shining the spotlight

Shining the Spotlight: Jiore Moore-Gayle

“Moore than an artist” is a tagline that Jiore Moore-Gayle uses to represent himself and it epitomizes the work being done by the young graphic designer and illustrator. Moore-Gayle has had a lot of lofty goals and ambitions going up, and had the intelligence and drive to follow any path he could have chosen, but the creative says that it was his passion for creating and designing, as well as being the son of a graphic designer as well, that saw him follow in his mother’s footsteps.


“The process of learning Graphic Design felt natural, likely in part of my mother being a Graphic Designer and me being by her as she worked in my early childhood. I’ve really loved Graphics. My mother has been extremely supportive of me from the jump and everyone in my family has echoed similar sentiments,” said Moore-Gayle. “Funnily enough, I’ve always been unsure about what path I was going to go down. I saw myself being a lawyer, chef, track athlete, mathematician, programmer, and a few I’m leaving out for the sake of brevity. It took me until the 9th grade to decide that I wanted to pursue something in the Arts.”

After having made the decision to become a graphic designer and illustrator, Moore-Gayle says the road to becoming a good graphic designer has been a lot more difficult than most would initially assume. He explained that a lot of work had been done behind the scenes to reach the level that he has in his career.

“Once I made that decision, I still had to decide which discipline I wanted to go down and it took me about 3-4 years since then for me to 100% set my mind on Graphic Design and Illustration,” he said. “It has been a journey of ups and downs. I remember downloading and rigorously reading a few drawing books on anatomy and portraiture in Grade 9 in an attempt to seriously hone my skills. There were a few times where I felt I was wasting my time because it didn’t feel like any real progress was made. Despite this, I kept working at it and the people around me would complement my art, reassuring me that it wasn’t for naught.”

Of all the work he has done, Moore-Gayle says that some of his favorites have been the portraits he has drawn over the years. He says that doing portraits is a way for him to showcase to clients that they are worthy and beautiful enough to have their portraits done.

He says that he gets the most joy from doing portraits of those close to him, including his girlfriend.

“If I were to say what the most memorable portraits I’ve worked on, I would say the tens of portraits I’ve done of my girlfriend. I don’t mean to sound cheesy but her reaction to how beautiful I think she is and how it manifests in portraits is invaluable to me. It validates my goal with portraits and is direct proof of the value in continuing it,” he explains.

“One thing I try to do with my portraits is to change the ideas of who is worthy of getting a portrait taken. Acknowledging the efforts of people and making them feel that acknowledgment through portraits has given me the most joy in that regard. Another thing I value is making women feel beautiful and worthy. I think too many women, and people as a whole, view celebrities and models too highly, not realizing that they are as beautiful or even more so than these people.”

Moore-Gayle’s definition of success is being able to do what he loves most. The artist, who strives to create a lasting impact with his content, says he hopes to change the perception that many have about graphic design being an ‘easy’ career and have many understand that art – just like any other career – deserves to be treated with respect.

“I think one of the biggest misconceptions about being a graphic designer that I’ve noticed is there are a lot of people who think it’s easy. For example, if you were to pursue medicine or law, most if not everyone would assume you are either intelligent or particularly hard-working. There seems to be the idea that Graphic Design is somehow different. Everyone can be a graphic designer; not everyone can be a good one.”

Now undertaking his largest project so far, which is attempting to reimage the graphic design of several of Jamaica’s more established brands, Moore-Gayle – and samples of his work – can be found on his Instagram page @thisisjzmg.


shining the spotlight

Shining the Spotlight: Marci-Lee Smith

If you have taken the time to watch Devin Di Dakta’s new song Abort, then you should already be familiar with the acting and musical talents of Marci-Lee Smith. The multi-talented Jamaican is hoping to make waves through her passion and I had the opportunity to speak with her briefly about the woman behind the art, her goals, her struggles, and her inspirations.

Marci-Lee Smith
Marci-Lee Smith

Smith, also known as Marcilli, always knew from an early age that she was born to be a creative. The singer/songwriter/actress has a myriad of skills in her repertoire and says she cannot remember a time in her life when she wasn’t dreaming of being an artist.

