“Art is beyond creative expression,” Byles says, sitting in his studio, surrounded by neatly laid stacks of artwork, which he meticulously converted from his original paintings to prints, coasters, trays, memorabilia and souvenirs.
“It is a viable business proposition with tremendous potential to earn revenue both for the artists and contribute to the economy,” he said.
Byles, a doyen in marketing and communications, started his artistic journey when he was at high school, from creating murals at Jamaica College and then St George’s College, gaining accolades.
“Edna Manley used to encourage me to paint. She always used to say that I had potential,” he said.
According to Byles, who is doyen of marketing and communications in the Caribbean, the broad-brush generalization of an artist needs to be changed. The traditional notion of painting with the hope of selling each picture as fast as possible and the traditional focus of building a collection of objects to exhibit in the halls of high rise are passé.
The maturity of art has to be recognized at boardroom levels – it impacts all areas of communication, commerce, packaging, architecture, decorating, and entertainment.