Why did you start your business?

As an artist, my business is more than a just means to make an income, as it is the platform through which I can both personally express myself and create beautiful artwork for others to enjoy. In November 2018, I started my business, Ashley Bunting Studio, because I realised that I wanted to make a career out of the very thing I was created to do. I love this quote by Oscar Wilde, and I think that it sums up the need for art perfectly; ‘The self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and that art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realise that energy’.


What do you sell/offer?

I sell oil paintings, commissioned pet portraits, and I offer fun painting classes for beginners. Before the Covid-19 regulations were set in place, I started Paint & Sip Gold Coast which were held at Bistro 19 in Sanctuary Cove. This was a fun way to connect with the community, while we had fun learning to paint and sipping on our favorite wine. One of these classes was a ‘Paint Your Pet’ night, which was very successful. I look forward to starting it up again once the restrictions have been lifted.

 What makes your business unique?

While I paint a whole range of different things, a lot of my work has come from commissioned pet portraits! This has been very popular, and I’ve painted 27 pets in the past year and a half. Artworks are a great way to preserve cherished memories, and our pets are no exception.

Do you own any pets yourself?

Yes! My life would feel so empty without my pets. I have 3 mini schnauzers actually – Lola, Fergie, and Shiloh. Shiloh is the youngest, and she was the perfect fit for our family as she has brought new life to the pack, since Lola is deaf and Fergie is blind.

What is your favourite part of running a business? 

I love the freedom that working for yourself brings, even though it comes with hard work and dedication. What keeps me motivated is the feeling that there are endless possibilities for where my business could go in the future. It has already come so far and grown in the past year and a half. I am from South Africa, and my goal is to expand my business to Africa to start a ministry that teaches young women creative and business skills.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

To write your vision down and read it every morning, because there will be times when you feel like things aren’t looking up. I would also recommend forming a small group of like-minded people who have also started their own businesses, and meet at least once a fortnight to discuss ideas and help each other. I was part of a group like this, and it kept me on track.

 What is your greatest achievement yet within the pet industry?

Honestly, every commissioned pet portrait feels like an achievement. My first pet portrait was for King Kingsley himself, which was awesome.


Ash Bunting

King Kingsley PaintingMolly Moo Painting


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