‘A voice for disability’
MAY PEN, Clarendon: OR JOEL Chambers, life is art and his art mirrors life. The 36-year-old Central Village native portrays himself as a holistic artist who does not believe in only painting special objects.
“I paint any and everything. I do landscape, waterscape, still life and abstract paintings. I’m just a naturally intuitive artist,” he said.
Although Chambers did not get much out of school, it did help him to develop his artistic talent, having learnt art on a level he could not have done on his own. “After I left all-age school, I couldn’t further my education because I couldn’t afford it, so when I started getting children and knowing I have to take care of them, I started selling belts in the streets. Then one day the police took them away, and not having any money, I decided to try painting, and that’s how I actually started creating such beautiful artwork,” he told Rural Xpress, adding that his ultimate aim is to go to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
“I always had this mindset that if I don’t go to Edna Manley, I’m not an artist. I always thought I was just a painter, but an encounter with another artist who did a different type of artwork from mine helped to change that mindset,” said Chambers.
So talented is he that the moment he sat down to do his very first painting, a lady saw the unfinished work and ordered it immediately.
“After me sell her the painting, it was a joy fi see her a walk down the road with it, looking at it and marvelling at my work, so that’s when this thing trigger off in my head like the Big Bang Theory,” he recalled.
With support streaming in, Chambers took the initiative and registered his business now known as Joel Chambers Family Enterprise, and became a sole trader two years ago.
The multitalented and overly enthusiastic Chambers also has a passion for music. “I always wanted to do music, but I realised it was
Freally difficult to break into that industry, so I decided to work with the talent that I can control and manage on my own,” he said. Chambers said not having any qualification at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate level did not stop him from learning all he could and so he developed a habit of reading, which he did constantly with his dictionary by his side.
THE WIDER WORLD
“I got a read off a book called Marcus Garvey Philosophy (The Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey) and that boosted my knowledge base and further fuelled my interest in reading. I read and understood that education is good and is available in and out of the classroom, so the more I read Marcus Garvey’s writings, the more I valued myself and became more in tune with what’s happening around me and what a gwaan in the wider world,” he explained.
“My inspiration has no limitation, it just flows with the cosmos. I don’t have to be in the mood or have to plan to paint. My painting is like a way of life,” he boasted, noting that on average, some paintings take hours, depending on the type, size and the intricate details.
“I’m the biggest fan of my paintings; I’m attached to every piece I create.” Chambers said what sets him apart from all the other artists is the person beyond the painting. “My paintings are very unique; I’m a philosopher, a genius, a teacher and just a naturally creative person, and all that comes out in the paintings.”
“I didn’t just happen overnight. I took time to develop and I had the willpower and mindset that caused me to reach this far.”
Chambers has since recorded five songs and is hoping the positive lyrics will earn him some amount of airplay.
His paintings are being sold by Things Jamaica and he now aims to have his artwork displayed in the National Gallery.
Persons wanting to order paintings can contact Joel Chambers at 367-8141. Foster’s business plan for Ventura Tech. MANDEVILLE, Manchester: SOME MAY remember Roshane Foster from a previous Gleaner article as the young man who, though born with cerebral palsy, was setting trends and making strides: becoming the first Rotaract member with special needs, successfully completing a level II course in business administration at HEART Trust/NTA and later enrolling at the Northern Caribbean University while working there through the National Youth Service Programme.
Today, 24-year-old Foster is a successful graduate of Northern Caribbean University who wants to start a business, having completed a two-year certificate course in information technology.
“Now I want to start my own business. I want a computer shop that will offer computers and computer accessories for sale, printing services and repairs, and it will be called ‘Ventura Tech’... I did my internship at Smartbox and this has given me a lot more experience to move ahead,” Foster told Rural Xpress.
He has already prepared a detailed business plan and has started offering design services to select clients.
“I’ve always told my teachers that I don’t want to work for anybody, I want to run my business. I didn’t know I would end up in this field, but I did, and my friends now say this is the right field for me,” Foster told Rural Xpress.
As a result of his condition, Foster was unable to hold a pencil while attending his special needs school and was introduced to a typewriter. He said he later got around to using the computer and has not left it since.
“Technology is evolving every day and you have to move with it .... If one day passes and I’m not on it, my day doesn’t feel right. It is even easier with a new mouse I received from someone who saw my first article,” Foster said.
This young man has his hopes set on opening a shop in Ventura Tech logo. Foster works on a design in what he deems his home office.
Mandeville, then later branching out to other parishes.
“To have one shop would be a start, but eventually, when I branch out to other parishes, then I would have completed my purpose,” he noted.
Foster has already sought to find his niche, offering special services to his clients.
“Right now I do design, especially calendars, and one takes me around 30 minutes. I don’t offer printing, but hopefully by next year I can start to do my own printing, but I need some help with starting up officially. I need equipment and all of that,” he said.
Foster has been a source of inspiration to many he has made presentations to, studied with and simply been around.
“I live by three words: motivation, determination and drive. These are what help me to be where I am today and will teach me for where I want to go ... from being on my knees and not being able to do anything, to
walking and being independent. I tell people that if I were to tell them my story it would take two days or more,” Foster told Rural Xpress.
That’s why Foster says in addition to his business idea, he he will be completing an autobiography as soon as possible and launching a foundation.
“I have a strong support and I know when I start the business I will continue to get the support. My mother, Gennie Facey, has never left me and I always tell people she is more than mother to me. Hadn’t it been for her, I don’t know how I could enter university or start my book and be looking to start my foundation: ‘A voice for disability’.”
Foster says above all, he wants persons who are challenged to know they can do anything they put their minds to.
He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (876) 276-2910, facebook page: ‘A voice for disability’.
Joel Chambers displays his artwork.