As the work-from-home movement grows, coworking cafes showcasing original artwork are popping up in regions, as well as cities.
Art Tui Bussenschutt, 12, who cites Basquiat and Picasso as influences, is one such artist enjoying exposure at a cafe in Berry on the New South Wales south coast.
His first solo exhibition, featuring 19 works of art, sold out.
Kate Dezarnaulds, who has a background in the arts and festivals, is the founder of WorkLife, a network of coworking spaces that host live music and art exhibits.
“We created WorkLife to build a network of thinkers and doers, a home away from home so people can focus, get their work done, and not be distracted by the laundry,” Ms. Dezarnaulds said.
“With the changes in recent years, that makes sense.”
The organization has 45 members in the Illawarra suburb of Coledale and 30 members in Berry.
“It’s my job to make sure that 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. Dezarnaulds.
While scrolling through Instagram looking for work to display on the walls of her cafe, Kate came across Art’s hand-drawn illustrations.
“For a young person to be able to perform works as cohesive as this and each of them to be totally different from the last, and to have this great sense of humor and personality to about her… I was like, ‘We’ve gotta have a show, he’s amazing and I’d love to see more,’ Ms Dezarnaulds said.
Less screen time, more time for art
With over 700 Instagram followers, Art has sparked interest in his quirky, philosophical, and hand-drawn characters.
“We ship to New Zealand, Canberra, Melbourne and then locally, so that’s a good spread,” Ms Dezarnaulds said.
Fliss says Art has a fantastic sense of humor.
“It’s so unique and interesting and its characters are full of personality,” she said.
She says all her children are creative but Art devotes more time to it.
Art began to draw at a very young age.
“He was creating cute little pencil sketches while we were watching the sport for the older two, and he was actually drawing his brother and the team from the sidelines,” Fliss said.
Over time, Art turned to the brushes and chisel tip markers his grandmother bought him.
Art says he draws “anyone or anything from my imagination, anything that comes out of my brain”.
“I use geometric shapes or organic shapes,” he said.
“I usually do the face after that, I work on the face and the body comes with it.”
“He’s talking about starting with the eyes and the nose and then going from there,” Fliss said.
“We never touched his work, but we guided him.
“Usually, after drawing it, he comes to us, and it’s just at the pen stage, and he’s like, ‘What do you think?
“And we always say, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to see it with color.’
“It comes naturally to him.”
Louis Couttoupes, who owns and operates a restaurant in Kingston, ACT, with his partner Iwona, recently purchased five photos.
“We had this empty underground concrete bunker that we had to customize,” Mr. Couttoupes said.
“In the art of Art, we have found an irresistible joy.
“It’s quirky and incredibly humorous, but there’s a kind of funny melancholy woven into it,” he said.
“It’s so clever, with such attention to detail – the scales, the teeth, the shadows.
“There’s a grotesque element to it, but it’s rendered with such sympathy and irony that you can’t help but feel good when you watch them,” Iwona said.
“We find them so uplifting.”
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