Taj Francis creates Afro-Japanese portraiture

A lyric, the emotion of a song and the instruction of a beat gives birth to illustrations meant to awaken the viewer.

Jamaican digital and visual artist Taj Francis uses his love for reggae and hip hop music to create digital art. As a 26-year-old artist, he has taken on the mantle to inspire and evoke something within the viewer. What makes his aesthetic unique is the combination of Japanese manga, vintage vinyl, baroque paintings, all underpinned by expressions of his own culture.

His latest work, titled Tenfold Vibes, is made up of portraiture pieces enhanced with his signature style. The explosion of colour creates a sort of landscape and alternative dimension across the subject’s face.

Francis began creating art at a young age, dropping out of school to pursue a career in the arts. “I have always been pursuing art all my life, I say pursuing because looking at what I’ve done , I've been practising my craft and developing my skills,” Francis told The Cleaner.

Starting with commercial work such as generic flyer designs and logos, Francis soon branched out into his own brand. His growth granted him the autonomy to identify his own voice. For him, art is an “intelligence” because a normal idea can be turned into something incredible. “Art can change the world, we see how it does negatively through campaigns for the things that are not beneficial, or are just negative to society,” he was quoted as saying.

His future endeavours include venturing into motion graphics, animation and architectural design.

Francis' work has also appeared on African Digital Art.