Investing in the impact of old school art in today’s digital age

In building a new economy that harnesses our full creative and cultural capital as a nation, First Australians Capital focusses on supporting Indigenous businesses that are ready for investment, or who need tailored advice or guidance to build capability or secure a new future. 

As part of our effort to identify and support these emerging Indigenous Businesses, First Australians Capital and The Cultural Intelligence Project was proud to recently get behind Tania and Brenton McKenna who today launch “Eszra”.  Here’s a little insight into their unique story and how old school art in today’s digital age is making an impact. 

Talking with Tania McKenna about the launch of “Eszra”, it’s hard not to be caught up in their story.  Husband and wife team, Tania and Brenton McKenna literally turned their new website on overnight, bringing Brenton’s incredible art into the digital world so they can start telling a new story. 

Brenton McKenna is more likely known for his hands than his name, though as Tania tells us, everyone knows him as “Eszra” – his middle name and inspiration for the new brand and website.  Brenton is a graphic novelist and the first published Indigenous graphic novelist in Australia.   

Brenton is the writer and illustrator of a range of long comic books, including the popular “Ubby’s Underdog’s” series. You might also know Brenton’s work if you’re in Australia’s West, with Brenton’s comic strip “Ole Champ” published in the West Australian newspaper 5 days a week. 

As well as being involved in a range of illustration and arts projects with well-known publishers like Allen & Unwin and Penguin, perhaps Brenton’s greatest impact is in the appreciation of ‘old school’ techniques. 

“A lot of Brenton’s work is freehand” Tania tells us.  “We add all the colour digitally, but the drawings, the designs, the real work, is all freehand” she says. 

One of the ways in which First Australians Capital and The Cultural Intelligence Project supported Eszra was in providing business support and guidance to help them find the best way to bring Brenton’s art to life and establish their new brand and identity.  First Australians Capital introduced Brenton and Tania to a brand strategist who has helped them tell their story, or rather, helped them position Brenton’s art, so that it can tell their story for them. 

As Tania puts it “Quite frankly, First Australians Capital gave me what no one else does and exactly what I was looking for. It’s like a ready-made template of what you need to do as a small business. No one else does that.  And not only that, but they also gave us exactly what we needed; they listened and gave us support that was tailored directly to providing us with solutions.  It’s been brilliant, and from today, our story will go live”. 

First Australians Capital supported Brenton and Tania with business support services and guidance, as well as expanding their network with an introduction to a brand strategist who’s helped them visualise and create their new website. 

Eszra is a wonderful example of the ripple effect; how the First Nations economy can be accelerated through the funding and supporting of Indigenous businesses who are poised to make an impact.  

We can’t wait to go online and get to know Brenton and his work better and most importantly, to see the impact his art will have on the world.  This is a story about driving our economic prosperity in the broadest sense – through being an example of inspiration, creativity and entrepreneurialism. 

Click here to visit “Eszra” live and prepare to go on a journey with Brenton and his incredible stories and characters. 

If you have an Indigenous business or are an entrepreneur entering the early stages of a start-up venture, First Australians Capital can likely help. Click here to tell us about your business so we can get in touch.