Multitalented artist shares her creative journey

Mené Tovi Lewis (Photos courtesy Tovi Lew website)
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By Makeida Antonio

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A 20-year-old artist who represents Antigua in several creative pursuits has given Observer a closer look into her living, breathing life of everything art.

Mené Tovi Lewis was born on November 17 2001 in the Bronx, USA, to parents of Caribbean origin.

She was raised in Antigua where she received most of her schooling and eventually relocated to Georgia to further her studies.

Mené recalled growing up, where she always knew she was passionate about all things creative despite her otherwise quiet demeanour.

“I was described by my elders as the quiet, reserved and soft-spoken youngster amongst my counterparts, so expressing myself outspokenly has always been a challenge,” she said.

“However, I grew up in a household where the arts were fully encouraged. At the age of eight I began channelling my expression through writing and singing.

“I was then enrolled at the Le Chateau D’Or music academy where I furthered my passion for music and learned to play a few instruments. 

“I eventually expanded my artistic passions by developing painting skills, becoming a self-taught visual artist,” Lewis told Observer yesterday in an interview.

Known by her stage name as Tovi Lew, a singer, songwriter, book writer, fashion designer and painter, Mené knows no limits when it comes to the arts. She says her favourite mode of art depends on how she feels at the time she is ready to express her creativity.

“Today my creative works include song writing, recording and playing music, book writing and painting.

“I also have a clothing brand/line to be launched in time for Sailing Week with the designs being my artwork,” she said.

“Out of all, I don’t have a preferred art form. However, I do have my moments that I might enjoy creating in a particular form at a given time. It all depends on my mood.”

Mené opened up to Observer, shedding light on her greatest obstacle as an artist, which is getting support from people in the community. Reaching the right audience is something she is constantly working towards improving.

“My struggle as an artist I would say is marketing myself to get in front of the right people, the people who would genuinely appreciate what I do,” she explained.

Her advice to aspiring artists is a strong sense of self-assurance in being multi-talented and multi-dimensional.

“My advice to my upcoming youth artists would be to always believe in yourself. To my multi potentialities, you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with practicing more than one art form. What matters is that you have a balance,” she said.

Tovi Lew has many simultaneous projects, including but not limited to a brand new song with Vicious entitled “Love From A Distance” currently on YouTube, several art pieces in a collection called “Redefined Series”, a book titledYouth Undaunted 1 Calling the Reformers’and a digital NFT collection of personalised art characters.

She credits her success to her confidence in trying new things and encourages others to do the same.

“Lastly, always be open minded to trying new things. Never say the words ‘I can’t’,” she said.

“If I didn’t get up on my own a year ago and said, ‘I wonder if I can draw?, ‘I wonder if I can paint?’, then I would have never found out that I could.

“I would still be limiting myself to only one art form.”

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