Art is an expression of self and gives the artist the ability to showcase their talents. Usually, there is a backstory behind every artist’s masterpiece, and with the rise in the competition and different mediums, there is a need to stand out. Cee Jay Carpio has done just that.
“Art for me is thoughts expressed in a creative way and that’s done by billions of individuals daily. That can be in the form of music, visuals, fashion, etc. Everyday people get up and get dressed, make their bed, make breakfast and make a million more things. That within itself is art but only those who understand the little things will see the bigger picture. Creation is art, presentation is interpretation,” said Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Growing up in Waterford, Jamaica, and later in Sligoville, Cee Jay always had the support from his family, especially with his art. His parents had an inkling that he had a talent and passion for art; they have always been understanding and fostered his development into what he wanted to pursue. Given the opportunity to blossom as an artist, he also began his journey to self re-discovery through which he was able to pinpoint what inspired him and his art.
“My inspiration comes from life itself. The Jamaican culture has heavily influenced my artistry and even my art style, most importantly the boldness of our culture and people. Being a part of this culture, inspiration comes from any and everything, music, and nature for sure,” commented Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Cee Jay did art when he started elementary school up until his Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and coupled with his personality, he has been very connected with his creativity. He further developed his art by seeking opportunities to become self-taught; for the past four years, he has been working on mastering his brand and company. He found pressure left, right, and center throughout the journey to where he is now; however, he came to the realization that with each stage is a learning process and the pressure only increases with success.
“In the beginning, it was a bit more fun and a lot less pressuring and it’s funny that I said that because I remember when I just started the amount of pressure was like nothing I’ve experienced… So, as of right now, I’m just back in the lab plotting,” said Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
His art designs first and foremost are conceptualized in his head, then he puts his work on paper to create sometimes what the world has never seen before. He calls his art style Modern Pop Art, the definitive twenty-first-century evolution of Pop Art. This type of art requires the piece to encompass bright colours, black lines, outlines and cell shading and it helps that Cee Jay has known to add his uniqueness and flair to make it his own. His works exude countless tears, time and emotion which is shown in the intricate detail of each masterpiece.
“I don’t mind blending colors and doing effects like in Photoshop, but that’s not my style and I believe that anything you do you should make it your own, a true representation of your brand. That way it resonates with your audience and beyond,” said Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Before he honed his art, Cee Jay attributes his artistic skill to his father who he describes as “a creative genius way ahead of his time”.
“From my childhood, I’ve always had an interest in art. My earliest memory as a child involves my pops and wanting to learn how to draw. My talents, especially this one is coming directly from my father’s side. He wouldn’t teach me how to draw, every time I asked he would say that I must teach myself then he’ll show me. So what I would do is draw on the kitchen wall until he finally acknowledges me.” – Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Cee Jay enjoys being in tune with nature and as such he has become aware of black history, and by ‘being in the time of awakening’ he calls it, he was able to understand black history and the culture on a deeper level.
“That for sure was one of the most inspirational moments for me and my art. Black history month has brought awareness of how important black people were and still are to society and so far some of my art is a reflection of that. Now I don’t want to give the impression like I don’t tap into the international scene because I do, but the truth is the vibe here is like no other and that within itself is an inspiration,” said Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
He has also entered into the digital illustration arena with his art, which he has revealed stemmed from one of his hobbies – video gaming – which he states has aided in bringing his imagination to newer realms. The digital and modern pop art stage has given him many opportunities to educate his audience about the type of art as well as exhibit his creative side. He was invited to showcase at the Converge Summit event which theme of the event aligned perfectly with his art.
“When the initial idea was presented to me which was the augmented reality aspect, my mind went wild with ideas and from their came my pieces which I call “Interactive Art.” When I finally got feedback I knew that this was the next move to make,” said Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Since he decided to start pursuing art on a more serious note, the twenty-one-year-old has been getting a lot of followership from fellow artists and persons in love with his skill. He has gotten a lot of positive feedback, and he is able to gauge their initial reactions when they encounter his pieces. He reveals that their reactions are quite similar – their faces always light up – so he’s able to know that people do resonate with his work.
“My most memorable experience for sure is when my art piece was reposted on Buju Banton’s Instagram profile. I was truly grateful for that because that opened my business to a newer, international audience; that meant a lot.” – Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Ceej has utilized social media platforms – Twitter (@ceejarts) and Instagram (@ceejarts) – as well as his website to promote his works and interact with his audience daily. He has encountered difficulty posting and promoting his art in the past, but with the constant efforts to do so, coupled with the exposure at events and his fans sharing his work it has become easier.
The thought of collaborations with different people from the art spectrum has crossed his mind. He desires to collaborate with fellow artists, and photographers, but he would be very grateful to work with Dj Khaled.
“My reason for that is simply because I’ve realised that he’s a lover of art and he’s highly positive. I’ve seen photos of him repping at the Art Basel and I’ve seen the type of arts in his home on IG, so I know for sure that me and him knocking heads would only result in something legendary for not only the art scene but for the culture in entirety,” said Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
With all the changes and increases in his followership and development of his skill, he will never forget those who have been there since day one, especially his team. With all persons who have been on a journey, they often have pearls of wisdom to leave those who cross their paths. These are a few words of advice from Cee Jay.
- Although you feel lost sometimes, you should never give up on yourself even at the lowest times as there is a “new wave” on the horizon.
- You should always invest in feeding your mind with knowledge and keep updated in an ever-changing world and always try to adopt a positive mindset.
- Stay true to yourself, be humble and patient with yourself.
- Each and every one of us got things and people out there draining our energy. Distance and recognize. Positivity is the way and the light.
- Stay positive and never give up on your journey of life. It all starts in the mind, positive thoughts manifest positive things.
“I’ve come to learn that with each stage comes more expectations, and while that is nothing bad, it can be a bit of a drag knowing that you have to try and “beat” the last thing, but it all comes together when you’re most comfortable with yourself; so my message to all creatives out there is to be brave and continue to “Enter Your Imagination.” – Ceej in an exclusive interview with The Caribbean Current.
Visit Ceej Arts @ www.ceejarts.com or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Alexandra Daley