Anything with Nothing: Andrew “D.I.” Thomas

Andrew "Designer Ice" Thomas - Rider (2014, in exhibition), photo: Olivia McGilchrist

Andrew “Designer Ice” Thomas – Rider (2014, in exhibition), photo: Olivia McGilchrist

We have recently closed the Anything with Nothing: Art from the Streets of Urban Jamaica exhibitions but are continuing to archive the art and artists in the exhibition. Here is a feature on Andrew “D.I.” Thomas.

Based in Waterhouse, Andrew Thomas, a.k.a. Designer Ice or D.I., is a self-taught airbrush artists. He paints memorial murals, images of local celebrities, such as Shelly-Anne Fraser and musicians. He occasionally does work more similar to NYC style graffiti. For the exhibition Thomas, painted a man on a motorcycle on a concrete block wall.

He told us: “The first official piece I put on the road was in 2003 – I just say in my mind I’m going to do something and see what people say about it…a lot of crowds passing along see it and say they like it and from thereon people ask me to do work for them because they see the wall and they like it…from there on I just start doing my thing and that’s how I get commissions.”

“…what keeps me going? It’s jus’ the love of the work. I just like to admire artwork–other people’s work. I try to do something like that or as close to. I go through books or almost anything that looks good or looks challenging and I try to do a little portrait or a little sketch and see how good I am. ‘Cause I am selftaught, you know practice becomes perfect, so I learn from that – people’s stuff.”

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