I grew up in Pangasinan and most of my summers were spent at the Lingayen Beach. They were glorious childhood years. My first drawings were those of flowers, mostly roses I made as greeting cards. I sold them to my cousins who were my age. I was about 9 then. In the elementary school, my artworks were always displayed at the bulletin board and having no inclination that I was going to be an artist in my adult life, they looked trivial for me but thumbtacked papers on the wall.
High school days were unremarkable save for the drawing I made as an artist of our school newspaper. I still can remember every detail of that drawing until now. College life was so different. I dropped from my Architecture class because I was already having nightmarish dreams about numbers. Until I decided to transfer to Fine Arts which at that time was at the same building as CAFA at the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a tumultuous, hurly burly 4 years of finishing never ending school plates.
Then came 19 years of unproductive married life with no art. At all. Not even a single remembrance of a pencil sketch. On the professional side however, I began exploring different aspects of a marketing career from being a coordinator between the program distributor of Mazinger Z and Channel 9, both now defunct, to being the marketing manager of some Mattel brands. In 1999, I transferred to Crown Supply Corporation and headed its marketing of Faber-Castell, Dong-A, Deli Stationery and Copic Markers. This is the landscape of my marketing works. It is my advertising field. Promotions. Events. Merchandising Display. Social Media and now E-commerce. This is my left brain machine working for me.
My art? It is suffering. Art is different from advertising. Abstract expressionism is something else. My art is suffering in a way because I have self-imposed limitations brought about by my corporate discipline. Abstract art is unbounded, unlimited, unfathomable. Abstract expressionism is the most confusing art. It is trying to navigate the hallows of an empty space and for most of the time I would just blankly stare at the whiteness of its white. It is easier to create figurative art because one can refer to the whole universe as its point of reference but for abstract, well…it is…abstract. Unless I can find my muse in the textures of a wooden curtain, in the uneven intricacies of a dilapidated wall, a used up tarpaulin whose texts are lost in its worn out fibers, a sheer cloth against the sunlight, then I can make my art. That is when my Hibla art is created. A lot of people would ask me this, when do I say my painting is finished? When there is that complete feeling of lightness in me and look at my painting in wonderment and would ask myself: Nagawa ko to?