FYA! Here’s a young artist who tries to make ends meet by getting better at his art, a day at a time
Here’s an unpopular point: Art, as an industry, can be quite cliquish. It is very difficult for younger, aspiring artists to “get out there,” as they grapple with finding what makes their art unique while also trying very hard to get past the barriers put up by some self-proclaimed “gatekeepers” of the artistic world.
This sad reality makes the stories of the likes of 21-year-old artist Brian Razon quite intriguing.
An academic scholar at De La Salle – College of St. Benilde’s School of Design and Arts, Brian has been spending a lot of his time in quarantine doing commissions, like most artists have been doing this Covid season, to help his family make ends meet. This isn’t also new to him, having stepped up to be the family’s breadwinner a year before he decided to continue with college, taking up a degree in Architecture.
Brian admits that he considered himself a “bedroom artist” for 15 years since he developed a love for art when he first started painting at three years old. Now, he has stepped out of his comfort zone to fully explore what being an artist means. Apart from doing commissioned work, hehas also been doing the “art of drag” as a way to express his opinions and extend his craft.
Here’s Manila Bulletin Lifestyle’s conversation with today’s Featured Young Artist.
How would you describe your art, and yourself as an artist?
As an artist, I always drop a piece of myself in every painting I make, may it be a portrait or a conceptual work. It may sound odd but painting is like sharing my DNA to the people. And as for my art, I always try to depict the soul of my craft in every brushstroke and, especially, in the colors that I use. Seeing my painting is clearly seeing or reading me as a person bare naked. Thus, my art and myself are more than a canvas painted with a signature, such that my art is also my extended existence as a person.
Where do you draw inspiration for your works?
Mostly, I take inspiration from the scenes of my life and fuse them with the abstraction going inside my head. I don’t normally draw my inspirations yet I always try to capture them as a memory in my head. I barely write or draw them and it always depends on my mood and current state. Normally, I generate inspiration and ideas by listening to music and watching all sorts of videos or maybe read articles that soothe my mind, which really helps a lot.
Do you have a particularly favorite piece that you’ve done? Which is it and why?
My most favorite work that I have done was the painting I made this year titled Only Fans, which drew a lot of attention in my social media, gaining thousands of engagements. It helped me a lot to be recognized as an artist in the mainstream media. But aside from that, this painting reflects my existence and has a deeper meaning, being what is perhaps the most daring piece I have yet made. Taking that risk to make this painting also broke my barriers and became my guide to finally step out of my comfort zones and say goodbye to being just a “bedroom artist.”
What is your personal opinion about other young people pursuing arts, whether as a passion or a profession?
Do what will make you happy and forget about what others think . That’s a lesson I learned over the past years of doing my passion with art, to just continue and fulfill your heart’s desire. Growing up with an interest in art should be developed and, as a young artist, we should keep on honing it. Start young and grow great. Although criticisms can let you down, just think that there are also a lot of people who believe in your ability. And, most importantly, be humble and be grateful for what you have.
Any message you want to give to other aspiring artists?
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. I know that it could be overwhelming but staying there won’t help you become the artist you want to be. Help yourself and start when you are ready. Never give up. The succession of your mistakes, trials and errors, and attempts may break you down but always keep in mind that, for the next time, you’ll be carrying a greater experience. Also, practice makes perfect but don’t be too hard on yourself. It always takes time and we all have a lot of room for improvement. Enjoy it and you’ll get there!
IG: @peints.br / @brian.razon_ | FB: Peints / Brian Razon