Imagine being 12 weeks’ pregnant and suddenly out of a job. This was the scary scenario faced by Kishani Connett four years ago when the company she was working for closed without warning. It also turned out to be the push the Raymond Terrace woman needed to turn her private passion for creating art into a potential career path.
“I started Damica Designs almost four years ago. The name ‘Damica’ comes from my Sri Lankan heritage and is my Sri Lankan name,” Kishani said.
“At the time I was 12 weeks pregnant and suddenly found myself without work, the company I had worked for closed without any warning.
“With lots of support from my husband and best friend, I decided to just go for it and put myself and my artwork out there. I started painting again and created my own market stall.
“I was very nervous as I had only ever considered my art as more of a hobby, not as a potential business; almost four years later, and my little business has grown and is still growing.
“It makes me so happy to know that people love and enjoy my art as much as I enjoy making it.”
Kishani’s love of art began at a young age and continued through her schooling, eventually seeing her graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Newcastle, producing major works in photography and painting.
Now focussed predominantly on using acrylic paint on canvas, she said she enjoys the process of building up the layers of paint and colour to create something unique and beautiful.
“I find inspiration from many areas, but I am always drawn back to nature. The colours in nature are truly amazing; I try to capture this to create bright and bold designs,” Kishani said.
“One of my most loved original artworks would have to be my very first elephant ‘Tashi’. I have always had a love for elephants; they are a sacred animal often celebrated in Sri Lankan culture.”
For the past six months, Kishani has been selling her art at the Handmade in the Hunter Market and is looking forward to returning to the markets regularly later in the year.
This month’s Handmade in the Hunter Markets will be held at Kevin Sobels Wines on July 6, 13, 14, 20 and 27. For more information, visit www.handmadehuntermarkets.com.au