When asked to describe himself in three words, graphic designer Lawrence Deacon used dedicated, reliable, and ambitious. Three words, that when put together pave the road to success for a hard working artist with an iron will. A journey that began with a TV box in place of a desk and an ambitious dream, has turned into a successful career for this artist. With few international graphic designers coming from the Caribbean, Deacon’s background sets him apart, but his work ethic and determination will determine his future. Deacon takes the time to share his artistic journey, and some sage wisdom, with Raine Magazine.
RAINE: Describe the events that led up to the moment that you realized you wanted to be a designer/artist.
DEACON: I started drawing at the tender age of 7 after migrating to Montego Bay, Jamaica from my birth parish of St. Thomas. Throughout primary school and into high school, friends would pay me to do small drawing projects. Then, in high school a friend showed my work to the head of the art department. I was encouraged to draw more, and I started to push myself harder. One summer in high school I went to visit my cousin, and he showed me some incredible life-size paintings and drawings he did in high school and the first year of college. I was inspired even more, especially when he shared his college/art school experience. By the time I was in the 10th grade I asked the head of the art department to sign me up for the CSEC Art exam. He wasn’t sure if I was ready but I knew I was. In 2013 I started art school, and by 2015 I had dropped out to pursue my dream of becoming a recognized graphic designer. It has been an enjoyable uphill journey since then.
RAINE: What inspires your works of art?
DEACON: My art is inspired by the conflicts within oneself. I believe that life can be imperfectly perfect. It’s me trying to navigate my daily challenges. Art started out as the place where I could hide my thoughts and look for comfort or answers, hence why I called my pieces the Encrypted Truth. Now I am solving bigger challenges in the workplace where I am tasked with delivering the best service to my customers.
RAINE: Do you have a philosophy or mantra that you live by?
DEACON: Use what you have to the best of your ability.
RAINE: Who has been the most influential person in your life on your journey as a creative entrepreneur?
DEACON: I would say myself since I often find myself whispering quietly , “I’m not giving up.” On a serious note, my mom, she’s such a strong influence especially because she was a teenage parent and she has never given up on me or herself. To see what she has accomplished today; I am proud of her, she’s a true role model.
RAINE: Financing one’s business seems to be the biggest challenge for most. What tips can you share about tackling or overcoming this challenge?
DEACON: I’m probably the worst person to advise on this but who knows, I may be a financial advisor in my own company one day. I started off broke after dropping out of college. I was using a fifty inch TV box as a desk, knowing that I had to put in hard work and keep an optimistic mindset about accomplishing my dream. I’ve learned that money is a tool, just like you are a tool to your business. My advice to you is do all you can, while you can, until you are able to finance the parts you couldn’t.
What’s your favorite quote?
Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Steve Jobs
RAINE: What are some exciting things you have coming down the pike that we can look forward to seeing?
DEACON: I am working on quite a few exciting upcoming new projects. I am collaborating with Chronixx on his Chronology Caribbean Tour, designing cover art for Coco Jones on her upcoming single, also designing for upcoming reggae artist Sabree for on her new single off her EP that’s coming out soon. I will also be launching my illustration brand called Delawness soon, which I am excited about.
RAINE: What has been the biggest project that you have worked on to date?
DEACON: Honestly, I never took the time out to evaluate because I’ve always been busy working and each project to me is treated as another stepping stone towards accomplishing the dream. It’s a truly remarkable experience working with all the brands who have hired me over the years. Overall, my biggest project was working with a watch brand out of the Netherlands, Time 22, on developing their brand identity. It was my first job designing something that would be printed in grade 5 titanium.
RAINE: What words of wisdom would you share with other creative entrepreneurs?
DEACON: I would say don’t try to save up to start your business, it’s like saving to be rich and that’s a death trap. Start off with what you have, prepare to work long hours and sleepless nights filled with hungry days because there’s no lifeguard team coming. Just ensure you are surrounded by supportive individuals even if it’s only one because it will get lonely. When you feel like giving up take a break- not a vacation but a day off. Just allow things to process for a day or two, you will feel better the next day.