An artist can show things that other people are terrified to express. Being a creative soul, they can bring emotions on a blank canvas and showcase the magic happening around the world. Every week, PrintShop by Designhill presents a series of sharing the artistic journeys of various global artists. This week, ‘Being An Artist’ presents the amazing and fulfilling journey of an artist who has 34 years of experience in spray painting and airbrushing. Raise your hands for a full-time artist from the islands of Barbados, Fred Odle.
Fred started his journey at a very young age by following the footsteps of his uncle. Whatever his uncle tried to do in his art career, Fred imitated the process passionately. Even when his uncle decided to quit and take a leap in his career, Fred made sure to continue his legacy and make a name as well as money out of it. While enhancing his skills, Fred started collaborating with small to large brands, selling his artworks to local tourists and registered himself on online money making sites to showcase his talent and get appreciated.
Currently, he’s one of the brilliant artists in our online marketplace, PrintShop. It’s a print-on-demand marketplace where anyone can discover & buy 50+ unique products, gifts & artwork created by 150+ artists from more than 180 countries around the world. It’s an online marketplace where 100+ new artworks are uploaded every minute to provide the new shopping vibes for customers.
Printshop decided to get in touch with Fred to know more about his journey, he said:
“Currently, I’m a full-time artist living on the island of Barbados. At my workshop, I make a variety of artwork including paintings, masks, bags, surface design and photography. Due to the COVID 19 situation, I’ve started designing a lightweight but heavy-duty mask / respirator to provide a funky look to our daily routine. As someone with 34yrs experience in spray painting and airbrushing, I have a drawer full of respirators / masks and no respiratory problems. So, this was easy to project but hard to execute as each component had to be tweaked and re-tweaked constantly. On the island pre-COVID times, I used to sell my creations (paintings) to visitors as tourism is the main foreign attraction here. But, with the help of the internet, I am still able to get more work via the online platforms available as well as supplying the masks locally. Looking into my young days, I’ve always been creative as I have an uncle (5yrs older) who was an artist. I imitated whatever he was doing. He decided to quit but I just continued as I knew that this is what I wanted to do. Making creative stuff was one of the things that made me happy and I got paid, plus I ended up drawing on the files at all the other non-artistic jobs I held before ‘jumping ship’. I just followed my heart and now it’s helping to follow the happiness and of course, money.”
PrintShop: What’s your process of creating a piece of artwork and what tools and techniques do you use?
Fred: I work as a fashion designer. By that I mean, I do sketches based on ideas I have but don’t get to work right away on them as there is other stuff being focus on. So, I file them away and at some point, I bring them out and get cracking.
Being that a lot of my clients are “Tourists’, I do multiple styles at once, so who does like style “x” might like style “Y”, plus this keeps my mind ‘fresh’, I normally paint with acrylics and use airbrushes, sponges, paintbrushes and markers.
PrintShop: How do you find inspiration and stay creative?
Fred: “Ideas are fleeting,” I read that quote a few years back and it is indeed true. However, I found a formula that works for me in generating ideas. The main thing after they arrive is to jot them down in a book of some sort.
I have always collected magazines (all types) as sometimes the pics act as some sort of catalyst, next is a heavy supply of music (my other obsession). I play a few electronic instruments and this keeps me in a creative zone, the other thing I do constantly is “play”.
It’s been said we are at our most creative when playing, for instance, as children, so I still play with yo-yos, juggle, and make music which to me is playing. I guess all these kinds of stuff are just me to fertilizing my mind.
PrintShop: Did you face any challenges in your artistic journey? If yes, How did you overcome it?
Fred: Well, for some reason or another people always have doubts with regard succeeding in a creative career. They still believe in the ‘Starving Artist’ myth but I’ve always shaken my head and said, “Don’t we make everything”.
So, this never added up, in my time as a full-time creative, I’ve done graphic design as well as signage. Still, I do for a select few, so I’ve always morphed into that creative type to get the job, not just paint on canvas.
PrintShop: What is the best advice you’ve gotten as an artist or the most important thing you’ve learned?
Fred: One of the most important things I’ve learned to keep adding new skills and be flexible.
Check out his latest work on PrintShop.