I’m a born and raised West Coaster and my heart is firmly settled in South Westland.
I grew up at Lake Paringa where my family owned the only property on the lakefront and I currently reside in Haast, just down the road.
When I was 16, I picked up a pencil and discovered I could draw quite well. Fine ink pens and pencil are two mediums I’m really comfortable with.
In the last year I’ve discovered digital drawing and use an iPad and Procreate.
I feel like my creative mind has only just opened and in the last two years. I’ve self published a calendar packed full of whitebaiting humour, a children’s book about our naughty rabbit, a colouring book of NZ native birds, a colouring sheet of our local area and I am currently working on another calendar, again with very humorous illustrations about whitebaiting. (see more here.)
Apart from my art projects, I have a mobile coffee business, Otoko Espresso, which I operate in Haast from October through to mid April.
My father was a government deer culler and the coffee huts look was inspired by the bushmen’s huts he used to stay in. Otoko Valley is up the Paringa river and was one of his favourite hunting grounds.
I drew what I wanted on a piece of paper, gave it to a friend and he built exactly what was in my head. I tow my coffee hut with a 1967 Land Rover aptly painted blaze camo.
It’s perfect and I love it. If you’re passing through Haast, call by for a coffee and say gidday.
I also have a self contained Airbnb room at my place in Haast. I had this built when my son was 3 so I could generate a bit of income without having to sacrifice any of my time with him. It’s been a nice way to meet people from all over the world without having to leave home. Check out our Air BnB here.
I’ve been lucky enough to create a balanced lifestyle in an amazing wee corner of the world, which just happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Area and even luckier to have been able to raise two children here.
We attract animals with big personalities and currently have a mini black panther and two indoor rabbits. Rabbit life has bought a whole new dimension to our lives and our first wee guy Bruno’s memory lives on in the children’s book I wrote and illustrated about him and his antics.
Our home and yard is often chaotic, but it’s happy.
I have a saying, “it’s a circus, but it’s our circus”.
Thanks for taking the time to read, please check out my work and creations and get in touch anytime for a commission piece or to purchase any of my publications.