For Scott Mahar, pursuing a full-time career as an artist was always a distant dream until a change in circumstances lead him to turn his passion into a business venture.
When Scott’s hours were significantly reduced by a previous employer, he relied on Centrelink payments to fill the gap in his income.
As a hobby, Scott sold airbrushed helmets at local shops and painted murals at local schools, but that income alone wasn’t enough to keep him afloat.
“I needed to find another job, but I didn’t want just any other job because that wasn’t where my heart was,” Scott said.
Having had previous encounters with Business Foundations Mr Mahar signed up for the self-employment New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).
“It was time to take the jump, so I got in touch with Business Foundations to help me get my business plan off the ground,” he said.
Scott’s niche lay within customised motorcycle and helmet designs and after completing the self-employment NEIS program in April 2016, he opened his business – Scott Mahar Designs. He quickly formed a referral partnership with a local motorcycle fabricator, adding the finishing touches to each bike.
“The relationship has been really good for my business,” he said.
“Motorcycle jobs take a long time to complete from start to finish, so being part of a referral network means I’m not inundated with projects which is how I maintain quality control.”
Scott isn’t stopping there though. As a talented artist, he is now looking to expand into cosmetic tattooing, an extension of his existing tattooing qualifications.
“Art is my passion and with cosmetic tattooing I can re-pigment the skin for those experiencing hair loss or nipple reconstruction after breast cancer. To be able to follow my passion and help others is a pretty incredible feat.”
As with most start-up businesses, it isn’t all smooth sailing with Scott dedicating a lot of time, commitment and patience to support his business. But his advice to others is to never give up.
“Follow your passion. It’s an uphill climb but you just need to hang in there,” Scott said.
“If you love what you do you won’t mind putting in those extra hours or taking a pay cut to make it work.
“You have to be genuinely interested in what you are trying to achieve and as cliché as it sounds, ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life’.”
As a talented artist, Scott has also had the opportunity to paint two of the surfboards featured in the Simon Baker-directed and Tim Winton-inspired movie, Breath.
Scott Mahar Designs specialises in airbrushing motorcycles, vehicles and helmets. Find Scott’s business on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ScottMaharDesigns/?fref=ts