People can easily place art in to a generic box, so how would YOU describe your art-form?
My art form is for anyone, it’s expressive, deep. Something anyone can look at and be inspired, whether they know my background or not.
How did you get started? What convinced you to choose this medium (writing, drawing, producing music, etc) as your ultimate self-expression?
I write, I draw and I illustrate. I was suppressed from doing art, so choosing it as a career path wasn’t easy. I got started as a means of an escape roughly a year ago. I had stopped drawing for about 5 years then I came back to it, it’s just where my passion lies. Reconnecting with it, is probably the best decision I’ve made in my life. It’s excellent therapy and I learned how lucrative the field is, as opposed to what I was taught at a younger age.
Where do you get most of your inspiration for your pieces/perspective from?
I get inspiration mostly from my life experience and the unknown. Anything spiritual, historical and mysterious fascinates me so I incorporate that into my work. I like idea/philosophies surrounding consciousness, laws that govern the universe.
Let’s say later down the line, maybe 5-10 years, you are successfully creating your art on your terms on a large-scale Where/What do you hope to see your art-form be?
I see my work reaching broader horizons. Mixing all my talents into huge interrelated literary and visual projects. I plan to complete an illustrated book, animated pieces as well as huge exhibitions of work of different mediums based on the book. I plan to inspire others with my innovative ways of expression.
“Young Creatives” is often used to describe an artist who uses their unique, sometimes alternative, views, imagination and lifestyle as a creator in their art-form. But what do you consider a young creative to be?
I think a young creative is just that. Someone that steps outside of the norms, someone who exudes passion from their pores. A young creative thinks differently and applications of their thought processes aren’t limited to the average idea of art forms. young creatives aren’t just writers or painters, one can be an entrepreneur. It’s anyone that has great ideas and executes them and that in itself is an art.
What do you think about the platforms, or lack thereof, available to the new wave of young Jamaican creatives to sell, showcase or get support for their art?
I see the problem where that is concerned and I create platforms for artists, no matter their art form. My first platform, IMPRINT featured poetry, painting, fashion designers, musical performances all in one creative space. The first event was a huge success, inspired hundreds and celebrated with an after party, had to be chasing people home. It was a very different and an amazing experience. I created a space where it’s okay to express yourself, embrace and appreciate your culture. I plan to host this annually as well as another platform concept I hope to launch later this year.
How important is local support from Jamaicans and fellow Jamaican creatives to you?
It’s very important. It’s a driving force that keeps us as creatives going.
Do you feel like you’re in competition with other creatives, especially with how easy it is to get popular (or “go viral”)? Do you think collaborations can eradicate unnecessary competitiveness?
Yes, indeed, I do. I’m on the popular side of Jamaican artists and I’m still craving for more exposure. It’s not as easy, takes work & dedication. Collaborations are good, but isn’t something to always practice because competition is also good.
“Thank God for competition, when competitors upset our plans or outdo our designs, they open infinite possibilities of our own work to us” –Gil Atkinson.
How do you handle negative criticism about your work?
You have critics, which is good for growth. You take their corrections & you learn. But when you reach a level of popularity, you come across people who are just plain negative. I got an anonymous message one day speaking to how my art is trash and I’m watering down other talents with my social media popularity. I had to wonder if the persons with this idea was just blind with envy. I mean, art is subjective, you’re entitled to your own opinion but I build & empower other creatives, not overpower them. The night of my art show I was working so hard that most patrons did not even get a chance to glimpse me. All they saw was beautiful displays by young creatives. I share my popularity in a sense, I created a huge platform then encouraged others to put their stuff out there. Most of my popularity comes from the fact that I inspire, countless amounts of people message me sending little drawings for my evaluation or paragraphs of how I’ve impacted their lives. I’m unapologetically myself, I’m fiery, I have a presence & style and I have great support from masses of genuine people, so I don’t worry about the negative people. I just work harder. They should use their energy to catch up instead of tearing me down.
It’s often said that if opportunity doesn’t knock, build your own door. Do have any interest in creating a platform for other young creatives to express themselves or help them get recognition?
Lol, already way ahead of you? But apart from my show IMPRINT and other platforms, my YouTube channel is a platform itself. I grouped together young creatives, videographers, photographers and graphic designers and we work on collaborative projects to showcase our talents. Plenty episodes and work in store.
Bonus: Are there any new projects you’d like people to check out or look out for in the future?
Yes! Many. I’m getting into animation and I have some crazy projects that I’m working on. My main project is “the girl with the black umbrella”. A powerful art series and the black umbrella signifies depression. This will be about love, spirituality, duality & success. All my exhibitions, animations, illustrations, will be based on the characters and ideologies of the book. I’m already up writing & designing every night.