Today on “How They Did It” I speak to David Martin, the Jamaican born Animation Evangelist currently leading the charge where digital animation in the Caribbean is concerned.
Tell me a little about who you are:
My name is David Martin, 38 years old. Jamaican born grew up in rural Saint Ann in a little town called Browns Town, I am a multimedia specialist and digital animation trainer currently consulting with the CARCIP broadband infrastructure program in St Vincent and the Grenadines as an animation and multimedia production trainer. I’m an unrepentant workaholic, animation evangelist and I have a passion to see young people in the Caribbean survive and thrive.
What is your business about?
The Eastern Block Artistic Alliance is multimedia production and training company, primarily focused on animation and design as well as Animation TVET curriculum development. We service clients across the region, North America, Britain and Europe.
What were you doing before you started your business?
Multimedia consultant was always my freelance work that went hand in hand with any regular job that I had whether it be TV editor or TVET trainer, I started officially in June 2016 when I quit my job in Jamaica and moved to the Eastern Caribbean, specifically Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to build my consultancy business and deliver the first animation programme in the history of the island.
What inspired you to start your business
Several reasons, primarily I always wanted to be independent and control the narrative of my life by doing something that I love, secondarily I always wanted to be involved with uplifting Caribbean young people economically through animation and the creative industries. Being a successful entrepreneur adds a massive amount of weight to your training sessions when that young person sees you practicing and embodying what you teach.
What obstacles did you face in starting your business, and how did you overcome them?
Moving out of a familiar space was the first obstacle, migrating to the East Caribbean and attempting to set up a company in a strange country was not an easy feat. Doors have been closed in my face, promises broken, even climate change wiped away opportunities; in 2017 several positive prospects literally blew away with the category 5 storms that ravaged the Caribbean region. I overcame by real God sent miracles and a realization that I must succeed not just for my personal need to make a mark but specially to build an inheritance for my daughter. A major milestone was watching my first batch of Vincentian students tie for first place in the animation category at the Northern Caribbean University film festival in Jamaica. That was a validation enough for me to keep pushing.
What’s next for you and your business
2018 will be the year when all the seeds sown in 2017 will be reaped, we will offer new cutting edge services such as block chain development. Doing more creative career development workshops with at risk and indigent young people. We will also be launching the first phase of our Caribbean Digital Arts Institute online. This will provide training, support and entrepreneurship opportunities to young people in the region who want to get into the creative industries.
My best advice for young people looking to start a similar business
Start early, you are never too young and the creative industries are always open for talent and it is always expanding. Animation alone is a multibillion-dollar industry. Being the best at your art is the key to success. That takes sleepless nights and sacrifice. We each bring something new and exciting to the table and when done right you won’t ever work a day in your life.
With that being said always give back through training, through this you will impact lives and sharpen your own talents.
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