Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Creative by Design - Jamaica-born New Yorker Rashida Curry-Silvera uses resin to make works of art

Published:Friday | December 11, 2020 | 12:14 AMKrysta Anderson/Gleaner Writer
A portrait created for dancehall artiste  Kranium is Rashida Curry-Silvera’s second most memorable piece.
A portrait created for dancehall artiste Kranium is Rashida Curry-Silvera’s second most memorable piece.
Resin art complements any space.
Resin art complements any space.
Artist Rashida Curry-Silvera uses resin to make works of art.
Artist Rashida Curry-Silvera uses resin to make works of art.
The 24-year-old enjoys experimenting with new techniques.
The 24-year-old enjoys experimenting with new techniques.
Rashida Curry-Silvera is grateful to her mother for her creative start.
Rashida Curry-Silvera is grateful to her mother for her creative start.
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For as long as she can remember, Rashida Curry-Silvera has been a lover of the arts, having developed an early interest in the activity by drawing sketches. Her passion was further nurtured by the techniques she learned and the motivation she received while attending the St Andrew High School for Girls.

“I was really inspired whenever an old girl of the school would come back and give speeches about their stories, especially ones who had big careers overseas. It also shaped the same discipline and work ethic that I apply in my life today. This is where my love for success began and my drive to finish something once I started it. A lot of this inspiration really comes from my then art teacher, Ms Thompson, who is now a lifetime friend,” Curry-Silvera told Living.

During the summer, Curry-Silvera would enrol in art programmes at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts. It was then, while surrounded by career artists and artisans, that she started to think of art as a possible career path. When she migrated to the United States, the huge art market there — spanning from online to in -person galleries — gave her all the push she needed to make art her profession. The 24-year-old, who currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, now specialises in resin art.

Thriving on energy and natural inspiration, she uses crystals, fire glass, glitter, gemstones, and anything she can get her hands on to recreate large Geode-inspired art pieces. “I work based on my energy because what I do involves so much natural energy. What I emit will affect the flow of my work. So the energy has to be pure and very intentional. I also work on inspiration. I get reinspired every time I purchase new crystals. The colours, shapes, and details get me up and going,” she explained.

She credits her four years in this profession to the 4 x 4 green Malachite-inspired Geode Diptych that she created for her living room as the piece that kickstarted her resin art career. Already down in her history book as the largest artwork she has ever done, it is the most well -received post on Instagram. “My second most memorable piece is a 2 x 4 resin portrait that I created for Kranium. It was inspired by one of his photos: a yellow and black side -profile portrait of his. That was my first time incorporating pictures into my craft, so that pivoted my audience and brought me new customers from all over. It expanded the Caribbean customer base and brought me a lot of African followers via social media,” she shared.

SATURATED INDUSTRY

With all its glamour and creative satisfaction, resin art, she says, is fast becoming a saturated industry. Many artists are using the same materials, and as such, producing similar pieces. But Curry-Silvera says she is committed to experimenting with new techniques. That way, her work can remain fresh for clients and fans while catching the eyes of aspiring artists. “Art is my way of projecting a positive light into the world from within and hoping it amplifies that creative trait that is within all of us. Monetising it is just my way of keeping on the journey so I can inspire others,” she said.

The creative, who paints from 10 p.m. into the wee hours of the morning just to help her maintain focus on the last leg of pouring is grateful to her mother, who she says always supported her dreams. A nail technician, Curry-Silveran says her mother would set up shop in the streets of downtown Kingston while she was growing up. She taught her daughter how to be street smart and work towards her dreams. “My mother had supported me from the very beginning. - from when I used to do sketches of clothing designs to wanting to go to an art school in Europe. She always believed in the dream, and I think a big part of that stemmed from her being creative as well, so we connected on an artistic level. That really boosted my confidence in showcasing my talent,” she said.

Next on that motivation train are her husband and daughter. She juggles work and family life by being organised and sticking to a schedule. Motherhood has granted her more patience and given her a better sense of direction with her life goals. Family life has shown her that balance is necessary, and trying to play the role of a superhuman never ends well. “I’ve learnt to accept help where needed and not be afraid to ask for it.” Art functions as her ‘me time’, providing therapy, self-care and entertainment all wrapped up in one.

The entrepreneur plans on expanding her business and is currently building her own premium art-supply line. “I’ve already launched my dry pigment powders, and I will be adding in everything that one needs to complete a resin piece in the near future,” she shared.

Her advice to aspiring artists and entrepreneurs who are afraid to take that creative or professional leap is to just start. “You will perfect everything as you go and grow. Your business will forever be evolving, so trying to make things set in stone or perfect right away will only delay your journey,” the artist said.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com