Aside from sharing delicious and unique Filipino goodies each season, we also delight in sharing the work of a talented Filipino artist with you.
For our Summer Harvest Chibundle, we bring you the vibrant, whimsical work of Filipino artist Andrea de la Cruz.
"Impressionistic, carefree, vibrant, and relaxed"----these are just some of the ways Andrea describes her work.
Andrea started exploring art at a young age. She counts herself lucky to have had a supportive family who “encouraged [her] to make things, and explore without fear and enjoy the process.”
Growing up, there was no shortage of time to create: her mom would play with air dry clay alongside her, while her dad would spend time drawing in the margins of books with her.
“I also got to watch my aunt who was an animator at work and I was free to play with some of her tools,” adds Andrea, “I remember drawing beside her as she worked."
Aside from being a visual artist, Andrea considers herself to be a storyteller.
“I feel very much happy and alive when I create art for my own enjoyment. I believe that every single one of us is unique and has a story to tell," she explains, adding how she loves the fact that her artworks tell her own story, in her own unique style.
When asked about what inspires her art, Andrea shares that she’s “obsessed with a lot of things.”
“And I'm also what they call a scanner,” she continues. “I greatly enjoy the process of trying out new things and discovering new things.”
The creative projects she chooses to pursue are dependent upon what she’s currently enjoying, in terms of subject matter, materials, or color.
“I just pick a medium I'd like to explore on that day, think of whatever it is that excites me enough to paint it, and just go for it," explains the young artist. "I often paint flowers because the end results surprise me and they're relaxing to paint, and women, because I love everything about women and it's challenging to paint them, but also rewarding."
She's recently been painting a lot of reiki-infused pieces or freeform watercolor paintings inspired by her mood or the music she's listening to. And of course, there are her constant favorites and fellow artists she draws inspiration from.
"I love Monet's use of color, and his subject matter, and Yuko Nagayama's fresh take on watercolors, but I am also inspired by so many local artists, I love how creative Filipinos are!"
And what does she love most about being a Filipino artist? The sense of community and the feeling of belonging.
“I organize artambays and started the local version of #ladiesdrawingnight (originally from New York) and called it #ladiesdrawingnightph because I really love gathering people together, connecting them in their shared love for art and making," she happily shares. "Filipinos are so welcoming and happy to help and I feel so proud of my fellow Filipinos when I see them sharing what they know and love about art.”
And she believes this sense of community and culture of sharing truly extends to Filipino cuisine.
"The best thing about it is how we're so willing to share what we make with friends, family, and even strangers. We show our love and hospitality through food," she shares. "When you're with Filipinos, and they're eating, you'd most probably hear Kain tayo! (Let's eat!), a generous invitation to partake of the meal with them."
This openness also influences how innovative Filipinos are when it comes to making meals.
“I love how each province has something unique and delicious to offer," adds Andrea, "how we manage to make the most out of our resources, and turn them into spectacularly delicious fare."
What's her advice for budding artists?
“Just keep on making what you love. Don't think too much about your style or your materials. Just use what you have, and keep on learning about yourself and what you love making in the process," says, Andrea, adding that: "If you keep on making art that you love, and you share it with the world, you will attract your tribe-- people who love the same things you love, and who would support you and cheer you on as you grow.”
And Andrea also has dreams of her own. She wants to someday experience an art residency abroad, preferably in Japan, or anywhere she can be immersed nature daily. She also dreams of having a solo art exhibit featuring not just her recent paintings, but even her rubbercut prints, papercuts and journal pages.
“This quote from one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, sums up my feelings about making art: Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
In our Summer Chibundle, Andrea has contributed a stunning piece of artwork that mirrors this passion. Entitled "Rise", this piece tells the story of resilience and blossoming, how light is always there inside of us.
“It's a call to honor and treasure those glimpses of light,” explains Andrea. “And to be assured that we are divinely supported as constantly as the sun is rising.”
You can find "Rise" in our Summer Chibundle, and you can follow Andrea’s creative journey on her Instagram: @MabuhayDIY
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all artwork images courtesy of Andrea dela Cruz