Eighteen-year-old Alexcia Grant of Brown's Town in St Ann has always had a love affair with art.
Her mother discovered her talent at just two years old when the toddler drew a picture of them going to the supermarket and Alexcia has not stopped drawing since, with her work adorning every corner of the family home.
While she had raw talent it wasn't until years later, while attending St Hilda's Diocesan High School, that she had her first lessons in art.
"I didn't start practising art until grade eight. I got an assignment from my art teacher at the time where he said we should draw a two-point perspective drawing. I went home and I researched and did it and when I brought it back to him, he said I was really good. So, I started practising more from then," Alexcia shared.
As she began to hone her skills Alexcia's childhood ambition of becoming a medical doctor got thrown out the window; she knew she had found her one true calling as a visual artist.
"At first when I was growing up my mother said I should become a doctor, so for years I had it in my head that I wanted to become a doctor. I was scared to tell my mom that I wanted to change my career path, but I eventually mentioned it to her and she has supported me since," Alexcia said.
Now a sixth-former at York Castle High, the teen, who describes herself as an innovative and creative person, draws inspiration for her art from the world around her and uses her spare time to perfect her skills.
She deems art as an important aspect of her life, noting that it is an avenue for expression given that she suffers from social anxiety.
"I am not a very talkative person and I am not really good at expressing myself so I use art as a vessel," she shared.
Alexcia's work is known for its vibrant splashes of bright colours, and her style ranges from realism to semi-realism. She also wants to develop her skills in depicting the human anatomy.
"My work has evolved a lot over time. I recently discovered my interest in semi-realism so I have been practising a lot recently. Before, I was focused on realism and making [my art] as realistic as possible," she said.
In September 2022 Alexcia took on the challenge of entering the Jamaica Information Service's Heritage Poster Competition in which she was selected as a finalist in the grades 10 to 13 category.
While she did not take home the first-place trophy, she says the competition was one of the most memorable experiences so far on her artistic journey.
"I was able to showcase my work across the country and I was also able to represent my school," the teenager noted.
Her dream project is to create a mural at York Castle or St Hilda's, which she says will allow her "to express my creative freedom and also to further develop my skills".
Though her artistic skills are innate, Alexcia says her journey to perfecting her craft did not come without its challenges.
"My journey has been somewhat, not necessarily complicated but I have had troubles with it at first. Art is a thing that you have to practise so sometimes when you do something and it doesn't turn out to your liking, it can be frustrating. But, I stay patient and practise and here I am now," she said happily.
Her mother helps to keep her grounded and has been Alexcia's main source of inspiration.
"My main drive is my mom. She has supported me a lot, encouraged me a lot. Most of the times when I am not motivated to continue to do a piece she will be like, 'Alexcia, you need to complete this. You need to continue,'" she said.
Alexcia aspires to become a fine artist and have her work on display in galleries around the world.
Already, Alexcia has been earning from her talent, with requests from students for drawn portrait pieces.
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