People can easily place art in to a generic box, so how would YOU describe your art-form?
I would describe my art form (writing/poetry/story-telling) as my most raw and truest expression of myself and whatever and whoever moves me.
How did you get started? What convinced you to choose this medium (writing, drawing, producing music, etc) as your ultimate self-expression?
I have always been writing. My Grandmother was an English Teacher and she would always encourage (force) me to express myself. “Say exactly what you mean, Tara” She’d say. So I would write littles stories and just ordinary ramblings to get my thoughts out of my head. But, I suppose I started to take my writing/storytelling/poetry seriously when I joined the community of the poetry society of Jamaica.
Where do you get most of your inspiration for your pieces/perspective from?
I get my inspiration from life itself. Everything in our existence fascinates and inspires me. People – the way we interact with each other. The way plants and animals exist. Everything has the power to move me wholly or just a little bit.
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?
In 5-10 years I am definitely looking to have a few successful books of my ramblings, impacting lives and reaching great and small spaces and places.
“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?
Hmmm. Honestly. We are all young creatives, if we should be quite frank. The word “creative/s” is being thrown around so carelessly these days, especially to people who only indulge in the traditional forms of art. You most definitely don’t have to dance or sing or write or play some sort of fancy instrument to be labeled as “creative”. I think a creative is a brilliant mind, and there are brilliant minds in all corners of society. It could be Brandon who is a genius at programming, Jenny who is a great planner or even Sasha who is spectacular at cleaning or whatever. I think we should make an effort to separate ourselves from labels and appreciate people for who and what they are, even if it’s not celebrated or acknowledged by society.
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 think now, compared to 5-10 years ago I’ve definitely been seeing more platforms to showcase and celebrate the arts, so I suppose that’s fuelling “creative” people to display their talents a little more, because now it’s appreciated, accepted and celebrated.
How important is local support from Jamaicans and fellow Jamaican creatives to you?
Hmmm. Well. I think support from home first matters first. You know the saying “dance a yaad before you dance abroad” ? You test the waters at home first, then I suppose based on how people react then you know if you’re ready to take on the world.
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?
I don’t feel like in competition with other creatives. It’s not even something I think about, to be honest. I just stay in my corner, express myself the way I know how and it attracts who it must. Yes, to an extent. Yes.
How do you handle negative criticism about your work?
Honestly, I’ve never really gotten “negative” criticism about my poetry. More constructive than negative. It’s mostly more of a “maybe you could change this line to this instead” or a “maybe you could take this line out” instead of “oh, wow, this sucks” lol. So no…can’t relate.
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?
Yes. Hummingbird is an example of this I suppose. I have always wanted to be a part of a space or community of sorts that fosters pure expression of self but I didn’t quite know the right moves to make, then my friend Vanessa approached me with the hummingbird idea. A platform for creative sisters to share themselves. It’s been rewarding so far.
Bonus: Are there any new projects you’d like people to check out or look out for in the future?
. Oh yes. My book, Sweet Thorns – a collection of poetry and soft prose will be out in another peek of the moon. Follow me on social media to stay tuned. Bless.