Sometimes, if you are lucky in life, you meet incredible people that you connect with instantly. Not so often, you meet someone that opens their life and family to you. Suddenly, you see yourself surrounded by an amazing family, that you love almost as much as your own.
This is how I met Jamie, he is the younger brother of my best friend Jack from University. We met in 2014, when Jack's family invited me to go their house in Kenya. Since then, I can say we have always been friends, and a bit like family. Jamie is only 18, and I can honestly say he is one of the smartest and most interesting people you could ever meet. Meeting Jamie makes you believe in old souls.
Not many people know, but Jamie Sharp has about 370 thousand followers on Instagram. He has a very interesting Instagram page called Paintings.Daily, where he posts paintings and their details. Now, he just started a new page called PaintingsDailyModrn where he mostly posts contemporary art. The difference between both his pages, classical and contemporary, is much like himself, so fresh and yet so wise.
We sat down with Jamie in his house in Kenya, to talk a little bit more about him and his projects.
So tell us, who is Jamie Sharp?
I grew up in Notting Hill in West London where I’ve lived my whole life. I went to school in the city until I went to boarding school age 11. Now I study Art History at University College London. I’m the youngest, by a long way, of four kids so family is a huge part of my life, we’re all very close. Being the youngest definitely made me grow up much faster and taught me to hold my own around the dinner table.
I love travel, my Mum is Maltese and Italian and my Dad is British but was Born in Uganda and spent big parts of his childhood in Kenya. As a result my childhood was always split between London, Malta, Italy and Kenya. I feel very European and definitely have some Latin blood from my Mum. All the decisions I make are usually highly based on aesthetics rather than any sort of practicality or reason - I’m fascinated by anything cultural like literature, fashion, art and language.
How did you start your famous Instagram Paintings.Daily?
I started the page for a school art project when I was 16. My teacher asked all of her students to create a Pinterest board full of paintings we liked as way to inspire the next stage of our projects, I decided to create an Instagram instead (meaning that, because I didn’t use Pinterest, I did actually end up gaining 0 marks on that particular assignment). Once I started the page, which I originally thought I would only use for a week, I began to really enjoy the curatorial elements of it and decided to continue.
Do you remember how it got so popular?
I think it was a combination of the fact that I posted a lot in the beginning, probably too much, and it was content that hadn’t really been seen on Instagram before. Credit also has to go to @jennymwalton for being one of my earliest followers who blew up the page when she reposted one of my posts. After getting to 10k growth was steady to around 200k, and then I woke up one morning to see that Ariana Grande had followed me and posted one of my posts to her story which has exposed the page to a lot more people.
So famous people definitely helped your growth?
Of course! But it’s not all down to that, consistency is key and keeping content fresh is important. When the page started to gain more attention I knew that it would be important for me to diversify what I was posting because at the time it was mostly academic French and Italian painting. I now don’t have such strict rules about what I post.
Have you always been an art lover? Do you remember how it started?
Yes! I grew up with very creative parents, especially my Mum who has always inspired me to appreciate art and design. I grew up in London in Notting Hill and as a child always spent my weekends on the Portobello market which is full of old oil paintings, sculptures, and other art objects. I made friends (probably when I was around 10) with the antiques dealers who were always eccentric and interesting. They would explain the artworks to me and here and there would give me a Roman coin or a drawing. Since then I’ve always loved seeing collections and galleries.
Aside from paintings.daily you have a personal Instagram, what do you usually post there?
Yes, I do. It is @JamieSharp and I post pictures from traveling mostly. I have just got a new film camera, a Contax T3, so want to start posting film photos that I take on my Instagram. I also post art that I’ve seen in galleries, as well as architecture.
Do you have a fanbase, do you ever get weird DMs?
I don’t know about a fanbase, but definitely yes in terms of weird DMs. Plenty of people asking me to paint their portrait… I don’t think that they get the idea of the page.
What's the best compliment you ever received?
My teacher described me as precocious in a parents meeting as a child. I did decide to take it as a compliment.
Who are the people that you trust the most in your life?
What motivates you every day?
Usually my interest in learning about new things and seeing new places. I can never sit still. A lot of my inspiration comes from reading and traveling.
Where is somewhere new that you would like to travel to?
I would love to go to Poland, it’s an unusual destination and I’ve not explored that area of Europe at all. I’d be very interested to go to Krakow and see the Renaissance architecture.
How important is fashion for you?
It’s important to me and I enjoy it, but I don’t take it too seriously.
How do you describe your style?
“Mr Agnelli didn’t spend his days thinking about what he was going to wear. To my mind that’s true elegance, not thinking about it” – Stuart Thornton in Vogue Hommes speaking about Gianni Agnelli. Agnelli, boss of Fiat, was a style icon but kept it simple.
What is your favorite place in the world?
My mind immediately jumps to Malta. My mum is Maltese and the island has always been a big part of my life. Its Baroque architecture and unusual traditions have always intrigued me. Its culture and language are a synthesis of both Arabic and European influences and the Maltese architectural landscape is unlike any other. It feels both ancient and modern at the same time and, for a small island in the Mediterranean, there’s a lot to do.
When you travel, what is the thing that can’t miss in your bag?
A huge black cashmere blanket that I wrap myself in when I’m on the plane. I had a great sleep in it on the floor of Miami airport during a 10 hour delay before Christmas.
Name three things that are really important in your closet.
Saint Laurent canvas sneakers. They have a casual distressed look and I love them for the day-to-day. A plain black hoodie, in winter my uniform is a hoodie under a warm jacket. In the summer of course a C.R.T.D shirt, they’re so light and easy to wear. And also an APC jacket that I bought recently and haven’t taken off, sorry - that's four!
Current dream fashion item?
Definitely the Dior Logo Oblique B23 high-top sneaker, I love the print.
Any current fascination?
I’m addicted to true crime podcasts – I listen to them most days when I’m on a run or on the tube. I love Casefileand, when it originally came out, I was hooked on the 1stseason of Serial, I think that everyone should listen to it.
Jamie wears (by order):
Nakuro Shirt in Blue and Double Shell Necklace (The Kenya Collection II - coming soon!).
Miguel Marques da Costa