Lucas discovers more than an education
Moving from Darwin to Brisbane for high school, Wuthathi, Yadheigana, Kaurareg, and Yindjibarndi First Nations man Lucas Schober discovered more than just an education.
“After I finished school, I enrolled at university to study for a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering,” explained Lucas.
“But having moved away from home and not being surrounded by my family and culture, I felt something was missing, so I decided to explore turning my passion for Indigenous art into a business."
Discussing the idea with his Indigenous Youth Mobility Pathways (IYMP) mentor, Lucas applied to study the Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business (BSB40320) at TAFE Queensland.
IYMP helps young Indigenous people who move away from home find pathways into vocational training, tertiary study or apprenticeships to help them secure employment and better serve the community.
“IYMP introduced me to TAFE Queensland’s Small Business Solutions Mentor, Alice Langford, who runs the entrepreneurship course,” said Lucas.
Enrolling in 2022, Lucas enjoyed the hands-on learning environment that helped him gain the skills and knowledge needed to develop his business.
The more he studied, the more he could see how to bring his business idea to life commercially and sustainably.
“Alice also helped me apply for and receive an Arts Queensland Grant, which got me down to the Melbourne Fashion Festival, meeting and discussing my business with a wide range of creative industry experts, developing my understanding of my own artistic direction, and empowering myself and my brand, broadening the horizons for where I can take things with my art in the future.”
After completing the course, Lucas had the skills and confidence to launch and operate his business, Musu Arts, specialising in First Nations Art & Apparel, with industry connections to help him take it to new levels.
“Alice taught me to develop my brand and business strategy, how to put together budgets and a SWOT analysis, and she also introduced me to a local creative designer, Kerry Xynias.”
“Through this connection, I’m learning about using creativity to design and make garments,” he explained.
“The more I studied, the more I knew I was in the right place. I was developing my Indigenous art business plan throughout the course and knew it would bring my idea to life.”
Launching Musu Arts, Lucas now specialises in bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art designs to life using new and traditional mediums. But most importantly, he’s expressing his culture creatively and innovatively.
“Growing up in Darwin, I was always surrounded by a mix of different cultures, but most importantly, my own,” he said.
“I’m connected to the Torres Strait Islands and the Pilbara through my grandparents, and that cultural connection has had a massive influence on my life. I want to express my culture through art and design to connect with all people creatively.”
Still living in Brisbane, Lucas stays connected to his culture by keeping close to the robust First Nations community around Meanjin, practising traditional and contemporary art.
As a member of Brisbane’s Ngali Kaymelan Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance troupe, he performs traditional songs and dances and makes vital connections.
Now a graduate with a solid foundation of business skills, Lucas has also returned to studying engineering part-time while slowly growing Musu Arts.
“I’m approaching life with the view that anything you set out to do is achievable, and I hope to convey the pieces of knowledge of my family through Musu to the world.”
“Engineering will always provide a career, but I honestly see myself as a full-time artist. I want to positively express my culture, which is the culture of this land, to inspire others creatively.”
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art is one of the oldest art forms known to man and has an 80,000-year legacy in Australia. I have the creativity of my ancestors within me, and I want to use graphic design, art commissions, fashion and large art installations to bring my culture to life and contribute to that legacy.”
“I’m working to create a career that allows me to express myself, and thanks to TAFE Queensland, I know how to achieve that,” concluded Lucas.