A former student of St. Mary’s College (SMC), Rosen Daniel is now an art teacher at his alma mater. It’s quite an accomplishment for the 27-year-old who describes his boyhood days at the school as his “most ecstatic years”.
According to him, “that’s where I laid the foundation for a lot of stuff in my life.”
He loves art tremendously and hopes to transform the lives of others with his spectacular art.
“(I’ve loved art for) as long as I can remember. I used to get inspired by my elder brother—he used to draw a lot of animated cartoons, so I started by drawing these little things and showing it to my classmates. When I went to SMC, Mr. Ted Sandiford really brought out the artistic ability in me; he taught me new and different ways to display my artistic ability and he really stoked the flame of art within; SMC was where it really started,” he explained.
The mere thought of stepping into an old teacher’s shoes can be daunting—for Rosen, it certainly was.
“There was a lot of expectation because it’s not anybody you’re taking over for, it’s Ted Sandiford and he has a very high reputation but I think so far so good. I try not to be too hard on myself; I believe with time everything will fall in place,” he said.
Of course, working with teachers who once taught him, is quite an experience too.
“A lot of the teachers that still teach there taught me so it’s like you’re trying not to be an SMC boy again; you’re trying to be an SMC teacher, but really and truly the SMC boy part of me never left and I think it helps me relate to the students so I think it’s good to have part of that in you,” the art aficionado added.
He spends a lot of time honing his craft and lives for the glory.
“I initially started as a traditional artist so I did oil painting, acrylic painting, painting on walls, etc. but I’m moving to the digital realm so I’m starting to do more stuff like logos, posters, a lot of digital paintings, so whereas before I would take my time and do an oil painting for somebody, now I just draw it on my tablet or computer, print it out and sell it; it accommodates me better in a fast paced world,” he said.
He continued: “I think what I love the most is people’s reactions: what my art brings out in them. Sometimes you get a lot of frustration when you do art; things don’t turn out how you want it to be, maybe you feel like you just can’t do it, but when it’s all done and you hand that portrait to that person, their reaction is really rewarding. It makes you feel like all the work is worth it and I kind of live for that now; it keeps me motivated.”
Rosen wants to leave an indelible mark in this world and in fact, he’s already started.
“I’m working on two murals; one at the Odsan Combined School and one at Reunion Primary School in Choiseul; it’s exciting. I think one of the aspirations that I have is to have my art everywhere and make everyone know Rosen Daniel the artist. It’s not necessarily about stroking my ego or pride; I believe I have something to contribute and the more people that can see that the better,” he added.
“My main message is that one should not underestimate Saint Lucia’s artistic area. It’s really climbing the ladder. Give art some more attention because it really has a place in our country; it’s a more creative way of bringing out messages and it leaves a long lasting impression,” he said in closing.
A former track star, Rosen, who hails from La Pointe, Mon Repos, is living life his way—and he has no regrets.
Follow the artist on Instagram: @rosen_daniel_art