My Journey as an Artist, recommended for young artist

"A creative mind doesn’t respect time – it cycles beyond the ordinary path…it wrestles any adversary and even goes beyond the accepted fact." 
 Testament of an Artist  
In 1985 I begun a self-search both personal and artistic. The artistic searching was after the advises of my mentors during our summer workshop in Cultural Center of the Philippines. They said I should look for my own signature, which they've guaranteed I'll naturally discover. The thing is, although it will sprout by mere instinct, you still have to make some effort to look for it...to hone and to prune so to speak. 
   So, I had my first journey into discovering myself. You can not find your niche if you don't look inside yourself first. Before, asking what I am capable of doing, I have to test my limitations first. So after a month long re-molding from National Artist Lucrecia Kasilag, curator Ray Albano, Jun de Leon, Rodel Pena, and Arnel Agawin; I venture into the unknown...to find my insignia. They are my influences although they advise not to be influence. I think that can not be avoided. By the way, my father illustrate too, so he is my first model in this area... (A little Trivia: I was considered the best pencil sketcher  in that workshop but definitely not the best as I am with Fine Arts student then from the best universities.)
   As an Education student at PNC (now Philippine Normal University) that was supposed to be pursing a role to mold the minds of children , I focus on a different path, I search the rich library of our campus for artist and artworks, I have that especial interest in artist biographies than style and method. I skip the "how to's..." in drawing and paintings. I tried to fathom the heart of the masters than their creations. I always thought that I can not duplicate their works anyways, so why not learn what inspire them, what are the things going inside those geniuses.

THE COLOR OF WATERS
   I did a lot of experiments, mono-prints, transfer arts, pastels, a little of oil and acrylics, crayons, pens, stamping, sculpture, wood-cut, and then I re-discover watercolor...here were I fell in love with the medium. Here's the story of that find...
   One day during my gallery visits, this is an important ritual for an artist, to see whats going on in the art world...for any trending and inspirations too. I also received regular invitations and free tickets from CCP for any events. But when they oust my benefactor Madam Imelda Marcos, those invites no longer came. Anyway, so it was this one trip to Sheraton Hotel where I saw the watercolors of a certain artist, his surname Villanueva is all I can remember but his painting in water medium create an impact in me...I literally have to touch my nose on his work to examined the strokes. They were so realistic I can't believed they were done in watercolor. 
   The next day, I decided to purchase a set of watercolor, but my parent wouldn't allow me of course (The left over free materials from the workshop does not include a set of watercolor) so I secretly withdrew my money from the bank.
   That night, I had created my first dull rendition of a "flower in vase" still-life. Afterwards, I tried portrait, as it is my first love...it was so smudgy that the little boy as my subject appeared dirty...so I name it as Batang Yagit (Street Urchin). I still consider the piece a success so I was not frustrated and keep my interest in watercolor. 

 THE TEAR-OUT STYLE
   To solve the growing number of my experimental collections I made a compilations of those works. I include failed pieces there too, as advise by Agawin, that from there I will learn. It was the making of the cover where I discover "collages" or what I called my "Tear-out style" this is not just making collage but actually writing on my works. Writing on my work expresses what I have to tell deep inside, for myself...not necessarily for others. This is my own self-evaluations while painting. Just like making notes on the process and what are bugging my head in that instance. 
   Failed attempt are stored for latter use as collage...I store them for future use. I just don't paste item sporadically, I contemplate a lot and see to it that there is harmony...but the priority is relevance than design. During the early stage of this experiments I just balance objects with colors and shapes...now, a little more mature I see to it that it was relevant to the portrayal I want to express...it should connive with what I am feeling and wishes to express. 


THE PREACHER IN COLOR
   My acceptance of Jesus Christ as savior lead me into asking "What is your purpose Lord?" Now, why I have this gift...
   Earlier before the visual art workshop I came to know Jesus, and since then I have always sought the heart of God, to know my meaning, how can I serve him with what I have...As I look around, read books and observed the world, I realized that there are too much evil in mass-media, including the arts...as there are satanic music, there are also satanic arts. Arts, as I saw it can be a powerful medium to indoctrinate mankind with whatever is offer under the motto: Art for Arts sake. 
   Even religion thought it is too remote to be influence by Satan, so they took this area for granted and leave it on us to decide for ourselves. But one can imagine the power of its hold when you look at its influences...they are not even notice or critically examined. 
   I'll give you an example, when the first renditions of Satan with bat-like wings and snake tails appeared, are there any protest from our church leaders? Anyway, a devil should look that ugly and scary if you will look at his evilness but that was a wrong depictions from a biblical perspective. We can't read anywhere that Satan should look that way...nor the same way, angels are commonly depicted today...actually we don't read child angel they are all adults and men. We don't have that girl angels either. So what happen by that misrepresentations? 
   In fact, character assassination happened too with Jesus when they gave him an effeminate face with a long hair. They gave Jesus a rebel look uncommon among Ancient Jewish people. So you see, the scope of an artistic misconception can do? 
  The power of an artist was often over-looked. They can pull the trigger of a gun with dangerous paint of ideas and the casualties can go on for many many years. Just look at the image of Jesus people adore. They varies according to the taste and standards of a god image they desire. 
   So that is why I aim to change my artistry...to tell stories...to share...and I can just share stories in a single frame. Let others do that...


THE VISUAL BOOK-MAKER
   The decision to create books instead of single frames was perhaps one of the hardest that I've made. People around me would expect instant gain on my talent...why would I waste valuable time on something that wont give me financial gain. All visual manuscripts are still on its process, let's face it, I have spend long hours even many years in composing what I called as my lifetime thesis, perhaps it would remain that way...
   But they expect me to create, so from time to time, once in a blue moon, I create an individual painting...actually this is to simply summarized, although hard, all that I have fused in my art journals. 
   

Yet, these individual works had the tendency also to be rebutted and be incorporated on my manuscripts too. 

  
   I can't focus on a single dimension. I want to do so many things and I have only one life span. My diversities of interest perhaps rooted the quantum leaps of ideas until it incorporate into another perspective.
MOMENT IN TIME 
   I always consider everything happened because they had to happen. There are no accidents for me...I advocate cause and effect. Where our attention goes, our physical reality follows. If we alter our mind, we alter our destiny as well. That is basically what I am doing in my journal, I do a lot of alterations to match the desired future I see for myself. 
   Although, it is an honest recording of my feelings, I also try as much as I can to end each page with a positive note. Yet, not all page in our life are positive and recommendable, so they are there on my manuscripts, even moment of anger and failures...
   Life is about experiences, so if we see ourselves and others as a mass of personal experiences...we can easily forgive ours and others shortcomings. 
   Knowledge is not linear, they happen all at once from different sources. Dimensions of experiential events are from various level as well. So, my visual manuscripts served so many purpose for me. It is my diary and laboratory of experiences, and they also served as memoir of events or moment that froze my mind. Thus, my books can become a good coffee table book to start a good conversation...



Critical Thinking
   On final note about my art,  I know my art work have reach its goal when the person start to ask. When I have successfully challenge another's mind to contemplate.






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