Over the last six years artist, business owner and Curtin fine art graduate, Phil Doncon, has been painting up a storm. As the owner and founder of Paint Storm, this Merredin-born artist is creating works of art using music as inspiration and accompaniment with every stroke. At 250 performances and counting, Doncon’s high-energy performances are not solely for entertainment, but also to engage students in both art and music, using them as a medium to boost wellbeing and creative expression.
“My business is the ultimate fusion of all my skills and interests; that is combining painting, music, youth work, mental health, dance, performance and travelling,” says Doncon. “I believe the programs and performances that are delivered enhance the resilience and mental health of young people.”
“We can easily become stuck in a rut – in well-worn ways of continually doing the same things, the same way,” Doncon states on his website. “My approach is to move quickly – to have courage – to risk failure – in order to make breakthroughs in both art and life.”
Doncon has ‘stormed’ across Australia’s primary and secondary schools, catering his performances to various ages. He has performed with the West Australian, Tasmanian and Adelaide symphony orchestras as well as at the Fremantle Dockers Purple Haze Match in 2015.
“Performing live painting, dance and drama for students in the school system is the most valuable and enjoyable thing I do,” Doncon says.
Prior to beginning Paint Storm in 2009, Doncon worked as a professional exhibiting artist for over 10 years and staged 24 solo art exhibitions. In this time he honed his skills as an artist and won several awards including a Joint Winner of the Shell Agricultural Award at the Perth Royal Show in 2009 and the Acquisitive Prize at the Morawa Art Awards in 2008. But it was working as a youth officer for the Western Australian state government that inspired Doncon to take his art in a new direction.
“My role with Office for Children and Youth helped clarify my objectives and skills promoting resilience,” he says.
Now, as the sole owner of Paint Storm, Doncon manages all aspects of the business – from set direction and marketing, to scripts and workshops. “But,” he says, “the most important thing I do is performances, creating live paintings and murals at speed to music, incorporating drama, dance and stunts.”
Doncon cites his Curtin degree in fine art as helping him to advance his skills in painting and drawing, and the knowledge he gained in art history helps in his work to this day.
Never one to rest, Doncon strives to continue advancing his performance skills and creating new opportunities in a range of settings, including schools, music festivals, sporting stadiums and conferences.
“I want to become an expert in communicating and translating resilience messages into something understandable and usable for children and youth,” he says.
If you’re keen to catch a Paint Storm performance, Doncon regularly performs at the Ellington Jazz Club.