Miss Vet "Don't get me wrong, I love my job"

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I’m a district veterinarian at Coonamble, in north west NSW. Every day, I get to visit farms in the district, look at sick stock, diagnose disease and help farmers improve the productivity of their enterprise. It’s super rewarding but it’s not all baby lambs and calves frolicking in the daisies though - in reality it involves a lot of dirt, poo, blood and guts, and often some really confronting conversations with the farmers, particularly during the recent drought.

In 2015, I took up painting with watercolours in my spare time. I had never done art at school, and have still never really had an art lesson but I just loved it. The colours, the way the paints flow through the water and the stillness of sitting and painting. The hobby soon grew into a full-blown side hustle that I call Miss Vet.

I paint horses, dogs, girls in pretty dresses, pink lipstick and cowboy boots, men in well-shaped hats, family portraits and homes. Basically all of the best bits about life in the bush! While still working full time, I paint original pieces, take commissions and make greeting cards and tags. Miss Vet could not get much further removed or different from my day job and it is the perfect escape.

I have a beautiful little studio in my home, on a farm just outside Coonamble. I like nothing more than waking up early, getting into the studio and creating something bright, colourful and clean! I then pull on the overalls and go to work for the day.

It was a total surprise to be featured by Buy from the Bush in October 2019 and my business really took off. My art was suddenly being seen and purchased by customers from right across the country. I’m very proud that there are so many people that have a Miss Vet hanging in their home, or that give or receive one of my cards.

While life is busy, I feel I have the perfect balance – a little bit of dust and dirt, a little bit of pretty creativeness. Just the way life in the bush should be!

Jillian Kelly


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