Art exists in as many shapes and forms as do the artists themselves. Today, we meet Remi, a Haitin artist, who lived through the devastating Haitian earthquake. Remi uses his love for art and his talents to make a living for himself and his family. If you are interested in supporting Remi and his family by purchasing one of his paintings, please leave a comment OR simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
REMI: Hi! My name is Remi.
TTN: Where do you live?
REMI: This is my house, and this is where I work. I’m keeping my house private; I have some pictures of my art in the back. I’m very happy I get to paint for the people, and I’m very happy with my profession of painting. It might be three or four months when I paint nothing, but that’s because I try to balance my life and my profession. I like my profession because I’m close with the people here. Haiti does not have many tourists, but sometimes people buy the paintings from me. So I have my life, my house, and my profession.
TTN: Where were you at when the earthquake happened, and can you tell me about that?
REMI: I was outside my house in the rain when the earthquake happened, and everyone was saying that an earthquake was happening. One month after the earthquake I was very scared sleeping in my house. I began sleeping in the car.
TTN: So, you’re far enough away from Port Au Prince, that your area wasn’t really affected by it?
REMI: My area wasn’t really affected by it, but a lot of people were very scared, so I got my phone and when I tried to call my friend in Port Au Prince, the communication stopped. A lot of people didn’t have any communication.
TTN: How long have you been painting, and where did you learn to paint?
REMI: I’ve been painting since 2001. I went to school, and after I finished one year, I go to teacher who helps teach me the practice of painting.
TTN: So now you’re willing to use your talent to help children learn how to paint?
REMI: Yes, my dream is to help the children. I don’t have much to give them but I can offer them my talent, the talent from inside my head.
TTN: Who purchases your paintings?
REMI: Sometimes two or three tourists come by, missionaries too. But sometimes my life can get very difficult because the missionaries will pass my house, and I have many paintings but it could go from one month to three months where I don’t sell anything.
TTN: What are your paintings?
REMI: My paintings are acrylic paintings.
TTN: Do you pant things you see or does it come from your imagination?
REMI: Sometimes it comes from my imagination, sometimes I look at the mountain, or the house or the tree, or I paint people I see as they walk through the garden. So, I look for a picture to capture and I keep it in my head which I then use as my inspiration.
The Talent Notes would like to thank Leanne Rodeheaver for her help in obtaining this interview, and Caroline Meisner for her help with transcription!