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Lak, Sri Lanka


Lak paints whimsical portraits

“At SisterWorks there’s more sisters and there’s more company. There’s more belongingness.”

Hi my name is Lak and I’m from Sri Lanka.

I’ve been in Melbourne about three years now. I’m coming from Sri Lanka because my husband migrated. He came first and then I came. He didn’t have a job but he applied here and found a job in analytics, in IT.

I had a job in Sri Lanka. I was in advertising. I was an Account Director there. So I was into brand management. And since I came here I start from the beginning so my past was like, no more relevant here. There were cultural differences, major cultural differences. I applied for jobs, but nothing came. I was really frustrated.

After that then I thought, I had time but I don’t know what to do. And I was by myself at home and my husband goes to work. Then I started like, doing art. That’s how I started my art journey. I did art a long time back, but always I had it, because my mum is a designer, so I got it from my mum.

I found SisterWorks through my husband.

He was on his way having lunch. He was working in Richmond, so he’d seen this and then he told me about SisterWorks and then we came here and had a chat with Zena and then that’s how I started, yeah.

All the time I’m at my home by myself and I’m talking to my canvas only until my husband comes. But at SisterWorks there’s more sisters and there’s more company. There’s more belongingness. And I look forward to coming on Friday for a change. I talk with customers, and I like to be in the retail environment, because my family come from a business environment. We used to have shops and I really enjoy being here.

I’m inspired by Picasso. All my art has this expression. Mainly why I like it is because it’s more abstract, there’s no limitations. Because my art is not like real ones, it’s a blend of different things.

I do custom orders. I also do portrait art. I create stories for people. I also teach art to adults, the kids and also to the seniors. I have my own classes at home every day, and also I do workshops here with SisterWorks and I go to different places and do workshops. I do a bit of decorating stuff, like visual merchandising. I did a course at RMIT. So there’s other stuff what I do. I do art on the computer as well.

These days I’m doing some competitions and grooming my students for this competition from Toyota, so I’m working on that. I enjoy teaching. I started as a hobby and now it is a career.

I’m looking at exhibitions. I put one piece for exhibition, and it was sold out at the Brunswick, Fitzroy art gallery. I’m hoping to get into exhibitions more. My teaching is all in my own community, so I am wanting to expand my business into the other communities more, expanding further. That’s another objective of why I come to Sisterworks, to improve my networking with the other communities. To understand the consumer, the tastes, the colour palettes, I haven’t got it right yet.

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