I am sorry for neglecting this space for too long. Life does get in the way sometimes, but I assure you, May 2016 was a good kind of crazy. It was a month of stepping out of comfort zones, and even though I am entirely pleased with my output, I've learned a lot about my process, artistic direction, and motivation.
This past month, I said yes to three very challenging projects: to paint murals for a cafe, to hold a watercolor lettering demo in a mall, and to create something that will be permanently displayed in a park. I haven't done any of these things before, so to say I was terrified is a grave understatement. One project in particular taught me a lot of lessons, and that's Parkfest PH for Nayong Pilipino.
I was tasked to do a mural with a fellow letterer, June Digan (THE June Digan!), and when I first learned about it I didn't know whether I should rejoice or hide under a rock. It was an honor to be paired with a talented artist, but at the same time I grappled with a lot of self-doubt. Will I be able to deliver? Will I be able to create something worthy to be displayed in a public park alongside June's work? Will I be ready for this kind of challenge? And as with all things uncertain, my answer was a resounding yes.
The initial stages were a bit rough. We weren't able to paint on the first day because there was a problem with our primed canvas. We had to transfer and adjust to a bigger wall. We encountered intense heat and rain while working. It seemed like all of these factors mirrored the turmoil I was having inside. I kept on procrastinating and changing my design because I felt they weren't good enough, that I wasn't good enough. But eventually we finished and I was faced with this question: Ano ang inaasam mong kalayaan?
In our completed mural, we had three options: freedom of expression, freedom of choice, and freedom against judgment or discrimination. But I didn't long for any of them. I wish to have freedom from self-doubt, from feeling like whatever I come up with looks like trash. I wish to have the freedom from expectations, whether from the outside or self-imposed, so I can create whatever I want and experiment whenever I feel like it. I wish to have the freedom from negative self-talk so I can continue accepting projects like this and keep on stretching myself.
As I laid down the final brush strokes and fine details, I realized that the only person who can afford me the freedom I long for is myself. So from this point on, I will do my best not to get in my own way. I am going to continue to say yes to things that will help me grow.