At the Gold Coast SUNS, there’s a big focus on a player’s off-field engagement.
Whether it’s through a university course, trade or business venture, the club stresses a high importance on balancing football with off-field life.
For SUNS draftee Jy Farrar, his off-field passion is painting.
The Indigenous 2019 draftee comes from Halls Creek in Western Australia, and says encouragement from his Hale School teachers in Perth helped him develop his love for art.
“I’ve always had an artistic background and always used to like drawing as a kid,” Farrar told SUNS Media.
“I didn’t really start getting into paints until I had good art teachers around me at school and they influenced me and helped me unlock it and better use it with all the colours.
“I started getting into dot painting style around Year 10 and up to Year 12 and painted a whole heap of stuff that you wouldn’t ordinarily see with a bit of a narrative behind it.”
It’s been some time since Farrar last painted, but a chat with SUNS coaches and Personal Excellence staff inspired him to jump back in.
“I sort of dropped away from the paintbrush after school then literally picked it back up the other week,” he said.
“They talked about a whole heap of stuff like trying to find that balance between footy and something outside of footy.
“I just thought I’d go back to my roots and do something that I really enjoyed doing - I sort of found it was an escape from football.
“Things can get so hectic at times that you have to find that escape and that’s what brought me back to painting.”
Farrar’s preferred method is an Indigenous dot style painting – something he’s practiced many times in the art rooms at school.
His Indigenous totem is a snake – which is very strongly represented in cutural works from his region in West Kimberley.
Since returning to the canvas, he’s painted a dot-style snake which tells a story of his home.
“There’s no better way of expressing my culture than art,” he said.
“Obviously I’m proud to be Indigenous and proud of my heritage and my culture, it means a lot.”
Farrar says he plans to continue to paint throughout his first season on an AFL list.
And his work is in high demand as well.
After posting a photo of his painting on his Instagram, he’s had requests for more paintings from family and friends back home.
He even hopes to one day supply Indigenous artwork to display around the club.
It’s a big passion of his, and the 23-year-old also believes this style of art holds a great importance amongst society.
“Outside of footy I want to keep it up and keep painting to find that balance between life and football,” he says.
“It’s good because not many people know about it here up on the Gold Coast.
“The more we can teach it the better.
“We can give people a better understanding of us as people and our culture and everything like that.
“I think it’s a good way to connect with people.”