With the work-from-home movement booming, co-working cafés that display original artwork have sprung up in regional areas, as well as in cities.
12-year-old Art Toy Businchot, who cites Basquiat and Picasso as influences, is one artist benefiting from a show at a café in Berry on the south coast of New South Wales.
His first solo show, featuring 19 artworks, was a big sell.
Kate Dezarnaulds, with its origins in the arts and festivals, is the Foundation for WorkLife, a network of co-working spaces that host live music and art exhibitions.
“We created WorkLife to build a network of thinkers and doers, and a home away from home so people can focus, get their work done and not get distracted by the laundry,” said Ms. Dessarnaulds.
“With the changes over the past few years, it makes sense.”
The organization has 45 members in the Illwara suburb of Coldell, and 30 in Berry.
“It’s my job to make sure when you come to WorkLife, it’s not a sterile office, it’s a community and a place where you can connect with your community at the same time,” Ms. Dessarnaulds said.
Scrolling through Instagram in search of work to display on the walls of the cafe, Kate came across the hand-drawn illustrations.
“For a young man to be able to do business consistently like this and each of them so different from the previous one, and to have this wonderful sense of humor and character about them… I was like,” said Mrs. Dessarnaolds, “We should get a show, it’s amazing. I would like to see more of them.”
Less time in front of the screen, more time for art
With over 700 followers on Instagram, Art has gained attention for his quirky, philosophical, hand-drawn characters.
“We ship to New Zealand, Canberra, Melbourne and then domestically, so it’s a very good spread,” Dessarnaulds said.
Art has a sense of humour, says Fleiss, as Felicity is known.
“It’s unique and interesting and its characters are full of character,” she said.
Her three children are creative but art spends more time on that.
The art of drawing began at a very young age.
“He was creating cute little pencil sketches while we were watching sports for the two older ones, and he was actually going to draw his brother and the team from the sideline,” Fleiss said.
Over time, the art gravitated towards the brush and chisel-tipped markers his grandmother had bought him.
Art says he paints “anyone or anything out of my imagination, anything that comes out of my mind.”
“I use geometric shapes or organic shapes,” he said.
“I usually do the facial afterwards, I work the face and the body comes with it.”
“He talks about starting with the eyes and the nose and then moving on from there,” Fleiss said.
“We never touched on his work, but directed him.
“Generally speaking, after his tie, he will come to us, and is only at the pen stage, and will ask, ‘What do you think? “
“And we always say, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to see her with some color.'”
“It comes naturally to him.”
Louis Cotops, who owns and operates a restaurant in Kingston, ACT, along with partner Iwona, recently purchased five photos.
“We had this empty concrete basement underground that we needed to personalize,” Cotops said.
“In art we find irresistible joy.
“It’s weird and incredibly humorous, but it kind of has a silly gloom,” he said.
“He’s very clever, with attention to detail – scales, teeth and shading.
“There is a strange element but it is presented with sympathy and sarcasm that you can’t help but feel good about when you look at them,” Iona said.
“We find them very comfortable.”