“Music has been my first love and I’ve stuck with it from kindergarten. I wrote my first song in kindergarten and then in high school I went to drama club and that’s where I developed my love for acting,” Marcilli said. “My drama teacher asked me to go on stage, and I went there. I saw the audience chairs and I was just envisioning a real audience giving me a standing ovation and that’s when I felt that I want to do this forever. I want to be a performer.”

Now years later, Marcilli is doing what she loves and is hoping to make her talents her main source of income. She describes herself as a person of drive and determination and said her aim in life is to become her own woman – independent.

“Marci-Lee is a creative who has the determination to change her dreams into reality and hopes of inspiring others to do the same,” she said. “My end goal is to be happy. My end goal is to be my own CEO – my own boss. Doing what I love and getting paid for doing what I love. Being able to provide for my family by doing what I love and not having to worry about finding another way to survive.”

But despite her love for her craft, she admits that it has not been an easy road. Currently, Marcilli has released two songs Tonight and Mary-Jane, and hopes to – by the end of the year – release an EP of five songs. In fact, her song Mary-Jane even got radio air time in Chile.

With music as her self-professed first love, she has found challenges in the music as she explains that as a female artiste, there have been male colleagues who have tried to sexualize her. Added to that she says, is that she has had doors closed in her face because of her sexuality.

“I find in the music industry, males often like to sexualize their female artistes – they want something else other than the music,” she explained. “Another downside is that I am queer, and a lot of people don’t agree with my sexuality so there was one time where I had to downplay my sexuality to be able to record with them, but I’ve cut off that because if I can’t be myself then it’s not my art because my art represents myself.”

Regardless of the obstacles, Marcilli has not been deterred from her goal, and draws inspiration from her life experiences as well as the Korean rapper/producer BTS Suga who she says – like herself – had made several sacrifices in life to pursue their passion.

“Life inspires me. My family and what I went through in my personal life inspires. Seeing where I’ve been and where I need to be, inspires me,” Marcilli said. “An artiste that I would say that inspires me would be BTS Suga. I look up to him because he didn’t have that support when he just started and he had to build himself from a little community to where he is right now – #1 Billboard singer.”

So what is next for Marcilli? Well, you can find out by following her on Instagram @olfki.


CREATIVELY A BOSS

What is Creatively a Boss?

Visualize with me. Imagine a series that tells the stories of really creative people and now imagine those people being entrepreneurs. Okay great! Keep that image, now add tips on how to start your own business, how to manage it, how to bring your creative ventures to life and much more. Okay, open your eyes and recognize that AMMA Magazine is bringing this series to life!!! Every month we’ll be bringing you tips and interviews to help you unleash your creative potential and bring out your inner boss. The series will be hosted by me, Shadaia Francis and trust me when I say this is something you won’t wanna miss!!!!


Quarantined Creatives Dixon

Ayanna

Dixon

Vibrant, Innovative, Spectacular, World- Changer, Inspirational, Goal Digger are only a few things you can use to describe this next creative. Ayanna Dixon is a Jamaican designer, entrepreneur and illustrator. Her brand ASD is an illustrated lifestyle brand and her creations have been showcased in many magazines, newspapers and events. Ayanna has also designed her own colouring book called “The Sky Is Not the Limit” which is aimed at motivating and educating young girls about many careers and letting them know that they can do and become anything they set their mind to. Ayanna dedicates her birthdays to doing beach clean ups as a way of giving back to the country. Ayanna shared with us how she copes during this time and even shared some wise words for other creatives.

Despite everything going on, Ayanna tries her best to ensure that she remains positive and stimulated as a creative. She does this by listening to podcasts, going to the beach and looking at Pinterest posts. During this time, she has participated in many lives, hosted a few lives on her own in which she taught others how to  illustrate and overall just made use of technology and the digital space to not only improve on her skills but to inspire others and motivate them to keep going on their journeys. One of the many things she did that stood out to her, was a virtual book reading which she did for a few inner city kids. She also ensured to stay in touch with her loved ones and took time to focus on herself, her business and her craft.

Ayanna’s golden advice for creatives are to take the time to really take care of yourself, whether it be to go to the beach or the hillside, just ensure to be in tuned with your feelings and what works well for you and is good for you. LISTEN TO YOURSELF, network and reach out to others you never know what can happen. You will NEVER have a moment like this again!!!!!

