Bringing painting alive

Much like her bubbly and animated personality, the artwork of Shanika Grimes brightens and cheers up any room. Her murals and animated characters have a way of subconsciously uplifting one’s mood.

Whether it is paint parties for children, paint and sip for adults or doing a mural, Grimes who is the brains and business owner of Artist Made Barbados has a sunny disposition that is capable of enriching any artistic experience.

The 27-year-old offers adults and kids opportunities to not only learn the fantastic wonders of art, but to also appreciate the process.

“My way of breaking things down makes it easier for people to get a taste of what it is like to be an artist or what it is like to be a painter,” Grimes told Bajan Vibes.

“If you are a really good teacher, you can get people to do some amazing things that they never thought that they could do. A lot of people come to art parties intimidated that they are not going to be able to make what I put on the table but because of the way it is broken down . . . they end up with a really nice decorative piece for their homes and,  in the case of the kids, they just end up having fun,” she added.

The contemporary artist got her feet off the ground back in 2012. Fresh out of the Barbados Community College with a newborn baby in tow, she began setting out to make a name for herself with custom made accessories, paintings and interior décor.

She also went on to teach, offering classes to kids and adults but it was her lively and beautifully painted mural at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital that really roused public interest.

“When I painted the mural at the QEH, the nurses were hugging me and telling me “thank you” because the hallway was so dreary before and they appreciated it so I feed off of that energy where people are appreciative of the energy that art can bring to their world,” Grimes said.

Grimes’ style is distinctive with a growing range of animated characters and her knack of using vivid colours. “I have a keen eye for colour so my colours are usually balanced and they have a particular colour scheme. I work with a lot of blues, I really love relaxing colours and nice soft clean finishes. I like my work to be a clean finish and nice and soft,” she commented.

While her work focuses on interpreting other people’s ideas or recreating their most treasured memories, Grimes intertwines her own unique style with each project. “When I do this work, it’s not like the work belongs to anybody else, it is still my ideas that I have to generate,” she explained.

Her journey to becoming a commissioned artist was influenced by the birth of her son, Giovanni, and the increasing responsibilities that came with motherhood.

“I just wanted in my life the opportunity to paint forever so if commercial work gives me that opportunity that I never have to sit in an office and punch numbers …, I have no problem with doing commercial work,” she indicated.

Between work and being a mother to her seven-year-old son, Grimes scarcely has time to work on her personal artwork, but for right now, the former Queen’s College student is planning on developing a line of animated characters that could be used in cartoons or books.

“The sky is the limit. I’m just developing my angle, my characters and my designs,” she told Bajan Vibes.

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