Training in creative arts thrives at the local level: find your passion and sell it well

REBORN doll artist Lyn Conlon is proof you can make big bucks from the creative arts.

Her Castle Hill business — Lyn's Reborn World — began as a hobby and turned into a full-time job with a shop.

She took the leap after consistently achieving a $150,000 annual turnover.

"If you have a passion, learn to do it to the best of your ability and then take it out to the market," Mrs Conlon, a long-time porcelain doll artist, said.

Her comments follow the introduction of Education Minister Adrian Piccoli’s Smart and Skilled reforms, which confirmed fine arts courses would not be subsidised at TAFE in 2013.

Under his reforms, subsidies will be offered in areas considered as having employment growth, such as health, construction and engineering.

Ms Conlon disagreed with this logic, however.

‘‘It’s definitely viable [to make a profession from the arts]," she said.

Her reborn doll business, which she owns with husband Paul and daughter Toni, provides other artists with the tools and equipment to pursue their craft.

"Two of my dolls (kit names Ariella and Arieanna) played Ruby in (Channel 7's) Packed to the Rafters," Mrs Conlon said of her lifelike dolls, which are made using imported vinyl doll kits.

The Kellyville artist's dolls have also appeared in Channel 7 soapie Home and Away, Nine show Rescue Special Ops and the 2011 movie Say Nothing, starring Joel Edgerton.

"I studied at community college for pottery but learnt how to make reborn dolls from a DVD I ordered from America," Mrs Conlon, 69, said.

"Today we have orders going all over the world.

‘‘I’ve travelled to different states judging doll shows. I also write the Reborn page for the Australian Dolls, Bears and Collectables magazine.’’

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