Tribune Features Reporter
PUTTING his talents to the betterment of the youth in the country, caricature artist Renbert Mortimer II, recently became involved in several activities to further art in schools and the community.
Along with his Mastermind Group members, the artist visited schools in Nassau to assist students in developing their art skills. Renbert said they all hope to one day implement the initiative on a larger scale.
“Reflecting on my past school days, it seemed that there was a lack of support and exposure for different art mediums and expressions. Various areas such as comic books, cartooning, caricatures, digital art and sketching were not included in the school curriculum,” said Renbert.
During his BGCSE course work while in high school some years ago, Renbert said he did a cartoon illustration and it astounded him that the same ideas and drawings he used back then are able to bring him fortune in his business today.
“With this in mind, I thought to take time out to encourage young artists to believe in themselves and develop their craft. I know that if I had a support network of different types of artists who encouraged me I would have been more devoted and skilled at drawing caricatures and digital paintings. Therefore, I believe that artists must give back to schools and communities by teaching, encouraging and supporting the future generation of potential artists to be excellent and even better than us current artists,” said Renbert.
Working with artists from the Mastermind Group, as well as the 3rd World Comics Group, Renbert said they recently volunteered and delivered three presentations to A F Adderley School. This will be followed by 16 weeks of presentations that will teach and inspire the students to use their creative skills to inspire others.
These presentations will introduce the students to digital art, digital painting, comic panels, scripts, character design and creative writing, he said.
“Ms McKenzie, the guidance counsellor at A F Adderley was the first counsellor to assist our group with hosting a comic design competition where we challenged the children to complete their comic character design to compete for numerous prizes, including cash and movie tickets as incentives. It is the hope that this program, known as The Village, will leave a team of students to develop a comic scripts and someday school videos; to encourage student spirit on campus and use the sessions to create videos and comics for creative leadership and other group skills to assist the students in class,” said Renbert.
Renbert said he is also teaming up with Bahamian celebrity artist Jamaal Rolle in a project called “Mastering The Pen.”
“Jamaal Rolle and Stefan Davis at Air Brush Junkies are among some of the artists I respect the most for developing their brand and product because what they do is not among the traditional Bahamian jobs. Jamaal has been touching over three thousand visitors and giving them a piece of the Bahamian culture through his art for years. He became my mentor and gave me advice on ways to market and execute my caricatures and graphic arts while continuing to be a responsible and down to earth teacher as I continue to grow. This session, which will be recorded by Mark Cartwright and the FAMFEST family will be the first of many recordings we hope to broadcast in the future. We are teaming up because we realise every day that it is better to give back and it is okay for someone to surpass you. There is enough business for everyone,” said Renbert.
He said they will be speaking to capture the young artists by motivating them to never give up. These sessions are scheduled to take place on January 22.
“This will be the first of five sessions leading up to our Young Active Male Artist (YAMA) Conference that will include a two hour inspirational session which involves two stories about the struggles to gain public recognition by Jamaal and the struggles to rise up after unfortunate circumstances by myself,” said Renbert.
Both stories, although different, he said, share important life lessons such as being persistent in achieving your goals, having the perseverance to reap your harvest and the focus to keep reaping the blessings that God has for you.
“The rule of thumb for success has changed and it is now that Bahamian youths must believe that they are good enough to be great. After hearing these stories, we are sure that young students will know the Five Steps to Greatness in their own personal lives,” said Renbert.