Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2015 Contents B3
Come on August 1---Page B4
People who meet artist Andrew
J Fitt tend to remember him. Yes,
there s the fact that his movements
and speech are affected by cerebral
palsy, a neurological disorder that
impacts muscle control. But mostly
it s his personality they remember.
The outspoken graphic designer
and music lover can often be seen
liming with friends or taking in a
live band around Port-of-Spain.
Now, he's singing his own song with
the launch of his memoir, Aching
Fitt, in partnership with Cul-
tureGo Magazine, will debut his first
literary work, his autobiography, on
July 29, at Medulla Art Gallery, 37
Fitt Street, Woodbrook.
The book tells the story of his life
as a person living with a disability.
It's told in his unique, irreverent
style, describing the many ups and
downs he's faced.
"Aching to Be is actually what I've
been working towards from the first
day I was born," says Fitt. The book
is the expression of his ultimate
wish: "To be treated as the man I
want to be, without letting myself
be beaten into submission by what
society dictates I should be.
"It's also about what it took to
become Andrew J Fitt."
Fitt was born in St Lucia in 1973.
During birth he suffered brain dam-
age resulting in cerebral palsy. After
his family moved to T&T, he attend-
ed Fatima, graduating in 1993 and
passing all his subjects. He then got
accepted to the International Fine
Art College (IFAC) in Florida in 1996,
based on the art portfolio he had
put together over the years. He had
planned to study 3D animation while
at IFAC. However, after graduating
in 1998, he decided to do graphic
art instead. He says, "It was what
I was meant to do.
"You really have to want to be an
animator; it's a really intense job,
and very competitive. You have to
be really good at it to make a living
from it. I was nowhere near good,
in my opinion.
Fitt has been doing art profes-
sionally for over 20 years now, but
he says he's always been interested
in creative expression, in spite of,
or perhaps because of his personal
"I'm an artist and a writer. I love
creating things out of nothing but
a thought that may just materialise
on its own, or be triggered by outside
influences. I am also a man with a
disability that is trying not to have
that disability define who I am and
what I can or can't do."
Because cerebral palsy affects fine
motor skills, Fitt faced an extra chal-
lenge in terms of his creative process:
"I only really pursued art when com-
puter technology had developed to
a point where I could be the type
of artist I wanted to be."
Now, he uses the Internet as well:
"I usually have an idea of what I
want to produce, then I search the
Internet for images that correspond
with what I want. I use what I find
as a guide, taking whatever I need
from it, and then experimenting
with different options over time."
His often bold, colourful works
play with form, pattern and move-
ment, but he shies away from defin-
ing his style. "I tend not to attach
labels to my work because it boxes
in my art, which is restricting and
should be avoided.
"I crave the freedom to create
anything at will. That being said,
I'm an audiophile, so music does
factor into my art at times."
Music is one of Fitt's passions.
He is an avid follower of bands on
the local music scene and attends
their shows with regularity. There,
he's one of the gang. "When I lime
with my friends in public places,
my friends accept me as just another
washed in life
person. Yes, I need help doing stuff every so often, but they
don't resent me for it. I'm just trying to live the best life I
When one of his friends started a publishing company, Fitt
was offered the chance "to tell my story from my viewpoint,
in my own words".
He says: "After resisting for an hour, maybe less, I agreed
to do it. I've always wanted to write for a long time, but only
when I felt I had lived enough and could really express myself
adequately. I'm nearly 42, so I think the time is right."
Aching to Be is no sob story. Rather, Fitt feels he has been
lucky: "I've been washed in life.
"I really want people to look at me as a person who wants
to live life as best as I possibly I can. I have a handicap but
it's not me. I am a man, an artist, a writer, a son, a brother,
a friend, a human being, and many other things on a very
long list. The last thing on the list is disabled man."
Aching to Be will be launched at 7 pm on Wednesday at
Medulla Art Gallery, with a short reading from the book at
8 pm, followed by a brief Q&A session and meet-and-greet
with the author. The event is free and all are invited.
Aching To Be, Fitt's story of growing up with cerebral palsy
in St Lucia and Trinidad, is published by P+H Books.
Andrew Fitt will launch his autobiography on July 29.
Links Archive July 25th 2015 July 27th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page