Napier artist Joseph Rowntree looks at the murals he creates with pride.
His past, not so much.
Rowntree, 30, is a former methamphetamine addict. It's a life he was only able to leave behind because he found his passion.
"Chasing a passion has distracted me," Rowntree told Hawke's Bay Today as he finished off a stunning campervan mural on the main road through Clive on Thursday.
"Creating art is a different high. I feel present and connected to myself. It's not the same as a chemical high."
His path to this happy point in his life was far from easy.
"I was a shearer by trade and it's quite a big problem in the industry.
"In 2010, I started using meth and I habitually used it for four years."
Back then his life was "pretty transient" and he travelled all over the country using a lot of meth in the process.
"I started selling all my shearing gear to buy meth."
He says a lot of people don't realise what meth is doing to their lives.
"Using meth makes you feel like you are firing on all cylinders, makes you feel like you can do anything.
"Initially meth makes you feel invincible.
"But you don't sleep, don't eat. It is pretty taxing on your body. It is an incredibly addictive, powerful drug.
"I think no one ever maintains the peak physical performance, there's always a fall."
Rowntree realised his life was "falling apart" when he started ignoring his family in a bid to get his next fix.
"It was meth over anything else. I lost my job, lost my way. It scared the s*** outta me."
He says meth is a easy drug to fall into taking, and hard to get out of.
"It gets to a point where you need help instead of going it alone."
Rowntree decided to seek help by confessing all to his parents, and they let him move into their home in Havelock North.
"They let me stay in their garage. They have been very supportive."
He cleaned up his act and decided to pursue art, with the aim of becoming a tattoo artist.
He started studying a BA in creative practice at EIT in 2015, and graduated in 2018.
"Everyone wants to become a tattoo artist. But once I joined I realised there were so many other options I could pursue."
Right after graduation he held a solo show at the Hastings Community Library.
"I am very interested in colonial history and I do lots of work with recycled windows."
Being an artist is now Rowntree's full-time occupation.
"The majority of my income comes from getting commissions to paint murals on campervans and stuff."
Most of his artwork is for sale but he has no desire to rake in money, he says.
"I just want to keep doing what I am passionate about. I have no desire to get rich.
"I just want to pay my bills. As cheesy as it sounds, people should do what they want to do."
"I have a show at the Boyd-Dunlop Gallery in Napier at the end of the year.
"I can say with some pride I am the cleanest I have been my entire life.
"No drugs, no real drinks.
"I only smoke, but I am thinking of quitting. It's a work in progress."