“A drop of paint gets me well-off”
DO you know how many concrete pot plants are there on the island separating the (our) double-lane roads in Honiara city, Solomon Islands? What do you think about the different style of artwork that was done to them? Have you ever wondered about the people that made those paintings?
Meet Newton Llyod, a 35-year old man from Fouia village in North-East Malaita.
Once a high school leaver, Lloyd believes he is now a happy man who succeeded life through art of painting.
“A drop of paint/stain gets me well-off,” Lloyd said.
Leaving high school in 1996, Loyd was always determined that he still can make a leaving with the valuable knowledge he acquired and the skills he have.
That’s when he turned his hobby of art painting, thus, the realization of a dream.
“As a kid, I would get pieces of chalks and draw on anything,” he said.
“From then, my family and I started to discover that I have the potential in the art of drawing.”
“While in high school I continue to develop those skills and talent,” Lloyd said.
He remembered that during his childhood days in primary schools he would use color pencils and borrow colors from his classmates to draw pictures.
“With that drive and potential I have, I decided to join the Artist Association of Solomon Islands (AASI) few years back and that’s when I put my full force into painting.
“And at that time I started to sell my paintings and gained popularity,” he said.
Lloyd said that with his skills and painting talent he would produce a range of painting mostly with references to Solomon Islands diverse cultures.
“And for my products to be sold I have to do my own research before putting the ink together or do the painting.”
“This is because if I paint a picture or drawing that is not related to a particular culture then it would be worthless.”
“Due to the fact that Solomon Islands are a culturally diverse country we must produce what is related to the culture of the people.”
Lloyd’s father is a carver and often he would watch him when he did his work.
“That triggers me that I must pursue some artistic talent. My dad left me a legacy.”
Lloyd passion and drive to go into art painting has proven him great rewards as he snatched the World Youth Day art competition in 2002.
He also gained recognition from RAMSI as one of the artist amongst the top ten (10) that their piece of work has been assessed for the RAMSI logo.
Lloyd participated in many exhibitions to showcase his art work.
Meanwhile, he said that through his art work, he managed to make ends meet for him and his family.
In every circumstance there are difficulties and also possibilities.
“And with our work we to have difficulties and possibilities,” he said.
He said that lack of government support is a major setback to many aspiring artist.
“Art is the beauty/identity of a nation and if the government could pump much support towards this sector I believe our economy will make a jump.
Apart from painting, Lloyd also teaches art classes at the Woodford International School.
“I also have few houses in town which I put on rent. I got all these assets only from painting.”
“A drop of paint gets me well-off,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd is well-known through his art work and his painting can be seen almost everywhere in Honiara.
His work can be seen on the pot plants on the street of Honiara, overhead bridge at China town, King Solomon Hotel reception office, Central Market, water front club, Rock Haven Inn motel to mention a few.
“I believe through art work we can move the nation forward and that can be achieved through innovation and creativity.
“To other artists who are out there I urge you to come out of your comfort zone and put your hidden skills and talents to reality.
“All over the world, tourists are not looking for good homes but they are looking for good or beautiful art work,” he said.
By STEPHEN DI’ISANGO