What started as a way to keep her hands busy has progressed to a creative business opportunity for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participant, Bec.
The Ipswich artist has embraced diamond painting since she was recommended to give it a try from the nurses at hospital two years ago, after being diagnosed with chronic pain and anxiety from a workplace injury and completing a pain management program.
“When I got out of hospital I went and got one just to give it a try; it was my way of escaping reality,” Bec said.
Diamond paintings involve using diamantes and wax sticking together to make a colourful artwork, with Bec quickly developing her skills in the craft.
“I can’t use things like paint as I'll drop it so doing this is relaxing to me, and it's just my way of coping with life,” she said.
“I love doing the colourful ones like Marvel and cartoons, and on average it takes around two weeks to do one.”
Bec is now taking her love of art to the next level, selling her first lot of paintings and bookmarks at the Carers Queensland Be Your Own Boss Marketplace in December.
“I hadn’t really thought of selling my artwork until my Local Area Coordinator (LAC) in Ipswich told me about the Marketplace. She gave me tips and a little bit more confidence to do it,” she said.
“The night before the Marketplace I was anxious as I didn’t think I could sell. My LAC wasn't pushing me but said, ‘if you don't sell anything, it doesn't matter. You've got your name out there.’
“And that’s the whole point of this, you don't need to sell anything, but just getting confidence to show your artwork, instead of just putting it away.”
During the Marketplace, Bec sold many bookmarks and a painting, and said she has more confidence now to sell more of her artworks.
Bec said it is important for people with disabilities to be able access opportunities to promote their businesses at the Marketplace.
“It enables us to be able to show what we can do in society; not someone who can't do anything or needs constant care,” she said.
“We're still human, we still want to get out there and work and do what we can.
“(For me) it means an extra income and it means I can stand on my own again.”
Carers Queensland are also engaging with local business owners to share their expertise and work as mentors with people with disability who are looking to establish their own microbusiness for the Carers Queensland’s Be Your Own Boss Microbusiness Project.
Bec said she is looking forward to taking part in the new project, which includes mentoring workshops, to gain further skills and the confidence to continue to sell her artwork.
“I want to be shown the ways of selling my products and my business itself, and it comes down to more confidence as well in my ability,” Bec said.
Bec received assistance to apply for and implement her NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Ipswich region.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
You can also contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org