Artist Holly Thompson has worked with ConneXu and created her own micro-business, Holly’s Original Art. Photo/Supplied
Awamutu artist Holly Thompson’s passion and artistic talent have taken her hobby to new heights, including running her own micro-business called Holly’s Original Art.
Holly’s vivacious personality matches her colorful hair, and her art style is just as colorful. Her eyes light up when she talks about her love of arts and crafts and how her work has led her to create a business model to sell her products at local markets and on social media. .
It hasn’t always been rainbows and glitter for Holly, who admits that due to her disability, she felt left out when she was younger and attending school and couldn’t wait to leave her hometown for new horizons when she was older. the opportunity.
Arriving at Te Awamutu almost five years ago, Holly partnered with ConneXu, a local disability support provider that works with people with disabilities, empowering and empowering them to live the life they choose.
And for Holly, that choice meant living alone in her own apartment, where she could have the freedom to work on her art whenever inspiration struck while also becoming an active member of her community, something her art It has been a great help.
“I love art, I love color. My mother is an artist and my role model when it comes to my art. Some of what I do, I’ve learned from her and some of it I’ve taught myself, and some of it is from the art classes I attend in the city,” she says.
Her art is her small business, or what is known as a micro-business, in which Holly heads out to local markets to sell her paintings, as well as handmade kawakawa balms, candles, bath bombs, cards, photographs, creations felt, jewelry and dyed creations.
“I’ve been to the Te Awamutu and Ōtorohanga markets, and the weekend craft markets at Fraser High School in Hamilton. The markets are good and I can talk to people about my art,” she says.
The self-confessed night owl says that much of her creativity comes to her late in the afternoon, when she is calm and gives her time to paint.
“I can relax and be creative, it’s nice and quiet,” says Holly.
Holly has also spent time teaching other people art, including a blind friend, which challenged her to explain each step.
“I really had to think about how to explain each part of what we were doing and it was really interesting to have to think about everything in a new way.”
“Art is like my own kind of therapy, it’s what has brought my mother and me closer since we lived apart, and it’s my passion. I love color and I love being creative, and it gives me my own space. ConneXu has given me my own space and given me choice and control over how I live my life, and that’s really important to me.”
ConneXu feels like family, she says.
“It has a real family environment and you can get support on how you want to live and have a choice with that. They are very good, they listen to me and they have helped me,” she says.
“It is important that you never give up on yourself and what you want to achieve. You have to put your mind to it, and with the support of ConneXu, I can achieve what I set out to do.”
Check out Holly’s art and creations on Facebook at Holly’s Original Art.