To keep up with this dynamic gem, you can follow her on Instagram @ayanna.asd and you can also follow her business page @by.asd. You can also shop her designs at www.byasd.net.


Quarantined Creatives Samuels

Jenelle

Samuels

Imagine creating your own mural in your room, having one your heartfelt poems published in The Caribbean Writer or even just following your dreams of leaving a legacy on the world through your powerful words. Well for this creative, she did not have to imagine. Jenelle Samuels is a writer, poet, artist and animation student at the University of the West Indies. She commonly goes by the alias Neptune Naiadis which brewed from her love of astronomy and all things mythical. You must be wondering how a person filled with so much creative spirit cope during this time. Well we have those answers for you.

Jenelle has gained multiple opportunities during this time and has even been able to increase her digital presence and showcase her work. Even though there has been many opportunities present for her, she gains most of her inspiration from interacting with others and being outdoors so being confined to being completely indoors has been very stressful for her and has even taken a toll on her creative energy causing her to be less motivated to write. Neptune is a huge plant enthusiast and finds joy in taking care of her plants, as well as listening to audiobooks. This time has also allowed her to work on herself spiritually, mentally and emotionally, which she is most grateful for.

She describes herself as a “busy-bee” and has found that this time has allowed for her to slow down and become more patient with herself and has definitely seen how this has made her develop a better work ethic.

Neptune leaves these beautiful words to all creatives: “It is okay to slow down and cry.” “Don’t feel as if you need to come out of this with a Master’s degree.” “Work at a pace that is conducive to you”.

To keep up this beautiful star, you can follow her on Instagram @neptunenaiadis.


Quarantined Creatives Deacon

Lawrence L.

Deacon

“I would tell every artist to use this opportunity to collaborate, cultivate ideas, and get a project done. Where working towards a goal is a concern instead of setting long term goals. Set short term goals that add up to you accomplishing your long term goals. This helps you to stay engage and make the creative process more intense and interesting.  It’s also key to focus on your daily studio routine, stay informed but don’t get caught where it overwhelms you to the point of either depression or anxiety, that’s important to your mental health.” – Wise words of advice from Lawrence L. Deacon.

 

Another day, another Creative. This Creative is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Lawrence L. Deacon is Jamaican Illustrator, Creative Director, Graphic Designer and Entrepreneur. His work often hides a deep message behind a myriad of colours, lines and swirls. Lawrence has worked with multiple brands locally and internationally, some of which includes Yink and Fabrice Gautier. Aside from his love of designing, Lawrence has a deep love and appreciation for music. He is currently working on his first album under his brand DELAWNESS and he is very optimistic about it doing well. He also designed the album cover for Azzizi Romeo’s upcoming EP Reggae Royalty which is set to be released on June 26, 2020. So how does a man with so much ambition and goals cope during this time? Well, let’s find out.

Lawrence has always been able to capture emotions, feelings and controversial issues in his work. Even though Covid 19 has cancelled or slowed down many of the projects that he has been working on, he was able to create not one but TWO new pieces during this time showcasing his feelings about Covid 19. These pieces are called AirRona and Introspeq and are available on his website.

Constantly striving for perfection, Lawrence has gained a new perspective on life which has subsequently helped him to be better at his craft and to stay motivated amidst all the chaos that has been occurring. He believes that his work is the legacy that he will leave on this world and he wants to ensure that it inspires us to think, sparks a conversation and inspires us to fight for and become the change we would like to see in this world.

Keep up with Deacon! You can follow him on Instagram @lawrencedeacon1 and view all his work on lawrencedeacon.com.


Quarantined Creatives Williams

Sasha

Williams

“Speaking your truth is a powerful tool we all have”- Oprah Winfrey. Sasha Williams more commonly known as Sasha Speaks is an entrepreneur, YouTuber, mental health champion, public speaker and content creator. Sasha appeared on Talk Up Yout, a Jamaican television and radio programme that gives young persons the opportunity to voice their opinions on current issues. She has also done many speaking engagements during her time at the University of the West Indies. Sasha is currently a radio co-host at Talk up radio on Nationwide90fm.

