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Client Feature: Eric Cooke

Eric is one of Kathryn's Thrive and Grow Clients who has gone above and beyond with his artistic talent.

On Monday the 27th of June I had the pleasure of meeting 28-year-old artist Eric Cook and his mother Julie at popular Noosa entertainment hub ‘The J’.

Eric’s ‘’Intriguing Characters’’ portrait exhibition is the final assignment for his newly completed Advanced Diploma of Visual Arts at TAFE, a lengthy two-year journey he has taken with Julie by his side.

Also being skilled in leather work, pottery and music, art is not just a budding career for Eric, but a passion that has pulled him through the hard times. He notes he began painting at the early age of seven, crediting it as a way to express himself and fit in during the trying school years when feeling out of place. Often when Eric starts a piece, he is just so motivated he “can’t stop until it is finished”.

Portraiture is Eric's favourite form of art, often sketching an outline of his vision and painting vivid colours on top. He says he enjoys seeing the differing ways people perceive his artwork, the varying point of views and the emotions and connections viewers feel towards the subject of a particular painting. I was certainly able to appreciate his attention to detail and contrasted shading, despite being new to the art world myself.

One of Eric’s favourite pieces is the portrait of his idol Dylan Alcott, famous wheelchair sport star and 2022 Australian of the Year.

He admires Dylan’s refusal to be limited by his disability, something I can see Eric is already embodying so early in his professional journey.

Such passion would not be possible, however, without his mother Julie, whom is also a talented artist herself. Influenced by her South African heritage and life in Spain, Julie paints detailed, vivid blue seascapes and textured acrylic visions that make you feel as though you are by the seaside as soon as your eyes meet the canvas.

Eric says he aims to continue making a name for himself not just locally, but nationwide. He also hopes to get involved in workshops for all of his crafts, something that all of the team at Thrive House truly believe he can accomplish.

To keep up with Eric and Julie’s inspirational journey, click the buttons below:

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