Young man leaves day job to do art
Scion Derby is from an artistic family in Manchioneal, Portland, so it's quite natural that he would want to pursue a career in art.
"I did my first drawing when I was four years old. I did a drawing of Popeye. My aunt was having a competition between my older brother and sister. I couldn't even write at the time, but when I see what they were doing, I wanted to get involved, and it came out perfect," he said.
As the middle child of five children, 29-year-old Derby jokingly said that he got a double dose of the artistic talent. It was his dancing skills that got him a job at Sandals Montego Bay, which he used to propelled his art career.
"Dancing got me the job at Sandals. But in the back of my head, I knew that painting is what I want to do. It didn't work out for me when I started out, so I had to sidetrack, work at the resort for a while, meet my customers. And then, after that, when I see where I was standing, I see that I could move on and make painting my full-time job," said Derby, who worked as an event coordinator.
After working at Sandals for four years, Derby decided that it was time to quit and pursue his career in painting.
Derby describes his paintings as realistic experiences people can connect with.
"My love is for stuff that look realistic, and I love light in painting," he said.
"Most of my paintings have to do with something cultural or something that you can relate to, like in the '80s and '90s Jamaica, back in the days that you can relate to when you were a kid. Anything with nature or have to do with history."
And although he showcases his art in galleries in Portland and Montego Bay; he admits that most of his sales come from his social media platforms.
SOCIAL MEDIA SALES
"I get most of my sales from Instagram and Facebook. Whenever I post a picture or a video, other people will see me and inbox me and request work," he said.
He said that his pieces cost between US$180 (J22,478) and US$1,000 (J$124,879). However, he said that one of his most notable paintings is a Bob Marley portrait, which he sold for US$5,000 (J$624,397).
Currently, Derby said that he works from his home in Flanker, Montego Bay. But he said that he is looking to open his own studio soon.
"One of my friends from the States is opening a villa in Montego Bay, and I'm also going to be using it as a gallery, and to do art shows and painting classes," he said.
And although he enjoys being a full-time artist, he acknowledged that it comes with challenges.
"It's more comfortable, and more relaxed. I paint when I want to. You just have to be disciplined. The life of an artist is not easy, because you don't know when you're going to get your next assignment commission," he said.