Level 26 quest: go to my hometown and do a selfie portrait!
My good friend Ate Vance invited me to an art workshop happening in Marikina. I got excited but had my reservations because, despite my interest in art, I see myself not good with it. I can only draw stick figures and only capable of doing simple crafts haha! Assuring me that we will be guided through the process, I said yes.
“Pwede mo rin i-express pagmamahal mo thru art.”
Sige ate, push natin yan! Haha! Anyway, before coming to Lokal, I was in good spirits despite my commuter woes. It was because I spent the morning with my blogger friends in an outdoor event.
Have you ever sketched or painted yourself or by another person? I have always been curious as how other people see me so I grabbed the chance when we went to Tam-Awan Village this year.
What’s more fascinating to know is, how do you see yourself?
The activity, called SELFie Portrait ArtLab, was facilitated by Ms. Connie Macatuno. She is a director and writer by profession and also owns the workshop venue, Lokal Home+Art+Fashion. She describes it as a “creative way to discover YOU” a.k.a “Sessions of Expression”.
Ms. Connie demonstrated how to draw the face, eyes and nose as a start.
During the ArtLab
That was how Ms. Connie described how I looked like while I was working on the task at hand.
She was on point though.
I was on the crossroads at the time, contemplating whether I should pursue what I love or settle with what I currently do. I was under constant stress and not feeling well on most days.
It was time to let go of my original color and fill the canvas. Uncertainty was eating me. Should I do the hair first? The skin? The eyes? I was having this internal battle and unconsciously telling myself, “let loose, Dems.” *cue in Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’*
Eventually I picked up a purple chalk, putting on some hair strands. Each stroke getting bolder as I free my mind. I worked on the eyes next, fill up my irides with gray. My lips blue, outlined with black. The outline of my face, ears and neck green. My skin a mix of cream and light brown. The pink strands and white top added as an afterthought. I covered the ‘background’ in alternating colors of black and red.
In between I would use my hands to blend everything in or stand up to dispose of the excess chalk dust.
Satisfied with my work, I cleaned my hands, stood up and grabbed some food while waiting for everyone else to finish.
Many people see Dems as “prim and proper” and mature than most of her peers. But I’d like you to meet the child in me: the dreamer. Only my closest friends know and appreciate the child-like me: inquisitive, playful, hopeful, imaginative (which is why you don’t see that part of me a lot).
A photo posted by Dems (@demsangeles) on
This is a testament of God’s love and faithfulness in my life. That even through all the hardships and heartbreak, He didn’t let me go astray. He took away all the negative feelings I have held on for so long. He helped me rediscover myself and with it I was able to forgive – my family, my past relationships and friendships, and of course, myself. Though there might be some things that still take my breath away, I trust that God will heal me.
I am thankful that I can still see the goodness of the world as well as love and care for the people in my life like a child does. I pray that I don’t lose this.
I guess I’m only able to talk about this now, after a month, because I’ve had time for self-reflection.
My artwork is currently displayed by my work table as a reminder. I purchased the wrong frame size though and had to fold the sides 🙁
I highly encourage you to participate in one of the sessions, which is offered at P1,200. Materials are provided, as well as some snacks, so you just need to bring yourself hehe! The goal is not to come up with a perfect selfie (there is beauty in imperfection ah?), but to get to know yourself more through art 🙂
Just before wrapping up this post, I came across Reese Fernandez-Ruiz’ post “On Creative Insecurities” for some inspiration. To quote,
“Not good enough? Not technically skilled? Not creative enough? Create anyway. Create for yourself first. Create to tell the story inside you that you may not yet be aware of. Every mistake, every wrong colour combination, every single piece, is a story of you, where you are, your learning, your journey. If you end up not liking what you have created, keep it anyway. Write a little note about it. Put it in a drawer. And one day, go back to it. Read what you wrote, look at your creation. THAT is part of your story.”
I’m looking forward to do this again after five years! 🙂
Check out the video below, featuring a part of my interview:
LOKAL Home+Art+Fashion is a creative space, gallery and retail store in one. They host musical and spoken poetry performances aside from the weekend art labs, which are announce on their Facebook page.
3/F 21 Lilac St. Concepcion Dos, Marikina City
Open daily from 12NN to 10PM