J'can driving animation in St Vincent and the Grenadines
He has had many ups and downs, heard a lot of nos and had more doors closed in his face than he can count. But with a passion for animation and moulding young minds, David Martin is now a leader in the animation industry in the region.
Having studied communications at Northern Caribbean University and subsequently worked as a video editor and motion graphics artist at the NCU Media Group, Martin transitioned fully into animation when he was employed to teach digital animation at the HEART Trust Southwest TVET Institute in Newport, Manchester.
While at HEART, Martin was able to fulfil his dream of bringing art to life and also imparting useful knowledge and skills about this billion-dollar industry to students. He later got an opportunity to share this knowledge with students outside of Jamaica.
"I was invited to be a consultant to teach animation and graphic design at the National Centre of Training and Innovation in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The move offered more opportunities to enlarge my sphere of influence and to essentially fulfil my dream of promoting the cause of animation and multimedia arts in the Caribbean," he said.
"I see it as my mission as a Jamaican to fulfil that part of the pledge that calls us to play our part in advancing the welfare of the whole human race," he added
Martin, who is the only animation teacher in St Vincent and the Grenadines, told THE STAR that the move was timely.
"Under my coaching, the Vincentian animation team tied for first place at the Northern Caribbean University's Lignum Vitae Film Festival on April 9, 2017. It was the first time they had entered the festival, and their success really opened many eyes to the possibilities that hard work and exposure can bring success," he said.
Martin said that as a result of the programme's success, the country is looking towards developing its broadband capacity, consequently opening avenues to the development of the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector, and thereby creating much needed employment.
"Animation is a portable profession meaning that a great portion of tasks can be done remotely. With the new broadband capabilities coming on stream, Vincentian animators will be able to live locally and work globally," he said.
"I've realised that it doesn't matter where you are in the Caribbean or the world, young people need role models and mentors that can take them from point A to point B in their developmental journey. If we harness the power of youth coupled with the attitude of mentorship, we can break many cycles of poverty and violence. Animation is one of my God given talents, and I intend to use it to the best of my ability to improve the standard of life in this beautifully blessed region," Martin added.