Bruce Cayonne

Reading time: 5 mins

Bruce Cayonne aka The Sign Man as we've heard him called has been hand painting signs for more than thirty years. We're quite certain that you've seen his work as you make your way on the nation's roadways boldly displayed on a lamppost or two.

Being self-taught, he doesn't think of himself as an artist, however, we would say that he is an artist in his own right. We're glad that he took some time to share with us, we hope you enjoy.

My creative ability is built into my genes

How do you define creativity, and what does it mean to you?

For me, creativity is using one's imagination to conceptualise something unique.

How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?

My creative ability is built into my genes, but like everything, it has been honed with consistent practice.

Did you consider yourself as creative as a child? When did you know for sure expressing yourself creatively was your life path?

I considered myself creative from an infant. I only realised creatively expressing myself was my life's path as a teenager.

Was your choice to pursue a life of creativity encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?

I was not encouraged by anyone, including my parents, to pursue a life of creativity. Actually, I was persuaded to follow a path of a safe career, such as medicine, teaching etc.

What is your standard for evaluating your creative work and the works of other people?

The primary measure I use for evaluating my work and others is when I can recognise the pride and love put into the work.

Do you think the views of other people or the culture that you live in influence your perception and evaluation of your creative endeavours?

Not so much people's views as much as the culture I live in, influence's my perception and evaluation of my creative endeavours.

While financial rewards do play an active role in my projects, it is not the primary driver in my creativity.
Photo by: Nicholas Huggings

Photo by: Nicholas Huggings

Do you think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general? Are financial rewards relevant to your projects?

I certainly think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general. While financial rewards do play an active role in my projects, it is not the primary driver in my creativity.

Does your creative work come easily, or do you struggle with your ideas? What obstacles (if any) do you experience when you are creating? If you do face obstacles, how do you get past them?

My creative work mostly come easily; however, there are instances when I struggle with ideas. Because of the nature of my work, obstacles pop up because it is necessary that the message intended is communicated and received how I mean for it to be conveyed through my creation. Which happens to be the primary function of my work. To get past that obstacle, I solicit other people's views and reactions.

Is there something that you do to put yourself into a creative state of mind? If so, what? How do you make the leap from a "Spark" in your head to the action you produce?

The ideal thing that puts me in a creative state of mind is silence, which is achieved at nights. To leap from that spark in my head to the action I produce, I usually put pencil to paper or chalk to board.

What has been the most significant sacrifice you have made for your craft?

By far the most significant sacrifice I have mad for my craft is, not to be employed in a traditional 8 to 4 job, even through dire financial hardship.

Which creative people do you admire? Why?

The creative person I admire is Peter Minshal. I do so because, of his consistency in being unique in his concepts from his last creation.

Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?

What has helped me to persevere and not quit is my family and the fact I see others succeeding via their creative spirit.

it is impossible for everyone to see creativity in something.

Do you believe that it is essential to be accepted by others as being creative or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work? Explain.

I don't believe it is essential to be accepted by others as being creative, the love for what I do is enough for me. Because it is impossible for everyone to see creativity in something.

Rejection sends you to a different frame of mind

Has rejection ever affected your creative process? Explain.

Rejection has affected my creative process, sometimes positively. Rejection sends you to a different frame of mind, where you either review your ideas and come out with another result, allow dejection to freeze your brain or step over rejection and continue your process.

Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?

I have never doubted my talent, maybe I under appreciate it.

What piece of work are you most proud? Why?

The work I am most proud of was done in circa 2007. It was a four feet square, and it was of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Coincidentally it came out of having to redo it, after brutal rejection from the person that commissioned me. To date, it still remains my proudest piece.

What is your ultimate creative goal, and how attainable do you think it is?

My ultimate creative goal is for the world to see my work.

What is the best advice you've received that helped you move forward on your creative journey?

My creative journey lacked advice from anyone in particular.

don’t be afraid to be different and do what no one has done before.

To a young Creative emerging in your field, what advice would you give them?

The advice I would give to an emerging young creative in my field is don't be afraid to be different and do what no one has done before.

For what would you like to be most remembered?

I would like to be most remembered for the aesthetically pleasing way I have contributed to the landscape and culture of this country.

If you were a crayon, what would be the name of your colour?

Impactful Yellow.

This is a bonus for getting to the end. Take a few more mins to watch this short documentary about Bruce titled De Board Man, done by Walt Lovelace.

We thanks Bruce for sharing with us. You can connect with him on Facebook, and Instagram. Also thanks to Logging Tape Media and Walt Lovelace for allowing us to share De Board Man all copyright retained.

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A Creative Professional with over twenty years experience. Which he gained during his time spent at a few of Trinidad’s top advertising agencies. Then functioning as the Regional Creative head of the Caribbean’s largest retailer. Contributing to the development of the group’s regional marketing strategy. Forming the regional Design Strategy. Conceptualisation and execution of all creative, marketing and advertising communication for the group’s brands. With oversight of regional and local creative teams and creative processes. He continues to sharpen his creative edge. A passionate, twenty-four hour creative junky. Admirer of sexy typefaces, lover of words and aspiring life long learner. He is also the founder of A BigBox Of Crayons. An online and offline community for creative thinkers + makers in Trinidad & Tobago.