an artist was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Art has always been my passion but I was playing professional squash when I decided to enrol at Unitec. I wasn't sure if I could commit so I started with the diploma and loved it so much that I went on to the bachelor degree. I enjoyed the relaxed environment, the beautiful campus and the down-to-earth tutors who you could call by their first name. Graduating in painting doesn't give you a clear career path to follow; it's a matter of making choices and creating a path for yourself. The art world is always evolving and there is always something unexpected around the corner.
The skills I learnt at Unitec prepared me to be open to change - when you study to be a painter, you have to be up for unknown challenges every day. I've participated in a few charity projects, and one that really stands out for me was visiting Samoa to upgrade a children's shelter. A group of us did an extreme makeover to bring the shelter back to life, which was awesome to be part of.
I love waking up every morning, being my own boss and creating artworks for people who genuinely appreciate it. I've just launched a new website, logo and showroom which I hope strikes a balance between my fine art practice and my audience who've grown with me. As a commercial painter, that's my priority - challenging my artistic needs and honouring my audience at the same time. I love that I am fulfilling my passion and that I can make a living from it."