Anime Kon 2010: Enter The Arena – Barbados’ Graphic Illustrators, BCC turns out fine crop – Corporate Sponsors and Advertisers reluctant… Why? (2nd in series and Conclusion)

The Barbados Community College annually produces a fine crop of artists of world-calibre as this Web magazine has attested over the years. Yet when some of these folk look to use their crafted skills and put it as their career then most Bajans tend to shy away unless it’s an ad agency who needs staff for their art department.

Illustration is courtesy the innovator - Tristan Roach

Illustration is courtesy the innovator - Tristan Roach

Why can’t Harris Paints or Bryden’s Art Supplies seek to sponsor a web-comic? If CMMB or Goddard’s Enterprises can assist the NCF’s Literary Arts, or Super Centre can support the Crop Over Read-In each year, then surely if a graphic illustrator wants to start their own comic book series or devise a cartoon there should be companies fighting each other to associate their branding with quality works.

Proud creator Tristan next to his Super Sculpy versions of his characters

Proud creator Tristan next to his Super Sculpy versions of his characters

From the recent Anime Kon Expo I can easily cite 4 examples each worthy of their own attention. Take Tristan Roach, who – when challenged by his teacher – devised superheroes based on Barbadian mythological characters {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO};-

The teacher posed if heroes are only Marvel or DC then what does Barbados have to offer? This got Tristan to really thinking about what is in Barbadian history worthy of dramatising in the form of a graphic novel.

Tristan says his series has a main villain called McHardin, obviously based on Mr Harding, and then the other seven initial characters are familiar if one knows Bajan culture {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO};-

There will be characters like Green Monkey and Sally Banton, who’s close to Mudda Sally apart from the title character who’s inspired by the Shaggy Bear. Tristan is also looking at making toys for children from this same adventure.

Tristan obviously has a whole chain of events lined up from book to cartoon with relevant merchandise, but he is funding mainly out of his own pocket at the moment since sponsors are not so quickly forthcoming.

Illustration courtesy the creator - Tristan Roach

Illustration courtesy the creator - Tristan Roach

Perhaps if Tristan was melodising the latest way for Bajans to gyrate on gluteals or if he could find a new variation of waving a kerchief then he’d be chasing away sponsors, or having a spoken word poetry declaring his ancestry then he would have so many companies assisting he would not know which way to turn.

Sample of the Fantasy with the mercenary, thanks to Ideas ExMachina

Sample of the Fantasy with the mercenary, thanks to Ideas Ex Machina

Barbadians can also devise their own fantasy, like Josh Clarke with Ideas Ex Machina who creates stark and startling landscapes with impossible weaponry where blades have the thickness of two cricket bats side by side and wielded by handles long as 18 inches yet no thicker than an HB 2 Ticonderoga pencil.

Another side of "Ideas ex Machina" - Joshua Clarke

Another side of "Ideas ex Machina" - Joshua Clarke

The illustrations came first when he was given an assignment at BCC, but once the drawings were given flesh, suddenly the purpose became clear {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO};-

The drawings depict a mercenary whose task it was to steal eggs from a dragon, however once back in his city, he is robbed and must pursue the thieves to regain his stature.

Josh is hoping by placing the adventure on the world wide web that sponsorship will emerge from this project {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO};-

Josh is not averse to using Anime Kon’s website as a means of assisting his career in Commercial Illustration, but he is in the process of securing his own domain for the mercenary.

Romal next to some sculpted versions of his cartoon character

Romal next to some sculpted versions of his cartoon character

Humour is an avenue which Romal Jones is seeking to explore for his critters based on his crocodile fetish. Tiles and plaques are a few of the ways he’s expressing his fascination with these usually ferocious reptiles {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO};-

By keeping the main character of Caman as an ‘everyman‘ Romal sees everyone wishing o side with the li’l beastie, whereas if the croc was human and bore a resemblance to someone popular, then the reaction may have been completely different.

Popular actor Patrick Foster was ready to snap up Ink Monkey's graphic novels, here he is chatting with Kiel Hinds (Immediate Left)

Popular actor Patrick Foster was ready to snap up Ink Monkey's graphic novels, here he is chatting with Kiel Hinds (Immediate Left)

Kiel Hinds has actually devised a demo book called Tainted Seeds, he is not the only artist involved {CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK FOR AUDIO};-

Kiel mentions Ink Monkey Studios, whose website is up and running and he also explains the reasoning behind the two sample comics which fascinated many at Anime Kon Expo 2010.

All of these Bajan illustrators have three essential components in common – they’re talented and hard-working plus sponsorship is like an eclipse of the sun or moon, it happens but few and far between. Hopefully with the continuation of Anime Kon Expo, challenges like these would be greatly reduced?

5 Responses

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  1. Thanks for my great read, even if it did take quite a long time to finish! (English is not my first language) Can I ask where the artists show? Thanks!

  2. Click on links, for either e-mail addresses or websites – for instance, Kiel Hinds is inkmonkeystudios.com

  3. Very interesting post on pushing art. Your site is quickly starting to be certainly one of my top faves.

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