The village of Lopinot is well known for its rich history, scenic spots and serene remoteness – the perfect environment for artist and sports enthusiast Mikaela Jodhan to work her creative magic.
The 24-year-old said that while the instability of wifi service in the village may not be right for the average young person, it has actually worked in her favor, giving her time to develop a talent she has. discovered at the age of five and monetize his brand, MikaelaJ Art. The hobby was transformed into a full-time business in 2020 after Jodhan was fired from her job at a company that made sports uniforms.
“Lopinot is a really nice place to live even though cell phone reception is crappy and wifi is awful. It is always so calm and peaceful. I would sit at my table and draw all day, sometimes for eight to ten hours. I still don’t have wifi at home ”, because the various service providers cannot get a constant signal to his home, which is located a short distance from the road and in front of the leisure center by Lopinot.
“They keep saying the house is too far from the road.”
And although it makes it difficult for her to manage the social media pages she created to promote her artwork, Jodhan said she was content with her aunt’s wifi who lives nearby.
Jodhan has very little formal art training and told WMN when she started drawing that she only did black and white pieces. Two years ago, she started experimenting with colored pencils and decided to stick with it.
“It took me a long time to qualify as an artist. I did some basic art at El Dorado East Secondary, but my job is mostly watching YouTube videos and getting information from other websites.
Jodhan said after high school she was offered a partial scholarship to attend Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta, Georgia, but couldn’t afford to pay the difference not covered by the scholarship.
Instead, she enrolled at the University of Trinidad and Tobago and will graduate in education in November.
“Due to my general love for sports, I decided to pursue this degree to learn more about many types of sports and thus become a physical education teacher.” But, she said, SCAD is not completely excluded. “I still want to go to SCAD someday.”
Jodhan mainly does portraits, but says she also experiments with small landscape pieces, cartoons, and even animal drawings. Her focus is primarily on realism, but she says she is also inspired by fantasy and surrealism.
“It’s just a matter of finding the time to try it out.
Using Prismacolor and Faber-Castell colored pencils, she is able to draw faces on paper.
“The wax-based finish of Prismacolor pencils allows for effortless mixing, which gives my work its smooth appearance and makes many people think it is painted. But I don’t paint. This is not my strong point.
But while she loves and is comfortable with the medium she uses, she said that this also has its challenges, as it can be difficult to fill in large spaces using colored pencils.
“I’m currently exploring new, more efficient ways to fill such large areas, such as markers and pastels. “
Jodhan said she was typically tasked with making two to three pieces each month, and depending on the size and complexity, each could take several weeks.
“Large designs, especially if I have to do jewelry and hands, take longer because jewelry and hands are complicated.”
Plus, she said, her workspace is very small, which wreaks havoc on her neck and back when she has to work for ten to 15 hours with just short breaks in between.
“But I’m looking to have a bigger table because it’s become necessary. I want to have a drawing board, which will be easier on my neck.
And when she’s not working her magic in her studio, Jodhan’s mind is centered on her other love – sports.
“I like a lot of different sports – volleyball, netball, cricket. I tried golf and love it. I actually want to try baseball next.
She grew up in a cricket family and it was only natural that she turned to it.
“My dad, grandma and aunt used to play cricket so I started playing ball cricket in elementary school and continued through high school.”
She only started playing cricket when Hibiscus Women’s Cricket Club manager June Bowen invited her to join the team.
“It was a difficult transition from windball to hardball. From cross to cricket to straight stick cricket to hardball. Breaking the cross habit and playing straight was not easy. I’m still struggling with that today.
She played with the team for four years, and in 2016, at the age of 18, Jodhan competed in the national trials for the Under-19 team.
“I was part of the team and I participated in the regional under-19 tournament that year in Trinidad and Tobago. It was unbelievable. I was able to present my best match with wicket performances, also obtaining the title of player of the match against Guyana. This tournament earned me my place in the senior women’s national teams where I have been active since. After being on trial for several years, I was able to make the senior team for the first time in 2019. Since then, I have only been training hard, but at home due to the pandemic.
Jodhan considers himself a versatile person, but she said bowling is her strong suit. Now a member of the WCC Technocrats Jodhan has said that she cannot see her life without cricket and that she hopes to one day be part of the West Indies women’s team.
“But I don’t want to limit myself to that. I want to aim for other things, ”she said, which will always include sport and art.
Follow Mikaela Jodhan on Instagram @ mikaelaj_art_29, Facebook @MikaelaJ Art and on YouTube on MikaelaJ Art