Introducing a project that holds immense personal significance, into which I’ve poured my heart and soul: NOT YOUR KIND OF ARTIST JAMAICA. In 2016, I began writing cryptic notes on how to present this project in a bold, chaotic, and innovative flair. However, distractions were in play as I balanced my roles as a professional freelancer and an experimental artist simultaneously—gotta make that money, I guess. The series consists of four parts, and my intention is to work on them in reverse chronological order. This method enables the potential for ideas to surface during the process, ideas that could have originated years earlier. Shortly, I’ll find out if it aligns with my vision! In 2017, finally had the time to compile most of the files needed for this project, as I reduced my freelancing commitments. It was a period when my mind yearned for fi tek weh miself [to get away from] that environment, and indeed, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made; quite a relief! The majority of the files were created using my iPhone, a practical choice while I roamed various locations in Jamaica, letting my imagination run wild. By 2018, I transitioned into becoming a full-time artist!
Behold, here is Part 3, currently featuring video files. Although I’ve only shared the still frames here, the aim is to conceptualise various methods for presenting an adaptable art installation across a range of physical environments. Drawing upon my experiences from growing up in Jamaica, I sought to escape from the urban confines of Kingston to immerse myself in the captivating embrace of lush rural landscapes. During my childhood, spending summer holidays in the countryside was a cherished tradition. The rural atmosphere, brimming with fresh air and abundant wildlife, provided boundless freedom and thrilling adventures, marking some of the most beautiful moments of my life.
Yet, despite the joys, I struggled with motion-induced sickness during those lengthy travels. Admiring the beautiful scenery through the window made me anxious, especially when crossing the renowned Flat Bridge, a beam bridge across the Rio Cobre river in Saint Catherine. Navigating the narrow roads and sharp corners was quite a mental task. I had to overcome these obstacles because those visits meant a lot to my well-being, requiring considerable effort. When I began high school, I observed shifts in my cognitive processes. It was a larger, new environment compared to my previous school. The place buzzed with people from eclectic backgrounds, and the school had a multitude of strict rules that I aimed to understand. My family made it a priority to teach me about navigating life as a girl. It wasn’t always easy, but I feel lucky to have been born in the time I arrived on this planet. I was an active child and managed to participate in several extracurricular activities while staying focused on my schoolwork. Additionally, my aunt, whom I greatly admired, provided me with some homeschooling. At that time, she was pursuing studies in information science and mathematics at university. Also, returning to Kingston after those adventurous summer holidays always brought a sense of renewal and readiness for learning. I’ve always been eager to understand how the importance of knowledge can improve my behavioural skills. Though I was a fast learner, I tended to observe more than I spoke. My curiosity was insatiable, driving me to seek more information on anything that intrigued me.
“I can only speak for myself as an artist from Jamaica. My primary focus for artistic development includes essential elements such as arts education, cognitive psychology, mathematics, research, and technology, which I prioritise while creating and sharing art. For me, achieving a life of tranquility relies on certain practices. That’s why I advocate for introducing innovative teaching methods from infancy. I’m committed to nurturing my brain to sustain my ability to create and share my art. I know it requires considerable strength and courage, but I believe it’s possible.”
Likkle canoe kip near shore (Jamaican Proverb)
English Translation: Little canoe is kept near shore
Definition: It’s wise to stay within safe limits
Before stepping into the professional art space, I anticipated challenges, particularly considering the negative stereotypes often directed at artists, especially visual ones. However, because I think Mathematics first, I felt prepared. The reality, still, exceeded my expectations. Despite this, I remained focused on my work, frequently discussing the intersection of art and technology with certain people, and showcasing how various technological devices can create art. After participating in several major exhibitions, interactions became more questionable. I remember someone saying directly to me, maybe I am pretending to be Jamaican because how I can I be Jamaican and not have gone to school overseas to create that kind of art.
Here comes my wild imagination! I imagined myself as many things, but here is one of my favourites: myself as a dolphin with pink hair in the pristine waters of the Caribbean Sea, harmoniously dancing with crystal-clear waves, where vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life create a sanctuary of beauty and tranquility. The world of technology offers endless possibilities, continuously evolving and expanding. Why not harness its potential to promote how it can enhance our way of life for the better? My dedication to this profession serves a greater purpose: using art to assist various professionals. The focus on children’s socio-emotional growth aims to demonstrate how the integration of art and technology can benefit educators, psychiatrists, scientists, and more.
Do what you can from where you are with what you have
At times, it’s just me, my iPhone, and a few mobile apps. When I want to elevate it further, I use free open-source software or online generators. All that beauty available on the WORLD WIDE WEB.
I have to navigate within a tricky environment, with its many levels of tricks.
My list of various energies to thrive as an artist, encompassing both physical and mental aspects, derived from my notes ingrained in my memory cells. Sharing eight for now:
- Creativity: The core energy for producing unique and engaging artworks.
- Resilience: The ability to bounce back from setbacks and persist in the face of challenges.
- Focus: Concentration on your work amidst distractions to achieve quality results.
- Patience: Understanding that artistic success often comes with time and persistent effort.
- Financial Savvy: Budgeting and managing finances to sustain your artistic endeavours.
- Time Management: Efficiently allocating time for creation, promotion, and personal well-being.
- Courage: The boldness to explore new ideas, take risks, and express your artistic voice.
- Self-Care: Prioritising mental and physical health to ensure long-term sustainability.
I make use of all my documentation and research materials to tell stories. Occasionally, I use my phone to photograph and record scenes showcasing the natural beauty of my country, Jamaica. There’s so much out here to experience and appreciate—cherish it. I am happy to have the ability to tell my own kind of stories exactly the way I want them to be told.
you don’t have to hear, know and see everything