Antigua St. john's - Youth across the nation are being encouraged to embrace their creative skills from as early an age as possible.
The advice was given by Artist Zavian Archibald, who noted that this will help them to see the subject in a whole new light.
Speaking to Caribarena, Archibald said: “My love for art developed while I was a very young child. I was always encouraged by my mother and this propelled me forward. I think if children are encouraged to embrace their creativity from very early, then that would change the perspective from which art is viewed (by) many islanders.”
She further advised that students should be able to think creatively and employ their imagination in any subject area so as to excel. “Developing skills in art is not just about training your eyes and hands; it’s also about training your mind to think of creative solutions. Being able to think creatively is of value to all subject areas.”
Archibald says the ‘boxed-in’ way that people look at art in Antigua & Barbuda needs to be changed. “They see it only as drawing with a pencil or painting on canvas, when so much of what we put weight on materially is the product of art. Cell phone designs and interfaces, clothing, fashion trends, nail polish colours, furniture, architecture, shoe designs, what our currency physically looks like, television, video games, Facebook - all these things are heavily dependent on art, making a visual impact, and creating functional products for life.”
Archibald is a Graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia, USA. She currently teaches art at the Ottos Comprehensive School.
Having this vast amount of experience in the field, Archibald was asked if she has a preference for a particular type of art. “It’s hard to say what I have a preference for,” Archibald replied. “Most of the time, it’s technique and colour palette that draws me to a piece of work. Lately, I find myself being drawn to paper art that incorporates aspects of painting and sculpture. As far as what I do goes, my work continues to develop and change as I come across new and interesting things. Right now, I work in both traditional and digital mediums and my depictions shift between realism and stylized illustrations.”
In terms of what more she thinks artists can do to promote their work on a higher level, Archibald said, “I would say be open-minded and don’t limit yourself to any one avenue. For example, an artist`s passion could be photography, but he may have graphic design skills or be an excellent painter. If this artist`s work is noticed in any of these areas, that becomes the springboard to push his other work. However, I believe that a person should hold on to what they are most passionate about as this is what fuels everything else.”
Archibald believes promoting art should be taken as seriously as running a business. “As far as sales go, I think promoting and selling art should be approached just as any business. You have to employ marketing strategies and networking. Participating in competitions is also a good way to get your work out there.”
Presently she is working on developing skills and techniques, particularly with digital work.
Archibald’s first art competition was the Sailing Week Signboard Competition.
She has also participated in other local and international contests, including the ARTIADE- Olympics of Visual Art Contest, as well as the International Olympic Committee Art Contest.
To those who have artistic aspirations, whether young or old, she says: “Never stop learning; never stop developing your craft; be flexible; be open to criticism, and don’t let anyone deter you from your goals.”
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