Marlon Richards, who innovatively goes by the name, Javiidesignz is a self-trained graphic artist from Jamaica who has spent several years honing and nurturing his graphic capabilities without the benefit of an accredited institution. The self-employed designer who has dreams of establishing a chain of graphic design service companies to streamline employment to a pool of skilled and eager designers, calls on the Jamaican government to provide support for a graphic design industry he labels a lifesaver. “It’s not a secret that Jamaica has a lack of job opportunities. It’s also not a secret that Jamaica is separated by class. If you are not able to afford entry to the island’s top schools, whether through lack of financial ability or educational merit, you are left in the wilderness to fend for yourself. Learning how to do graphic design saved my life.” Marlon told Fox Interviewer.
A lack of opportunities in many cases leads to creativity. As seen in Jamaica, especially, over the recent years, there has been an eruption of talented individuals who have blossomed in many different areas of the entertainment industry, manifesting and carving out successful careers out of the aches of unemployment, despair and sometimes desperation. Many of the artists, social media influencers and comedians breaking through to notoriety today in Jamaica, came to fruition as a means of necessity and survival as the choices for traditional, so-called stable career paths are naturally limited due to economical, educational and developmental factors. The need to earn an income has led to an explosion of people who have become self-employed, and this is no strange anomaly in the graphic design industry.
As the opportunities for traditional jobs fade by the day, a fleet of self-trained skilled graphic designers arise with the noble intent of generating incomes for themselves while escaping the financial and economic trap of an injured economy. The gift of social media created an avenue for graphic designers in Jamaica to access a wider range of earning opportunities largely due to digital advertising. As companies, artists, promoters, social media influencers and entrepreneurs invest in advertising to apprehend consumers’ dollars and attention, the demand for skilled graphic designers increases, consequently increasing revenue and future work opportunities.
Javiidesignz believes that the government of Jamaica can play an important role in strengthening the prosperity and opportunities for graphic designers such as himself. It is his belief that through organized, intelligent and strategic infrastructural support, the graphic design industry in Jamaica could be a fruitful sector for the island’s future economic aspirations.
“I would use myself as an example. I have nurtured a skill that has granted me income that would not have been likely possible through alternate means. It allowed me the opportunity to provide for my family and not become a perpetrator of a crime to earn a living. It’s not the best, though, it could be so much better with the government’s help. If they could build designated schools, training facilities and implement special graphic design curriculums, it would benefit the youths of Jamaica massively. They could also invest and develop online gig platforms like they have in America, where graphic designers have a suitable way to connect to potential customers seeking graphic design services. These are just some of the things I can think of at the moment, but even if these few fundamentals could be achieved, I can only imagine how massive it would be. We as graphic designers would win; the island would win, and the government would win. We all win.” Marlon told Fox Interviewer.