“Don’t think. Just do. Jump right in and make your dream a reality.”

Funda Ozkan Tokatli

Having now interviewed a number of our artists on Made By Many Hands, there is something we’ve noticed. While every entrepreneur’s story is vastly different, while every background is diverse, while every outcome is varied, there has been one thing in common: their message to aspiring entrepreneurs. Resoundingly, it is, “Don’t think. Just do. Jump right in and make your dream a reality.”

This sentiment was articulated by our most recent interviewee, artist behind Funda Art and Craft, Funda Ozkan Tokatli. As a self-taught watercolour artist, Funda only started painting three years ago after arriving in Australia, when she found herself with time to spare, following a very busy life in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Despite having no training in painting (only a few months of drawing classes in university), Funda threw herself into the world of artistic expression, and is learning as she goes. 

“I am inspired by the nature and animals in Australia,” Funda says, which is obvious in her divine interpretations of Australian flora and fauna. However, what Funda is most excited about is her new foray into abstract art.

“I am a perfectionist who gets lost in the details,” Funda says. “So I am excited to allow myself to be more free and more spontaneous. This is possible with abstract art, and I think it will be a way for me to find myself, my style, and my expression.”

Abstract art is a far cry from Funda’s work as an architectural restoration specialist in Turkey, where she worked on historical buildings throughout Istanbul. “I loved this job, but Turkey was no longer the right place for us, or the place we wanted to raise our child.”

This is what landed Funda and her family in Australia four years ago, an experience which she reflects on as, “nervous about but curious.” 

But being in Australia has allowed Funda to explore this untapped creativity, which she encourages all aspiring entrepreneurs or artists to engage in. “Don’t think, just do it,” she says. “Thinking can put obstacles in your way, but creativity should be free. Just go for it.” 

Considering we are already enormous fans of her watercolours, we simply can’t wait to see what this new abstract chapter reveals.

Published by Amy Malpass-Hahn, Freelance writer