Key West is home to many different cultures and talents and this is shown through in a man named Jean Paul. Interviewing Jean Paul was an experience in itself, his passion for the arts pierced through the silence like a beam of sunlight into the ocean.
Jean Paul is enormously talented, being a vocalist, percussionist, artist, and multi-linguist, “It’s all I’ve ever known,” he says, “It’s in my blood.” Though he is well practiced in many other things, cooking is his true passion; Jean Paul enjoys cooking for friends and family for special occasions, using recipes that reflect his Haitian heritage.
Originally from Port au Prince, Haiti, Jean Paul moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1974. In his travels, he visited Key West, fell in love with the place, and has now been here for a year and a half. “I love Key West, the people give me love,” he says, “I have art all over the place.”
How does a man with so many talents get his inspiration? Jean Paul claims that it is all natural talent. “It just flows, it’s a part of me,” says Jean. All of his beautiful art comes from the imagination. Having painted several of the ukuleles at The Grateful Guitar, his unique style shows through all over the town.
Not only does Jean Paul love the arts, but he also enjoys sports. If there was one more thing that he wishes he could do in his life, he said it would be to be the best soccer player around. His knees now inhibit his soccer playing abilities, but he does enjoy kicking around the ball every now and again.
One thing Jean wishes for the community is for everyone to be kind to each other, “inspire the children and bring them clarity, the children are the most important part. Teach them the right choice,” he says. Jean Paul is very passionate about making sure everyone understands that they are not alone, saying, “Do not be racist… everybody is love, we need to be one (family).”
Overall, Jean Paul has an amazingly bright heart and will hopefully continue to provide stunning paintings, beautiful music, and amazing cuisine to the city of Key West for years to come.
Written by Savana Hardin