Covid-19 has presented both opportunities and challenges for Sasha. She has found that even though she may get discouraged by what has been happening, she saw this time as a way to re-focus and re-invent herself to ensure that she becomes better at what she is most passionate about.  Sasha shared with us that even though she hates the kitchen, she has used this to time to try out new dishes. She also uses this time to get closer to her loved ones and take online courses that help her to become better at her craft.

Her golden advice for this time is to UNRUSH YOURSELF. The pandemic is not a competition to see who can be more productive. It is important to pace yourself and take it one step at a time and keep your frame of mind healthy and if you cannot create during this time, it is fine, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

Speak with Sasha on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter @sashaspeaks.ja and if you want interesting content, subscribe to her YouTube channel Sashaspeaks.


Quarantined Creatives Hutton

Alyssa

Hutton

Back again like Kaci Fennell with another beautiful and talented Creative. This time we are tackling Covid 19 the Hutton Way. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the interview.

Alyssa Hutton is a 19 year old visual artist and singer. She currently attends the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, where is she currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts. In Alyssa’s spare time she enjoys listening to music specifically 80’s and 90’s music, as well as Bob Marley who is one of her biggest inspirations. Her other inspirations include: Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, BTS, Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole just to name a few.

Covid 19 has allowed Alyssa time to do self- reflection. She said that Covid-19 has not affected her career but has allowed her to find ways in which she can be better and more rounded. Unfortunately, Alyssa finds herself procrastinating more due to not being able to get access to Art materials, however, she still uses the time to research new techniques and find inspiration through Social media and her environment regardless of not having the space within her house to do art. Mental health is very important to Alyssa. She has used this “divine time-out” to become more in tuned with her emotions. In addition to this, she has tried new baking recipes.

Her wise words to creatives are not to be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Use this time to explore and challenge yourself. Finally, find what makes you truly happy and do more of it.

Keep up with Alyssa by following her on Instagram @alyssahutton.


Quarantined Creatives Natty

Shanice

Natty

Advice to Creatives: “Maintain your routine, as much as you can, even something loose, to keep track of time daily, and keep your calendar visible. Take breaks from online, for a couple hours a day to just observe your immediate physical space where you live, wherever you are, just to stay present where you are. Also, watch or listen to the news occasionally, just to keep abreast with the current state of our country and the world on a whole and write down your thoughts or record them when things get a little overwhelming, and keep hydrated! Try to enjoy this little ‘break’, as I call it and focus your energy on the things you can control.” – Words of Shanice Natty.

 

Dynamic, eccentric and authentic are only a few words to describe this creative. Shanice Natty is a 19 year old writer, singer, song-writer and poet. NATTY prides herself in consistently improving and developing her craft through multiple projects, her most recent project “Natty’s Room”, a series that showcases Natty covering popular songs by a myriad of artistes weekly. She is also working on multiple designs dedicated to embracing femininity and feminine energy. Cool right? I was mind blow too. Covid 19 has affected many creatives as many events such as art walks and poetry festivals and just abilities to network with other creatives have been put to a stop. We had the privilege of interviewing Shanice Natty on how she has been coping with Covid 19 as a creative.

Even though the pandemic is an unfortunate situation for many, NATTY finds it to be “a blessing in disguise”. She was able to jump- start and release creative projects, as well as she has been able to find time for self- introspection and reflection. This has helped her to think deeply on what she wants her art to communicate and how she would be able to do this accurately and effectively through different mediums. During this time, it is hard to stay motivated or consistent as a creative. Natty finds that she is intrinsically motivated and as a result, find ways to take care of both her body and mind. She believes that by doing this she will be able to stay consistent and productive.

Quarantine has been a time for rest and development for many people. It has birthed many businesses, art works, musical pieces and other innovative ideas. It is no doubt that NATTY has brilliant ideas, one of which came alive during Quarantine. Her Instagram TV series, Natty’s room, is a peak into her musical side. Natty’s Room showcases Shanice Natty making musical covers of her favourite songs. The episodes are edited in such a way that not only showcases Natty’s melodic voice but her vibrant and beaming personality.

 

Honestly guys, you have no choice but to love every single episode. To stay abreast with everything that Natty is doing and more you can follow her on her socials: @natty_s.a.n on Instagram, Natty Twitter and NATTY Soundcloud.