VISUAL art has gone a long way. Amid the challenges faced by society and individual artists, art still prevails.
During the early months of the pandemic, visual artists struggle to make ends meet as there were fewer demands for their product. Society hasn't yet considered art as an essential and so the artists had to find a way to earn. Some promoted their drawings online while some participated in Davao Barter Community with their painting in exchange for goods.
Indeed, this pandemic has affected us in both different and universal ways. But as art is a vital form of self-expression, artists found Covid-19 to express art. In celebration of the 2020 Year of Asean Identity, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) conducted the Philippines Asean Digital Art Contest 2020 with the theme Imaging Asean Amid Covid-19.
NCCA, in their Facebook post, said the contest “aims to showcase the best expressions of the contest's theme in digital art by Philippine amateur and professional artists while highlighting the cultural uniqueness and identity being shared by the whole ASEAN region.” With several entries from all over the country, Randolph Lerado of New Bataan, Davao de Oro was hailed as one of the winners. His digital artwork called “Resurgence” won the third prize against several entries all over the country.
We had a chance to congratulate and talk with Randolph, who is the only winner from Davao Region.
SSD: Can you tell us of your process in making the digital art that won you the third spot?
RL: The idea was for it to look like a movie poster portraying an epic battle of superheroes fighting the enemies. In my artwork, instead of putting known comic heroes like superman or batman, I decided to put the frontliners posing to defend the people from the Virus. In the background, you can see all the Asean countries’ famous landmarks and the huge Asean logo which also connects from the ground. I also decided to make it look as if a typhoon was taking place to have a more dramatic feel. Some of the frontliners here are also using the vaccine as a weapon which I decided to give a blue-green color to make it noticeable. I wanted it to be vibrant and colorful to signify hope.
SSD: What message are you trying to portray here?
RL: As I believe in nearing the end of this pandemic, I decided to name my artwork "Resurgence" which means a revival or something about rising again. A vaccine is being produced to give to those infected by the virus. Because of that, we are nearing recovery mode and hopefully, things go back to normal again. With the contest theme "Imaging Asean Amid Covid-19," frontliners are the ones who are doing most of the job risking their life knowing about the danger amid their work just to make us safe. I dedicate this artwork to them and to the people who were lost and affected.
SSD: How long have you been a digital artist? How did you first discover this skill?
RL: I started digital art way back in 2011. My father is the biggest inspiration as he also draws and paints which also made me a traditional artist first before transitioning to be a digital artist.
SSD: As an artist, how are you this pandemic?
RL: So far, the pandemic is the worst thing that is happening for me. As an artist, I try to adapt and overcome the circumstances and take advantage. For instance, I make it an inspiration to incorporate into my works.