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Real Life

REAL LIFE: Meet the man bringing wild animals to Western Australia through his amazing sculptures – with some help from his pet Jack Russell!

Keeping your mind active and engaged is what makes the difference.

By Mitchell Jordan

Jordan Sprigg, 29, from Narembeen, WA, shares his story with Take 5's Mitchell Jordan:

Pulling out onto the road, I noticed other drivers wind down their car windows and point at me.
I waved back at them and smiled.
It's not every day that Western Australians get to see a giant rhino on the back of a bloke's ute.
The only difference was, this rhino was made entirely of metal – by me!
When I was in my last year of uni, I decided to take some time off and return home to my parent's farm for a break.
Ever since I was a kid, I'd had an artistic streak, drawing wild animals and robots, and I yearned to do something creative.
Now was the time.
One of Jordan's sculptures. (Image: Supplied)
"Take what you like," Dad said when I asked if I could use the scrap metal that he'd kept.
He had a giant shed where I set about using the materials to make sculptures.
The first was a pair of life-sized kangaroos which I gave to my old high school.
I went on to make horses, bulls, camels, dragonflies and seahorses … anything that took my fancy.
After posting photos of my sculptures to Facebook, the local community got behind me, sharing my work further on social media.
Word of Jordan's word soon spread. (Image: Supplied)
Soon, word spread around the country and I was getting commissions from those who wanted a piece of their own.
Before I knew it, my gap year had flown by.
"What are you going to do next?" my parents asked.
It was true that I was earning money from something I'd only began as a hobby, but I was uncertain whether or not I could sustain it long-term.
Still, something told me to take a risk, so I continued making my art.
Around this time, my parents welcomed a new dog, Molly the Jack Russell, into our lives.
She was a great help on the farm, but whenever I'd take photos of my finished sculptures, she had a habit of turning up and wanting to join in.
"Come on, Molly," I told her, sitting her atop a metal bull with me.
Jordan with his helper, Molly. (Image: Supplied)
Recently, I made a 210cm tall rhino in memory of the last Northern White Rhino male, who sadly passed away three years ago as a result of poaching.
The sculpture was snapped up in no time, but when I put it on the ute to take to the owners, everyone's heads were turning!
I feel very lucky to have had the success I've had, but there's someone I credit with helping me get there: my dad.
"I'm proud of you," he said.
"If I hadn't been a farmer's son, I couldn't have done this," I told him.
With the rhino sculpture. (Image: Supplied)
Living in the city would have made it hard to access all the scrap metal that Dad and other farmers gave me, and I certainly wouldn't have had such a large shed to work in.
I'm not sure if I'll stay on the farm forever. I hope to start delivering talks to other blokes.
Initiatives like the Men's Sheds which we have around Australia are great.
They encourage men to be productive, work together and have a yarn and a cuppa.
Too many men suffer in silence, and I hope my story shows how important it is to have a hobby.
You don't need to sculpt rhinos or bulls like I've done, but keeping your mind active and engaged is what makes the difference.

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