Anthony Minott, Arts & Education Writer
Omar Taylor, a self-taught artist, is hoping that one day he will burst into the big time.
Born in St Elizabeth, Omar moved to Waterford, Portmore, St Catherine at age two. He discovered that he had an artistic gift at age six. "I was in the second grade at Waterford Primary School, and my teacher at the time, Mrs Donaldson, asked the class to draw a coco plant, which I did, and to the teacher's surprise, it was too good to be true for a six-year-old to draw and (claimed that) it was printed."
The teacher, however, realised the drawing was bigger than what was in the book. "She said it was amazing and that I have a gift, and that's where it all began," Omar said.
After leaving Waterford Primary, he attended Waterford Secondary, where he met art teachers, Ms Allen and Ms Sterling. Both were amazed at his talent.
After leaving secondary school with a distinction in art and craft, he enrolled at the Portmore Community College, where he did a course in business. He had to find ways of earning a living, so he started painted signs and banners.
"People always tried to persuade me to paint for a gallery," he pointed out. "So I started exploring other forms of art like those I see in the galleries and I caught on very quickly.
However, I came across tattooing and fell in love with it, and took a break from painting for a while.
Tattoos - an art form
He stressed that putting tattoos on people's skin is an art form, which he loves and the appreciation from his clients keeps him motivated.
He continued, "On the other hand, painting is the other side, which only a few people know, and for this reason, I take this opportunity to show the other side of Omar."
Taylor's inspiration comes from people such as Martin Luther King Jr and the late Jamaican reggae icon, Robert 'Bob' Nesta Marley. He is also inspired by people and circumstances in his life. He said that on a trip abroad some years ago, he stumbled on some paintings by Michelangelo and this further pushed his creative mind to higher heights.
"One day, I hope to have my own gallery. For now, I use social media to get my work out into the public domain," he said.
Four of his special pieces include 'Great Minds', 'Brilliant Birds', 'Mother and Child' and 'Pattoo'. 'Brilliant Birds', in his mind, stands out because of its colours, while Pattoo was an experience that came out "good".
He admires the artwork of local artists, Webster Campbell from Tavern, and Barrington Watson.
Taylor is hard at work with his art as he awaits the masterpiece that will give him the fame he desires.