Shayar Jarrett: Art First

“Every color can have three dimensions, no matter what the color is,” Shayar explained, “Green can go two ways. It can go light or it can go dark.”

“I learned a lot about color but not knowing such didn’t stop me from painting. I want to say to myself ‘I don’t even know colors’ but If I have the color in front of me, it’s going to happen, you know?” Shayar said laughing.

“I’m good at light and shadows and for me, I think that’s all it is.”

Like color, Shayar himself is multi-dimensional. At just 19 years old, Shayar, who was born in Ocho Rios, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, began playing guitar alongside several major artists on international tours, including Grammy-winning Reggae Artist Burning Spear. Shayar later went on to form the band Krooshal Force (previously “crucial force”) in Brooklyn, NY in 1984.

As rich as his connection to music is, Shayar said art still comes first.

“I like to paint and the feeling never goes away,” Shayar said, “I’m not sure painting has changed me because it was with me from the beginning. So it grew me.”

As a child, Shayar recalls using leftover paint from around the house and sketching in his school notebook.

“I was a lone kid but not a lonely kid,” Shayar explained, “My mom was a single woman. I was one of the kids that stayed home mostly, using up all the paper and extra paint. I found myself in that.”

He became passionate about art from primary school on, especially after Shayar excelled under an art teacher named Frank Brown.

“He spent a lot of time away from school with me and give me ideas,” Shayar said, “For me, it was fun. It was my best past time besides going to the woods and being there amongst the trees and all of that.”

The Creative Process

“Sometimes I just say ‘Okay. Four paintings in front of me’ and I’m going back and forth,” Shayar explained,” I hate the idea of pulling out paint for five minutes. I want to be able to walk around, look at it, walk away, look at it, do something, sit down. Sometimes a canvas sits longer than anything else, plain. Nothing on it. I’m like ‘what am I going to paint… I don’t know!'”

“The Loaner”

20 x 35


“He’s homeless but he’s home,” Shayar said of this portrait featuring a gentlemen in his homeland of Jamaica.

“Leaf of Life”

16 X 24


“Circle In Squares”

18 X 23 1/2



18 X 30


“As far as spirituality goes, turn into yourself,” Shayar said, “If you can’t help yourself, you won’t receive help so easily.”

“In this tough time, you’re sure going to find yourself if you can’t find nothing else because you’re almost left with nothing,” Shayar went on.

Shayar’s Message To Those Creating In Today’s Time

“We’re losing people left and right,” Shayar explained,” When everything flows and comes back, they’re going to take the best. They’re going to say ‘Oh what were you doing? You had time… you didn’t do it?'”

“This is preparation time,” Shayar said, ” I think at the end of what’s happening now, you’ve got to be ready.”