By Timoth Inifiri Jr.
For local young artist Jackson Diosi, his interest in art came at a relatively young age. From drawing stick figures with his pencils and crayons to water colour before going on to huge paintings and digital art, something which he now masters. Nowadays, the lad from the northern part of Malaita is mostly passionate about climate change and other major issues facing the country which can be seen through most of his art work as a young artist he is trying to share and battle these issues the best possible way he can in his talent as an artist.
However, his path to becoming one of the most successful young artists in the country was not an easy ride, it took him a lot of sacrifice, courage, adjusting to new surroundings and for sure his God given talent.
The young artist grew up in a beautiful family of five children and with their father, a church Pastor. It means that there would be a lot of moving to different places but somehow Jackson acknowledges that it was definitely a benefit.
“We moved to Papua New Guinea (PNG) when I was still at a very young age and I was able to get a few art classes, by growing up and drawing arts of different countries has helped me a lot and when switching back to the Solomons, I had to adjust. It was tough but at the same time it helped me a lot”, he said.
At only the age of six, Jackson miraculously survived one of the most life changing experiences any child shouldn’t have to face, an incident that was a major turning point in his life, an incident that nearly took his life.
“When I was 6-years-old an incident occurred where I was hit by a vehicle at Vura (East Honiara) on independence day and it was a life and death situation where I nearly lost my life and from that moment onwards I would think back to those unforgettable days and having a second chance to live has really motivated me to chase my dreams and to think hard about what I do and be passionate about it”, he said.
Going through high school, young Jackson was already destined for greatness in the field of art. While in the early stages of high school, Jackson was already recognised by many for his exceptional talent. Somehow as he was entering the senior part of high school, life now became difficult the former Kukudu and Betikama Adventist College student having to cope with school assignments and preparing for exams at the same time facing a lot pressure from his part time art work.
“I spent a lot of time thinking to myself that if I want to make life easy I must focus only on one thing, so I had to decide and it meant whether I withdraw from school or just to leave my art dreams behind”
“I finally decided to stop schooling after doing my form 5 (Year 11), so I told my parents and then continued doing art school overseas which has helped me a lot and made me who I am today”, he exclusively told SBM.
Fresh from his return from art school Jackson then began to harness his talents and started working with and at the same time learn more from several senior artists in the country with the likes of Brian Feni among the list of his mentors.
“Throughout my career I have so many mentors, but I would say that my dad has always been one of my main mentors ever since I was little, he is also an artist so he has given me the best help, he also pushed me a lot by giving me few tips and tricks and helping me peruse my dreams”.
With the country rich in unique diverse cultures and traditions, Jackson says that as an artist also representing his country in a few art festivals in the region, it has greatly helped him become more creative and he is always proud to show to the world each of these different cultures within the country through art.
“The exposure of our arts, I’ll say it’s pretty hard, but for those of us with stalls at the National Art Gallery we were able to sell our paintings to tourists and I think that is the only way”, he said.
Not only does he sell his paintings to tourists, the super gifted artist now is also doing commission work overseas in which he sells his work to foreign buyers but apart from himself, he stated that the exposure and the development of art is something we are lacking.
“The only way most of our local talented artists get exposure is by attending regional festivals and exhibits”, he added.
Asked on what’s life like for a young artist like himself pursing art in the country, he responded that it’s quite hard and at the same time fun.
“Being young you have to move around a lot, engaged to social media where it will open up your mind even further, that’s the fun part of it but as a young artist when you open up to new art styles and everything then you get criticisms”, he said.
Jackson also mentioned that he has also faced and have to work with a lot of criticisms but he believes that opportunities that comes with being a new artist is that one is free to do whatever he wants.
Now in his mid 20s local master of oil paint in his love for art says that his main aim now is to be a successful freelance artist.
“I don’t want to work, I just want to be a successful artist in the future and own a gallery maybe, but just to be a successful freelance artist is what I want”, he said ambitiously.
By Timoth Inifiri Jr.