Posted November 04, 2018 08:30:08 A former soldier who spent more than two decades on the streets of Brisbane, Queensland, is recovering from a severe bout of depression.
Key points:Timothy Smith has been homeless for almost five years, but says he has been able to find a job as a freelance illustratorTimothy’s story has sparked a new generation of homeless artists who are using their creative talents to help others, says artist Simon WoodTimothy is one of a growing number of artists who have been forced to find work in order to survive.
Timothy, who was born in the city of Darwin and moved to the city when he was a young child, says he spent more time in the streets than he ever wanted to.
“I thought I was going to die.
But I’ve had to live it, I’ve been homeless,” he said.”
But now I’m back in Brisbane, and I’m doing the street art, which is so much more rewarding than anything I ever did before.”
It’s been a long, long road.
I’ve done a lot of work in Brisbane but it was always a part of my identity, so I thought, ‘I want to do something that will help the community’.
“Timothy said his struggle started with an addiction to methamphetamine and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.”
When I started off, I was homeless because I was a junkie,” he explained.”
My dad got me the drugs, but I was also addicted.
“I’ve done quite a lot in the street, so that was the biggest challenge.”
Timothy says the drug became a way to cope with his problems.
“The problem was that I had no other option.
I couldn’t go home and have a go,” he recalled.”
And I had a big, black, bad, bad family, so my mom was my only support system, so it was just me.”
You can’t get help when you’re homeless.
“It’s very isolating.
I don’t feel like I’m safe.
I feel like they’re looking for me.
I think that’s one of the things that really got me into it.”
Because I was the only person that could get me help and help me out, I think I’ve probably done more art than I ever have.
“Timothans struggles are not unique to Brisbane.
In fact, he says many artists have experienced homelessness from an early age.”
If you look at the homeless art scene, it’s just become a thing,” he laughed.”
There’s a lot more art being done in the community, so they’re more aware.
“But I think the stigma around it is just getting more prevalent, it is more prevalent than it ever was.”
Some of the artists are in their 30s, 40s and 50s and I’ve seen some people in their 60s and 70s who are still homeless, and that’s a shame.
“Timothe said he had to turn to the internet to get help.”
One of the best things that I did was look at what the internet was like and see what people were doing,” he added.”
People were just doing it, doing it on the internet, and doing it for free.
“So I just got in touch with some of the people and we started organising events.”
Art as a way of life’The artist Simon said his work had become an extension of his identity.
“Art as an art form is a way that people connect to each other,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“To me, art is an expression of the human experience, so when people see my work, it really resonates with them.”
As an artist, it becomes more important to show people that there are other people out there who are out there, who are suffering, and who can help them.
“Timathers work has taken him all over Australia, from Sydney to Sydney to Adelaide.”
From Melbourne to Sydney, it has been quite a wild journey,” he reflected.”
In the past, I would have thought that I would just have to deal with it on my own, but now I know I can do it on behalf of the community.
“Timophiles journey to finding a job has taken a different direction.”
For me, it started as a project, and it got out of hand,” he revealed.”
Then I realised that I wanted to take it a bit further, and see if I could be a full-time artist.
“That’s when I realised how much it meant to me to be able to help people.”
Timothes story has generated new generations of homeless artist who are turning their art into a way for people to support others and have an impact on the world.
“Timothy has inspired me in my own way, because he is a really powerful figure in our culture and it’s really important for people around the world to be inspired