Designer Chad Hammond pursues passion and purpose through art Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Chad Hammond, a promising artist with a passion for the creative arts, has achieved a remarkable victory in Red Stripe’s Special Edition Label Design Competition ahead of the Paris Olympics.

After weeks of meticulously crafting his patriotic design that captivated the hearts of over 2,000 online voters and a distinguished panel of judges, securing his place as the standout winner. 

Each participant in the competition was tasked with creating a design to celebrate the triumphs and accomplishments of Jamaican athletes, and the six shortlisted entrants had the unique opportunity to present to Olympic champion Asafa Powell, Kingston Creative’s Art District Project Manager Daniel Thompson, and Susan Lee Quee, department head of the School of Visual Arts at Edna Manley College.

Hammond’s triumph in the competition is a testament to the power of pursuing one’s passion and seizing unique opportunities.

When discussing the inspiration behind his victorious design, Hammond emphasised his intention to defy conventions and create a piece that authentically captured the spirit of Jamaican athleticism and national pride.

“I wanted to craft a design that not only celebrates our athletes’ accomplishments but also paid homage to Jamaica’s vibrant culture and rich history,” he explained. “Drawing from our national colours, iconic symbols and the indomitable spirit of our people, I aimed to evoke a sense of unity, strength and passion, reflecting the essence of Jamaican identity.”

A we still a win! Red Stripe Special Label Edition competition winner, Chad Hammond, smiled brightly while holding his winning cheque.

Motivated by the encouragement of his friends and family, Hammond took the bold step of devoting extensive time and effort to perfecting his creation.

“I don’t usually enter competitions of this nature, but the unique opportunity presented by Red Stripe, the iconic Jamaican beer brand, compelled me to participate,” Hammond reflected.

As someone who is constantly drawing and creating, Hammond said he saw the competition as another opportunity to unleash his creativity. For him, the worst-case scenario would have been not winning but the exposure and experience he would have garnered was worth the effort.

Hammond said he wanted to go against the norm and create something that truly resonates with Jamaicans.

“I remember watching the 4×100 race in Half-Way Tree with my friends in 2012. I remember seeing the crowd in Half-Way Tree and everyone’s reaction to our world record win. I wanted my design to represent the togetherness of Jamaicans during the Olympics. I want when people take up a can of Red Stripe, they not only find it pleasing to look at but also can see themselves being represented,” he shared.

Growing up, the innovative artist detailed how drawing with his mother influenced his love for art.

“I have been creating all my life, and I would always do different drawings with her until I eventually got better than her. She was the one who encouraged my artistic pursuits, it was just a fun hobby for me, and it’s amazing to see how this hobby turned into something greater than I could have ever imagined. There is not a day that goes by where I am not creating something,” he smiled.

What’s better than a supportive partner by your side? Red Stripe special edition label design winner Chad Hammond (left) stopped for a quick photo op with his wife, Gillian.

With all his experience in design being gained through trial and error, the 38-year-old artist described how he never saw the creative arts as a career for himself but always felt drawn to the field.

“In 2009, I would play around with Photoshop, and eventually I realised you could create flyers and graphic images with the application. Eventually, people started asking me to design a few things for them, and I decided to see where it would go. I was in university studying Computer Science, but I ended up not completing my degree after gaining more opportunities in designing, and it has been an amazing journey ever since,” he said.

For others who may be looking to get into the creative field, Hammond encourages those persons to never stop creating.

He said:

The path of an artist is not easy, it’s a lifelong labour of love. A lot of creatives are afraid to share their work, or they are a bit introverted and tend to want to keep it to themselves. It’s important to share the work you create and not create for yourself alone. People want to see the work you create, there may be someone who does not like it, but once you keep sharing there is the potential for it to reach the right people.

Earning a grand prize of J$500,000 and the opportunity for his design to be showcased in the Olympic Village in Paris, France, Hammond’s design will grace the limited-edition Red Stripe beer cans in March 2024 leading up to the summer games.

He hopes that through his art, he can leave a legacy that inspires others to enjoy life and not just live it.