I don't necessarily think I have a certain style, or I classify my art within a certain movement. Most of the time I draw/paint whats happening around me, my reaction to external stimuli, and, for most cases, subliminal things that I can only understand after I finish a picture. I dabble in all media, especially in traditional and in print. My main media are in oils, graphite and inks. I don't really believe in art beauty contests, so I don't strive to actually win any art awards.
I never had the plan to go into arts. Sometimes, having no plan is the best plan. But after I decided to pursue a creative career in visual arts, I had to make sure my moves were strategic and calculated. It's hard to go into an industry that is subjective but at the same time partially dependent on who you know.
Honesty, it's a breeze to paint a picture if it comes from within.
I know it's cliche but there's nothing worse than creating an artwork that doesn't even resonate with yourself. It's different cause it's hard to find honesty and sincerity in art, especially that we have access to the internet. A lot of artists have "moodboards" and "pegs" so that they meld into the style of the moment, forgetting that it's not mostly the style that matters, it's the emotion/story/reaction/commentary behind the art. The strokes reveal themselves if you let your emotions loose on the canvas. Just fuvk shit up and draw, it's that easy. You don't have to force anything out if it's not there.
Art only becomes hard when you try to give what you don't have.
I usually carry a journal with me anywhere I go. My mentor, Jason Moss, taught me a lot of lessons in art, and one of them is the importance of journaling. Usually, an idea pops up in the most random places. In the jeepney, in the comfort room in SM, while eating sa carenderia. or right before I go to sleep; then a thing I notice strikes me. I usually jot keywords down in my journal so I don't forget the impression I got, then I impregnate the words with some resource materials like books, music, the news, my own experiences, etc. Then, the copulation of the word and source material makes art babies. Apart from scribbles and drawings, you'll see a lot of words, phrases and analogies are inside my sketchbook. Most of the time, some of the strong words that struck me seep into the actual painting/artwork. By strong I mean it with context. The word "kill" and "flower" have the same value to me but one can be stronger than the other with context.
Well, what you immerse yourself into will reveal themselves in your art/design. I cannot say that I have not been influenced because that would be just plain arrogant. However, I am limiting myself when it comes to consuming resources and use that time to actually work on something. No matter how many Pinterest boards you put up, if you won't do the work, the pieces wouldn't happen. We shouldn't let the online design sources dictate what stories we should tell, though. No one in the entire world is experiencing the world like you do, so record that shit and create stuff.
Who are the artists you look up to?
Jason Moss, my fairy god mother, no doubt. Work ethic, how he thinks and digests art, how he pushes himself to improve every single day (even though his work is superb and way ahead of our time), and how he tackles challenges and how he experiments with his mediums, techniques. Takato Yamamoto, my first art hero. The anonymity + the dedication and his immersion with his craft is astounding. He has zero online presence but still manages to acquire a cult following. Akira Beard, an artist friend/soul brother from the Grass Valley. Basquiat, the radiant child. MIA, the controversial musician, visual-artist, programmer and producer. Finally, *drum rolls* Azealia Banks.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Not to sound like an arrogant prick but I don't actually 'look' for inspiration, especially with my painting/drawings. Most of the visual cues I use are passing things in front of me that I somehow manage to catch. For example, I'm hanging out at the central market, drinking native coffee, and I happen to see a salt vendor with interesting features and angles, so I draw him. You don't actually have to look for inspiration when you realize the whole world is a clusterfuck of creative source material. "Waiting for inspiration" is lazy. I might get flak for this but if you want to create shit you don't need to wait for an angel to go down from heaven give you a fucking cue. The world is awesome and everything in this world can be a source material, if you're not too busy thinking about yourself. Well actually, even yourself can become a great source of inspiration. Draw 100 self portraits, get some rest, draw your face some more. Just.fucking.draw.
Not having just one skill.
The Way of Sorrows
It's my senior thesis. I was studying Digital Media Arts in La Consolacion College and I was required an output with some sort of animation. I'm not a gaming buff, not an avid animation fan, well in fact I don't even know why I ended up taking DMA, all I knew was I wanted to learn new shit to add to my arsenal. I had to think of something that interests me but at the same time something new and something relatable to my course description. I was walking with my Ice Bear in my city when he brought up the idea that I can actually do partially animated religious imagery, since iconography was one of my earlier style foundations, and I loved the idea. It was plausible and I could pull it off in the short amount of time I have left (3 weeks away from my deliberation). This is actually the third revision of my initial idea, so I had to make a third thesis book from scratch. I ended up winning Best in Thesis Defense out of 13 thesis proposals.
Its interesting you’ve chosen to interpret the way of the cross – did you have any goals or particular objectives with this project?
During my defense, one of the main goals that I had was intermarry old, liturgical art with the 21st Century screens. My proposals we're centered with an interactive app that showed my GIFs while the people are treading the Stations of the Cross. It was the only thing I knew I could do good in, especially because my peers are so adept in those gaming and film extravaganza that I knew I had to divert my path to give the jury some variation. My thesis was the oddest one out.
Anything that has changed your views on art and designs recently?
Money and connections alone can be kingmakers. But we can always shoot down a tyrant, right?
Best piece of advice you’ve ever heard
Take care of your art and your art will take care of you.
-Dr. Antonio Tejado