Two Sides of the Same Coin: An Interview with Visual Artist Demar Brown

Twenty-one year old visual artist Demar ‘Timmy’ Brown may call Portmore home, but the talented young man hails from the parish of St. Ann, where his earliest experiences helped to foster the sense of imagination that runs wild in his final year piece at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

Brown describes his beginnings as a visual artist with a kind of nostalgia – “I would see something and draw it from memory,” he recollects. “I’d see a car drive by and try to draw it after it was gone.”

Simple beginnings, but they nevertheless led him on the path to attaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Visual Arts from the venerable institution. When explaining the inspiration for his final year piece, ‘Self Doubt: The Fight Within’, Brown notes that it was somewhat autobiographical. He kept doubting himself and his abilities. These themes of doubt and faithlessness coalesced into images of thoughts, brains and brain matter preventing an artist from realizing his potential.

Brown describes flashes of insight – hands pushing up, people climbing, hands tampering with ropes. “I didn’t use all the flashes, though” he adds. He deliberately veered away from real-life situations saying, “I wanted to keep it open, so that everyone could relate on an emotional level.”

The ambiguity played in his favour. He mentioned that on opening night Christians found a religious viewpoint from which to consider the work.  “My spirituality played a big part,” Brown admits.

Ironically, while working on a piece that envelops the idea of self-doubt, Brown found reserves of faith. “It takes faith to see it materialize,” he says. Faith amidst creative blocks and harsh criticism is a difficult thing to hold on, to but Brown is nothing short of tenacious. “Faith is a key and crucial thing to have.”

He admits to getting less than stellar grades during the development of the project, but he pushed on to have fans declare on the night of the exhibit that they were “overwhelmed by [his] work”.

For a 21 year old, the illustrator and graphic designer is remarkably self-possessed, emanating a sense of confidence that will certainly see him riding waves of success. Clearly, faith and self-doubt are merely two sides of the coin that is Demar Brown.

In addition to graphic design and illustration, Brown also works on commissioned portraits. (Leave a comment for further details).

All pictures courtesy of