Joel Chambers : The master of art
MAY PEN, Clarendon:
For Joel Chambers, life is art and his art mirrors life. The 36-year-old Central Village native portrays himself as a holistic artist who does not believe in only painting special objects.
"I paint any and everything. I do landscape, waterscape, still life and abstract paintings. I'm just a naturally intuitive artist," he said.
Although Chambers did not get much out of school, it did help him to develop his artistic talent, having learnt art on a level he could not have done on his own. "After I left all-age school, I couldn't further my education because I couldn't afford it, so when I started getting children and knowing I have to take care of them, I started selling belts in the streets. Then one day the police took them away, and not having any money, I decided to try painting, and that's how I actually started creating such beautiful artwork," he told Rural Xpress, adding that his ultimate aim is to go to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
"I always had this mindset that if I don't go to Edna Manley, I'm not an artist. I always thought I was just a painter, but an encounter with another artist who did a different type of artwork from mine helped to change that mindset," said Chambers.
So talented is he that the moment he sat down to do his very first painting, a lady saw the unfinished work and ordered it immediately.
"After me sell her the painting, it was a joy fi see her a walk down the road with it, looking at it and marvelling at my work, so that's when this thing trigger off in my head like the Big Bang Theory," he recalled.
With support streaming in, Chambers took the initiative and registered his business now known as Joel Chambers Family Enterprise, and became a sole trader two years ago.
The multitalented and overly enthusiastic Chambers also has a passion for music. "I always wanted to do music, but I realised it was really difficult to break into that industry, so I decided to work with the talent that I can control and manage on my own," he said.
Chambers said not having any qualification at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level did not stop him from learning all he could and so he developed a habit of reading, which he did constantly with his dictionary by his side.
THE WIDER WORLD
"I got a read off a book called Marcus Garvey Philosophy (The Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey) and that boosted my knowledge base and further fuelled my interest in reading. I read and understood that education is good and is available in and out of the classroom, so the more I read Marcus Garvey's writings, the more I valued myself and became more in tune with what's happening around me and what a gwaan in the wider world," he explained.
"My inspiration has no limitation, it just flows with the cosmos. I don't have to be in the mood or have to plan to paint. My painting is like a way of life," he boasted, noting that on average, some paintings take hours, depending on the type, size and the intricate details.
"I'm the biggest fan of my paintings; I'm attached to every piece I create." Chambers said what sets him apart from all the other artists is the person beyond the painting. "My paintings are very unique; I'm a philosopher, a genius, a teacher and just a naturally creative person, and all that comes out in the paintings."
"I didn't just happen overnight. I took time to develop and I had the willpower and mindset that caused me to reach this far."
Chambers has since recorded five songs and is hoping the positive lyrics will earn him some amount of airplay.
His paintings are being sold by Things Jamaica and he now aims to have his artwork displayed in the National Gallery.
Persons wanting to order paintings can contact Joel Chambers at 367-8141.