Twenty-three-year-old self-taught artist Danielle Parchment, from Kingston, has dreamt of working in animation since she was a teenager. But her progress was initially hampered by learning disabilities and a lack of opportunities in her native Jamaica. So when she happened upon KingstOOn on Facebook, she knew she had struck gold.
Kingstoon, along with DigitalJam, is a World Bank initiative to celebrate the breadth of artistic and digital talent within the Caribbean, and promote its development to boost growth and create quality job opportunities.
As she carefully studied the banner promoting animation internships, she exhaled. Realizing that she would be able to work with the best in the industry in South Korea, coupled with encouragement from her inner circle, she applied.
Now happily settled into her internship at Funny Flux Studios, in Seoul, South Korea, Danielle marvels at the effort required to hone her skills and ignite her passion for animation. Her primary level education was hampered by learning disabilities sparked by seizures, also undermining her social skills “I was always being left out, so I expressed myself through drawings. Words couldn’t adequately convey my struggles as a social misfit,” she reflects.
At Holy Childhood Academy she finally hit her stride when she met peers with learning disabilities and empathetic teachers. She aced high school en route to Edna Manley College for the Visual & Performing Arts. Although they had no major in animation, Danielle fueled by her passion, found a work-around. “YouTube, books, free tutorials online. My family invested in art supplies, allowing me to flourish as a self-taught artist,” she says.
At the ‘ripe old age’ of 21 in November 2015 Danielle coined the label Nille Studio as a chapeau under which to showcase her work, and carve her own little niche in the market. This earned her the respect of peers and role models alike. In the pipeline is an online outlet for her animation skills. Danielle regards the skills acquired during her current internship, financed by the Korea Trust Fund and managed by the World Bank, as providing the chance for her to contribute to Jamaica’s nascent animation industry.