When South African born and now Ellenbrook resident Hayley Krüger left her hometown for Queensland in 2006, she was not anticipating economic downturns, moving 13 times and undergoing back surgery. But when she finally settled down in WA, Hayley found her calling as an artist and now her native botanical art is being sought around the world!
“My husband’s job in the resources sector saw my family and I moving constantly, and along the way I lost my own identity and needed something just for myself,” Hayley explained.
“I had a career in graphic design back in South Africa and when we moved around I was a stay-at-home mum, a relief education assistant and dance teacher in Tom Price before I injured my back and needed surgery.”
That injury and surgery proved to be the turning point for Hayley, when her friend sent her a care package including acrylic paint and some canvases for something to do while she recovered.
A week later Hayley sold her first painting and that success streak continued with her artwork recently featured for the Joondalup Community Art Exhibition campaign, chosen for a bespoke 2022 Collection for Bullet Planner and selected by Australia’s greeting card giant – John Sands – for their new “Our Australia” range.
“I knew when I picked up that paintbrush that this is what I wanted to do long term. Being in WA inspired the style and subject of my acrylic paints – the strength and architectural form of the native plants here,” said Hayley.
“Importantly, being here in Ellenbrook, Perth has opened many opportunities for me as an artist – something that many people probably don’t associate with when living in the most remote city in the world. But you’ve just got to look and get involved.”
“There are many local arts awards programs, community engagement, amazing events such as Perth Upmarket and of course, the power of social media, that enables you to get your art out there.”
Indeed, Hayley’s first painting sold through her entry for the Pilbara Artists Come Together when living in Tom Price. By entering the 2020 Joondalup Community Art Exhibition, the City of Joondalup contacted Hayley to commission her artwork for Lakeside Joondalup Shopping Centre.
The opportunity to have two of her designs – Splendorous and Sun-Kissed – as part of John Sands’ new Our Australia range (twelve in total) came about through her Instagram account.
Lastly, Hayley’s bespoke art collection for Bullet Planner – coming out in 2022 – resulted from meeting the parent of one of the children that she teaches at a weekly kids art class in the Ellenbrook community.
“All of these amazing opportunities – commissioning, licensing, bespoke and direct selling of my artwork – has allowed me to be a full time artist, for the first time ever this year. I am thankful that a hard move almost 16 years ago into a supportive WA community and a city that offers pathways has made this possible,” said Hayley.
Hayley plans to continue working on her art practice, ensuring it will accommodate for future growth in an ever evolving market.
She will release and exhibit a new body of work and a diverse range of original paintings to suit a variety of sizes and budgets at the Perth Art Upmarket on Saturday 16 October at UWA.
More information on Hayley: https://www.hayleykrugerartist.com/ and Art Upmarket: ttps://www.perthupmarket.com.au/galleries/art-upmarket-retailer-gallery/