Edith Brown painting her reality

By Sade Gardner
Observer writer

Sunday, August 12, 2018

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Artist Edith Brown had no intentions of becoming a painter. The designer was contented with selling frames and clothing with motivational quotes, but all that changed after she attended a Christian retreat in Montego Bay two years ago.

“It was a retreat dedicated to empowering people in the creative industry, which also enabled other aspects of their creativity to come out,” Brown told the Jamaica Observer. “On the last day the ministers started praying. Nothing supernatural happened to me during the prayer, but a week after…I found something like cardboard and I started to paint. I didn't know anything, I was just transferring paint to paper.”

She has no formal training in the arts or painting, but that did not stop her from amassing several abstract pieces. She said her work then began to attract the attention of friends. This was enough to inspire her to host a showcase that December at Devon House in St Andrew, where she sold 90 pieces.

“I didn't have any money, but I made the sacrifice,” she said. “I made the flyers, invited some friends, they showed up, and they were in awe. I am proud of me because I stepped out in faith. They didn't have to buy them. I pulled off something I had in my head. This is something the Lord has awakened in me. We all have something inside of us that God has planted that we should make full use of.”

A former student of Trench Town High School, Brown holds an associate degree in business administration from the Caribbean Institute of Business.

She now looks towards promoting her brand. This, she says, can be difficult in the Jamaican landscape.

“I want my work to not only be known locally but also internationally. I do my postings on social media — the onus is really on the individual to push yourself and get out there. I want to earn from my art; there's a lot of money to be made from this business. God said the gift you have will open doors for you. It's sad to say, but for me, the international platform is much more easier and friendlier,” said Brown.

Despite holding a 9-to-5 job in marketing, Brown hopes to fully engage her artistic passions.

“I don't want to be boxed in. I stay motivated through motivational videos I do on my social media page. I want to say to persons who are doing things that you weren't called to do: Tell yourself this is not what I want to do and do what you were called to do. At the adult stage you have responsibilities which is good, but don't become stagnant.”

She hopes to be a part of the Liguanea Art Festival in December. For now, she is preparing a collection to showcase at the Agora Gallery in New York where her pieces were recently accepted for presentation.

“This is a major deal for me as this will help me to get more recognition. I had submitted some pieces to them via upload and they looked at them in detail and decided they want to showcase my work. Right now I'm working on getting my pieces to the gallery; there are different packages, so by now and the ending of September they should be there.”

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