Mural artist Damon Moroney never thought he'd have the privilege of painting artwork at schools or local government buildings.
The idea of using his creative hobby to bring joy to school kids and the community was an unknown, faraway from the reality of working as a carpenter in Sydney.
Mr Moroney had begun spray painting as a 14 year-old and received his first commission wall at age 17. The hobby was sidelined against full-time work making office fit-outs.
"I grew up in Cronulla and moved to Port Macquarie in 2012. I'd had a separation and came up to be with my kids, Tyler and Riley," he said.
"I was a full-time carpenter at the time doing office fit outs until I broke my neck. I'd had a push-bike accident when I was flying down Herschell Street, felt light-headed with vertigo and came off the bike.
"I had the neck brace on for nearly six months and after that I couldn't do the heavy work. It was a bit challenging at first and a bit of down point in my life for a while, but the community supported me."
A change in career was desperately needed so Mr Moroney turned his painting hobby into a business called Iknograffix in 2014.
"I never thought I'd be painting at schools or even with councils, really anything like that," he said. "I pushed the art and tried to make it happen but Port Macquarie didn't have anything like that when I first moved here."
"It is hard to make a living off it but once you're established the work kind of flows on.
"It took a long time to get the council and schools on board. It's been awesome."
A steady stream of murals now occupies Mr Moroney's time including recent works at Herons Creek, Kendall Public School, Hastings Public School, projects in Port Macquarie, intra-state and Sydney based works.
"Generally people give you a basic rundown of what they're looking for and I'll design something around that. Most of the time I'll try to blend in with the surrounds unique to that place," he said.
"There is creativity and reaction from the kids while I'm painting a mural at a school. Kids love it and it brings a lot of positive vibes to the school.
"Kids will often watch and provide some input into what they want to see on the wall. They take pride in knowing there were a part of its creation.
"The street art scene has become a lot more accepted. It's a new day and age, you can see it in company advertising using street art. It's a lot more appealing and acceptable socially."
The Oxley Lookout mural in Tamworth is one of his biggest pieces, says Mr Moroney, while a rainforest mural at Kendall is his current favourite.
"When I'm watching television or looking at magizines I do find myself constantly looking at backgrounds and the natural environment. I think 'how I can paint that?'.
"I'd pretty much paint anything except aboriginal art. People have asked but I'm not indigenous and it's just due to respect I'd like to leave it to someone of that culture."
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