Internationally renowned artist Bradley Theodore Harvey is thriving creatively and sharing words of encouragement to other creatives looking to occupy the same space.
Harvey, who hails from South Caicos, revealed that since the pandemic, his art sale increased by a whopping 200%. He said that this was likely a result of people having to stay indoors this past year and realising they haven’t put as much effort into their homes.
“A lot of people are starting to spend more time at home and they’re realising that they haven’t really put much energy in their actual house so they’re buying art," he said.
He further noted the benefit of the consistently appreciating value of art.
“In times of uncertainty, art is a commodity that has been proven to carry its value for decades, centuries even. Now, with inflation, people are buying more properties, people are buying more art, people are trying to take their currency and sink it into a solid object, tangible objects that have value," he added.
The accomplished artist also expressed that the global pause has been a time of renewal for many artists like himself.
“…it’s been interesting. A lot of artists have just been at home hunkering down, creating new work so it’s just a time of renewal. I think times like this when things are complex and kind of at a pause, that’s when we take the time out to redevelop ourselves," he continued.
In the midst of his successes, the visual artist also acknowledged the rampant mental health issues in the profession and compounded by the pandemic.
‘There are artists that are not doing well and are having some issues. There’s a lot of mental health issues in the art world. Sometimes I would reach out to artists and artists would reach out to me. But as I said, this is a time for renewal," he emphasized.
In the meantime, Harvey encourages growth in those dark times.
‘When a forest fire happens … then comes new growth. So we all have to prepare ourselves for growth.’
To artists working to emerge on the scene, Harvey urges education.
“I think when you are trying to achieve greatness in your craft, you have to study, you have to read, you have to go to YouTube. Every bridge has a bridge-builder. You have to learn from them.
“So, if you want to take it to the next level, research. I research everything. I would spend months researching one subject. I recently went to the Middle East and took about a month and a half to study middle eastern history… so when I got there, it helped me because then I had a better understanding of where and who I was talking to. So, it’s all about studying.
In the meantime, Harvey encouraged budding artists to familiarize themselves with the financial, as well as the creative aspects of the trade.
“What parents have to understand is that art is in everything, but at the same time, as a student, they have to understand that they have to look at finance as a part of art. Art is a commodity, it's traded, so if you don’t understand business, finance, then how can you really understand what going on with art?
"There are legal contracts that are involved, you have to build yourself into a better businessman in order to be an artist today," he said.
The famed artist expressed his intention to set up an artistic base in Turks and Caicos Islands.
“Actually, before covid, I was supposed to build my studio here so I’m just preparing and getting ready to build my studio and then have a place here in Turks and Caicos, where I can paint and do some art and share some creativity.