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Rafat Yacoub: Accountant by day, artist by night

Rafat Yacoub: Accountant by day, artist by night

Forty-five-year-old Jordanian artist Rafat Yacoub, is trading in finance reports and tax returns sheets for paint brushes and blank canvases.

What started off as quick sketches and hurried drawings back in his high school classrooms, Rafat is now hoping his artistic talent will exceed his 20 year career in accounting, and become a successful artist.

Since deciding to make Sydney his permanent home, Rafat has been adding a little Jordanian colour to his Australian life, with most of his works inspired by the nature in his home country.

“But once I moved to Australia, the lifestyle was so different, and it influenced me to paint a little differently,” he said.

I’m not changing my ways; it’s the same concept, but there is a different influence coming from my environments which I live in now.

Despite the change in focus, Rafat still reflects an “Arabic style” in his art, which is generally focused towards “the old traditional style” of modern and realist paintings.

“You will not find that there is just one message that I want to pass on through all my paintings, because every painting has a specific time, feeling, instruments to deliver the message to the audience,” he said.

His father, who is a university professor in Jordan, is also a well-known artist, and is ultimately the one who originally inspired him and has been providing him with a never-ending supply of useful artistic tips.

While his father was the one to influence him to pick up a paint brush, it was a close friend from high school who influenced him to take on a career in accounting.

Despite having over two decades of experience as an accountant, and currently undertaking a Master’s in accounting at Western Sydney University, Rafat would prefer to be a fulltime artist, as he feels it would provide him more freedom.

I love my art more than my work, because it’s easier for me and I can express myself and my feelings more than I can through my work.

“You can do your art anytime in the day and it doesn’t need any force from you, you just need to be in the mood to catch your brush, to play with the colours, and transfer them from the pallet to the canvas,” he said.

His first painting can be dated back to six or seven years ago in Abu Dhabi, when he started off with a self-portrait.

Today, his modern and realistic artworks are being showcased in shared exhibitions all over Sydney, and despite the distance, his family back home always send their love and support his way.

“The first thing they ask me is how is your art; they don’t ask me about myself, they ask about the exhibitions,” he said.

You can find Rafat’s artworks online here.


Chanelle Mansour

Chanelle is a third-year Bachelor of Communication student at Western Sydney University, with a major in Journalism and sub-major in Creative Writing. Through writing focused and enlightening articles, Chanelle hopes to present and share news stories that readers will find both entertaining and educational. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: editor@culturalpulse.com.au