David Kafar started working with Counselor Brandi Fitch in January 2021. He initially stated an interest in working as a delivery driver or doing janitorial or maintenance work.

He was talking with Sally Leibold with Older Workers Employment Program (OWEP) and at one point shared his artwork. Sally was impressed and his counselor Brandi, seeing real talent, began exploring self-employment.

David had been drawing all of his life and had received encouragement from his mother and teachers when he was in school. His first prize for a drawing was a wagon when he won a contest sponsored by a local weather station. In high school he was encouraged to go to art school.

β€œThen I went to work,” he said. David did a lot of interesting things – lifting weights, competitive body building, martial arts and modeling

β€œI always came back to drawing,” he said. β€œIt was a hobby.”

His mother was a lifelong fan of his work. He remembers the bird he drew when he first moved to Iowa and she gave him a pencil and paper. She loved the drawing. She admired an owl drawing and David drew one for her before she passed away three years ago.

β€œShe said, now you’ve got to do something with this David. She was my biggest supporter. When mom said that. I said I’m going to do that.”

After working with IVRS Counselor Brandi [Fitch] and Kochell Weber- Ricklefs Business Development Specialist with the Iowa Self-Employment Program he said everything fell into place. David’s website and online art gallery launched in December 2022.

β€œI am amazed they believed in me,” he said.

David has drawings and paintings. The drawings are highly detailed and he said he enjoys switching over to painting for a change of pace – or even working on the website.

All-in-all, David loves his second career.

β€œI’m elated. Every day I get to get up and do what I love,” he said. β€œIt makes me happy that other people appreciate what I’m doing.”

The Iowa Self-Employment (ISE) program was able to help David with counseling and guidance, computer and equipment and benefits counseling to begin his new endeavor.

You can see and purchase David’s artwork at his website, www.dfkafar.com. Also feel free to follow him on Facebook.