She started with a passion, and now Rhonda Sampson is an award-winning artist.
The Campbelltown Aboriginal artist, a proud Kamilaroi woman, has credited TAFE NSW with helping launch her career.
Ms Sampson studied a Certificate III in Design Fundamentals and a Diploma of Graphic Design at Campbelltown TAFE, which then led to the launch of her own business, RS Creative Solutions.
She has gone on to create murals and artworks for the likes of Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Lendlease and Campbelltown Council, as well as winning a TAFE NSW Excellence Award, TAFE NSW Gili Award, NSW Training Award, Fisher's Ghost Art Award, and coming in as a finalist in the St George Dragons' 2021 Indigenous Jersey Design Competition.
"I enrolled in the Diploma of Graphic Design as I wanted to develop my skills further and build my business," Ms Sampson said.
"My teachers were amazing and really brought out the best in me.
"Without their support from start to finish, I don't think I would have completed the course.
"The inspiration behind my work has always been my culture. I hope I can be a good role model for younger people looking to start their own business or join the design industry and show it's never too late to pursue your passion.
"I would strongly encourage others to take the plunge and study something they're passionate about.
"I've really enjoyed using the hands-on skills I've gained at TAFE NSW to create contemporary Aboriginal digital artworks for high profile clients.
"One day I would like to also study photography and possibly motion design to further advance my skills."
According to IDAIA (International Development for Australian Indigenous Art), Aboriginal art is a flourishing market both domestically and overseas, with an annual growth of 40 to 50 per cent over the last decade.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Design Lydia Kullik said the Diploma of Graphic Design opened up rewarding career pathways in creative fields.
"Rhonda is a prime example of the opportunities TAFE NSW provides those looking to strengthen their creative and technical design skills and gain a nationally recognised qualification," Ms Kullik said.
"Students will learn valuable skills such as digital illustration techniques, hand drawing, typography and layout, 3D design and construction, and how to work through the design process from initial design to final product."
To find out more about studying Graphic Design at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.