Is the safe choice your best option?

Young local artist and former student, Annika Thurbon has made a career from her love of art after ditching her ‘safe’ job option in nursing.

Choosing to study Nursing at university and following in her mother’s footsteps when she left school, Annika was comforted by the promise of a ‘guaranteed job’ after three years.

Life had other plans for the 24-year-old when, after four years, she found herself completely lost and confused with an incomplete degree and a broken heart.

With a little bit of life experience, a slightly thicker skin and able to take constructive criticism in her stride, Annika was ready to embark on her training in a field she was truly passionate about.

Speaking at TAFE NSW Illawarra Nowra’s Art Exhibition recently, Annika recalls the moment she found out about the Diploma of Visual Arts course.

“I got that feeling in the back of my throat, a welling up feeling that I tend to get whenever something just feels right,” says Annika.

“My TAFE experience has provided me with a solid foundation for the rest of my art career and sling-shotted me in the right direction.”

“I’ll never forget the feeling of the first few weeks of study. It was like a different world. I had to stop myself from laughing out of sheer happiness a few times. Without any exaggeration, it was the best decision I’ve made and the best educational experience I’ve had to date,” she says.

“I can’t speak highly enough of my teachers and now friends. They were so great and encouraging. They approached everyone as individuals and asked the right questions to provoke thought about my art.

“They also knew when to give tough love and challenge us to do better. They helped me grow and develop both artistically and as a person,” says Annika.

Annika’s first painting sale was bought by Nowra TAFE; the series of horses which is proudly displayed in the main foyer of A Block.