Vincentian artist Calvert Jones continues to push the boundaries and his latest move has seen him sign with Elizabeth Sloane, a business development and deal origination firm with operations in the Caribbean and West Africa.
Jones is known locally, regionally and internationally through his brand of art, “Tropical Realism”.
He is a self-taught visual artist and entrepreneur who, in November 2016, gifted Prince Harry with a portrait of the prince and most recently last week, Jamaican superstar Andrae “Popcaan” Sutherland received a piece from Jones, depicting the dancehall artiste and his mother, who he fondly refers to as “Miss Rhona”.
Jones said the deal he signed with Elizabeth Sloane that will assist him with business development services specifically as it relates to intellectual property (IP) syndication.
He said the company will review contracts and help with agreements with Managing Director at Elizabeth Sloane Melanie Wynter being one of the point persons.
Jones said the company has worked with names like UNESCO, British Council and Mastercard and while it is a boutique firm, Elizabeth Sloane is an extremely professional organisation with a global reputation.
“They know all about the trends that are happening now with the block chain globally and they are in the creative space so it is a better fit for me than the traditional development firms,” Jones said.
He said he first learnt of Elizabeth Sloane when he was contacted by Wynter to purchase a print “of my most prized painting” which is dubbed “The Last Colonial Meal”.
“…I had told her it was not available for sale … and after I did the research on the company, I found out they worked in a lot of different fields, some of which I wanted help in,” Jones said.
He said he later contacted Wynter and explained why he was not selling the painting but told her he wanted to get involved in things like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and a documentary series around his work.
“That s when the conversation started and it progressed into having a deal on the table where they said look, we can help you through this process because this is the business side of stuff that we could do and we would help chart the way,” Jones said.
He said that as a Vincentian artist, it is a good feeling to have a company in a place like Jamaica that is interested in working along with him as these companies only work with you based on certain criteria.
“Jamaica is a really big place and last year, the main two TV stations had contacted me to do interviews and it is just evidence that people looking at us,” Jones said, adding that it is not just his artwork that is making waves outside the multi-island state that is SVG, but work from musicians and artisans as well.
He said he is hoping to do a documentary series based on one of his paintings and there is a lot involved in a process of this nature, including legal frameworks and agreements and Elizabeth Sloane is going to help with that as it is “hard to pull together”.
“I am also hoping to do stuff that will help the environment and things that will address social issues,” Jones stressed, adding that to be positioned with Elizabeth Sloane, more doors will be opened while he would not be coming across as just another “hustler”.
He is encouraging other local creatives to work on developing their craft so that they can move into regional and international spaces.
Meanwhile, Wynter said Jones has engaged Elizabeth Sloane, to support the commercialisation of his intellectual property, adding that Jones has a very high-quality portfolio.
“The Elizabeth Sloane team will work closely with Calvert Jones to unlock the commercial value of his work,” Wynter said while adding that the company’s engagement with Jones will aim to push his work into markets in North America, Africa and the Caribbean,” Wynter said.
About the artist
Jones is an entrepreneur and self-taught visual artist. His professional career spans photography, videography, graphic design, interior design, and fine art. He also serves as a Director of Invest SVG.
He is the son of Sandra and Sidney Jones and grew up in the rural village of Cedars, St. Vincent. This meant a 40-minute daily commute to capital Kingstown for school. These trips cemented in his mind the imagery necessary to stimulate his creative potential. He sold his first piece of artwork at the age of 12.
For a few years, Jones navigated traditional careers but threw in the towel in May 2010. It was a bold risky move leaving his last full-time, lucrative position as the Regional Operations Manager for telecoms company, Karib Cable, having to change island residences with solid, secure compensation.
After giving up his job, he became immediately involved in branding. This expanded his understanding of colour psychology, and the way colours affect and convey moods. This gave birth to Tropical Realism. This art style can be described as a synergy of Impressionism, Realism, Cubism and Pop Art and is nostalgically traditional Caribbean, consisting of captivating landscapes, cultural activities, fauna, and flora. This art he describes as “Nostalgically Caribbean” as it embodies the essence of “our tropical paradise, the vibe, passion, colours and lifestyle we enjoy”.
Calvert is passionate about charitable, environmental, health, food security and social justice issues. He hopes to use his art and canvas to influence society culturally, educationally and bring together aspects of hospitality, lifestyle, food and drink and conservation. He hopes to show other creatives how the industry can really make a difference.
His optimism and appreciation for all life has to offer is his fuel.