When I was growing up, there was always an attraction to drawing and being creative. From a young age, I started to copy comic strips out of the Sunday paper; moved over to comic books and cartoons on TV; to doing still life drawing and paintings and eventually to the Maryland Institute, College of Art doing my own stuff, sometimes, alluding to all of the above. Little did I know that being 'creative' was in my blood and ancestry. My parents both came from a small modest fishing village in the Philippines called Angono, Rizal. Turns out a lot of the people my parents knew growing up were and are still prominent artists in the Philippines. Angono is also know as the "Arts Capital of the Philippines." My parents never really told me that growing up, but it seems pretty natural that I chose to be in a creative field. They never push me towards a creative field--they did try to direct me to being a doctor or a lawyer, but even to this day they are always supportive of my creative endeavors.
Each year the town of Angono has a big celebration known as the Higantes Festival or the Feast of San Clemente, who is the patron saint of fishermen. Whether you are able to attend fiesta or not, celebrations happen around the world for those from Angono.
A year ago when I first started with paper, one of the first pieces I created was a papercut of San Clemente for my mother. I brought it to her on the eve of the our fiesta that we celebrate in Virginia Beach, VA. She loved it and so did all the others that saw it! I returned home from VA Beach with 10 orders for a San Clemente papercut. I quickly had to figure out my production methods for making a group of intricate paper illustrations. I started off doing a batch of 4 and later did a batch of 6 illustrations. I raided the local craft store and bought shadow boxes for display and sent them on their way. With that under my belt, I plan on doing larger batches of toys and illustrations in the coming year.
For those that know me or have seen me, I am unusually tall for a Filipino--a giant at 6'3"! I find it ironic that my roots are from a village known for its Giants and Artists!
Viva San Clemente!