Warrnibald 2017 winner Jimmi Buscombe nearly gave up art a year ago

ABOUT one year ago Jimmi Buscombe decided to give up art.

LOVE OF ART: Warrnibald winner Jimmi Buscombe, alongside Jennifer Chambers, who was the subject of his painting. Picture: Morgan Hancock

LOVE OF ART: Warrnibald winner Jimmi Buscombe, alongside Jennifer Chambers, who was the subject of his painting. Picture: Morgan Hancock

However, with the support of his wife Sheridan Meulblok and daughter Frankie-Rose, 6, instead he gave up his day job to ply his artistic trade.

That leap of faith has paid off, with Buscombe being crowned the winner of the 2017 Warrnibald Prize at a packed ceremony at the Warrnambool Art Gallery earlier this month. 

Jimmi Buscombe hugs Jennifer Chambers, who was the subject of his portrait, while wife Sheridan watches on. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Jimmi Buscombe hugs Jennifer Chambers, who was the subject of his portrait, while wife Sheridan watches on. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Buscombe’s business Portraits and Illustrations by Jimmi Buscombe has also flourished over the past year.

Ms Meulblok said her heart ached when her husband told her he was giving up art.

“I put it out there – ‘why don't you do art full time instead and leave paid employment?’,” she said.

“It seemed like the most scary, radical, crazy idea ever and we decided to do it anyway.”

The family say their journey has been “exhilarating”.

Ms Meulblok, a psychologist, runs her own business Sophrosyne Psychology in Warrnambool.

“We didn't have a grand business plan or savings or any idea of how we could actually financially pull this off, and my business was still finding its legs, but we took the leap together, because life is for living, adventures and following your heart,” Ms Meulblok said.

“Things have unfolded in the most unexpected ways, at times it has been scary and uncertain, but the dips were the places where magic and creativity were birthed.”

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