I was first inspired to be an artist as a kid while watching anime and cartoons. I tried to copy the characters and it gave me great joy when I did well. Being a young adult, I saw people making art for bands, posters, and pages on Facebook that I can relate to through their art. And I thought maybe if I can do the same, I can reach out to people with the same experiences that I have. My art as you can see is dark and colorful at the same time, as close as the silver lining after every traumatic event, having people share my art and tell me how I have connected to them and inspired them to start creating their own art makes me feel fulfilled. And that is the drive I hold on to every time I create art. It’s as if being an artist and sharing my art is what makes my life worth living.
I have never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be an artist. There is no artist in my family that is why it was a bit foreign that I wanted to pursue a career in the arts even though I hold a degree in Industrial Technology. Having a degree is very important in my family. I struggled throughout college as a student by day and an artist by night mainly making props for productions, costumes, and makeup to be able to pay for my school fees. I did work as a white-collar employee, but I had the urge to continue making art to the point that I quit my regular job and continued being an artist. I went back to the arts as a tattoo artist and a muralist for businesses until I got invited to an exhibition. That turned my world around because it was all I ever wanted to do. I got hired as an artist at a museum, but I still felt there was something missing because it was an office job and was time restrictive. I wanted to make paintings that connect to people and share my experiences. That is why when I was asked if I wanted a job as a teacher in an art workshop studio, I quickly agreed to it. Currently, I continue to spread art on the streets of my town, teaching kids’ art and exhibiting my art through galleries and social media.
I have not won any awards and so I do not have any winning moments yet. But I feel like I do not need it because for me, the best moments I have had in art is when I realize that I can make it and that there are no wrongs in creating what you feel is right. No competitions are worth fighting for when you’re representing yourself. Because in everything our individuality comes first. I will never be the best in the artform of others because we all have our own paths, and everyone’s path is genuinely for their experience only. And other best moments for me are when I see kids on the streets drawing not because it's schoolwork but because they want to show what makes them happy and to convey what they feel in a non-destructive manner. When these kids smile because they see my art on the streets. When they want to create one of their own. To show how bright they are. And one of the many reasons why they will not view art as a school subject but a way of life.
This pandemic affected my job as an art teacher at the workshop studio because there are no more face-to-face classes. The lockdown also restricted us from having exhibitions in galleries. It also affected me financially because my paintings were not being sold, and paintings are not as vital as food and medicine, therefore, so many buyers had to rethink their expenses leaving me with unsold art pieces. It gave me a pause in life, but it also made me realize that art is essential because we may forget about our struggles during this pandemic but the artworks that artists all over the world created during this pandemic will serve as a diary. Artists put bits of their lives into every painting and those are the memories encrypted in every piece of art.