18-year-old Maya Wilson loves to draw and paint, and her art is about to be seen by many more South Australians living with disability and their families.
Maya is a participant in Novita’s Transition to Work Program, which supports young school-leavers living with disability to learn the important skills they need to join the workforce.
She is currently finalising some of her art for the Beachside Getaway at Goolwa.
“I’m doing a beach hut painting – three beach huts in different colours. I have done all the planning on my iPad, and now I just need to paint it,” says Maya.
Designed and built by Sarah Constructions, and operated by Novita in partnership with the Living Without Limits Foundation, the Beachside Getaway at Goolwa is a home away from home for people living with disability and their families and carers.
It’s a fully accessible home for people living with disability and their families who otherwise may not have the opportunity to enjoy a holiday.
“I’m very excited that people will see my work. It feels very nice. I hope the painting reminds people staying at the Beachside Getaway about the beach,” says Maya.
Maya, who lives with disability, says she became interested in drawing and painting when she was a kid.
“I went to the art gallery and I saw a lot of paintings, and I really wanted to start doing it myself,” she says.
“I would always draw a lot, and I usually like to draw rather than write, so I find it more expressive to draw and paint because I feel like it helps me understand things better. I also like to paint when I’m feeling upset – it calms me down and helps with my therapy.
“I like to paint different things. I like to paint landscapes, and I like to do portraits as well, although I feel better with landscapes because sometimes painting people is hard. But I’m learning more about that and giving myself different skills.
“Usually I have an idea in my head, and so I like to get that down. I like re-creating photos I see on the internet, and if I’m down at the beach I get ideas to do beach paintings, so that’s one of my favourite things.”
Maya is keen to turn her art into a career path.
“I would love to. It’s my favourite thing to do, and I don’t really know what I would be doing if I wasn’t painting. If I was doing something else like science I don’t know what that would be like, so I’m really glad I’m in the art industry,” she says.
The next step for Maya is some work experience in Novita’s Marketing and Fundraising team, where she’ll be given the challenge of designing some celebratory cards to send to Novita’s supporters and corporate sponsors.