Brushstrokes of inspiration

Contributed photo by Rembert Vergara Jr.
Contributed photo by Rembert Vergara Jr.

IN THE realm of boundless imagination and artistic flair, there exist individuals who are like canvases waiting to be adorned with infinite hues, their hearts deeply rooted in their origins.

Meet Rembert Vergara Jr., a Fine Arts student from the Philippine Women's College of Davao, whose destiny is to be a masterpiece brimming with boundless possibilities in artistry. His creative focus primarily revolves around traditional paintings and intricate ink doodle illustrations. In addition, he lends his talents to mural projects commissioned for various occasions, art events, and academic endeavors.

"All I knew growing up as a kid was drawing, but then I was introduced to painting by Sir Christopher Cañete, my mentor, during Grade 6 when I represented our school to compete in a watercolor painting contest; by good fortune, the first competition I won in life and the first time I discover Art," Vergara said.

A proud Dabawenyo, Vergara harbors aspirations of honing his craft and illuminating Davao's rich culture through his artistic creations. His ultimate goal is to be his best version while forging connections with people through his artistry.

"As a Dabawenyo artist, I use my knowledge and skill of art not just to express but also to share my artistry with the community. I use my craft to teach and conduct art workshops for the community and participate in some art projects for the community," he said. 

Driven by a desire to connect with people, Vergara actively engages in teaching art and organizing art workshops within the community. He also participates in community-focused art projects, including mural initiatives.

One noteworthy project was the "Lullabies for Peace" mural undertaking at Davao City National High School in 2018, led by prominent artists Kublai Millan, Jeff Bangot, and Archie Oclos. 

Demonstrating his passion for helping others, Vergara volunteered for art workshops and relief operations such as "Bangon Luayon" and "heArt Heals" to aid the victims of Makilala, Cotabato, in 2020. Additionally, he contributed his skills to an art workshop for the DS Foundation with Dominic Turno.

In 2021, Vergara clinched first place in the Hulagway sa Kadayawan Digital Art 2021 competition with his captivating piece, "Davao's Golden Time of 2021." His artworks have graced exhibitions in prominent venues like the Manila Clock Tower Museum, Mindanao Art 2020, and Mindanao Art 2021.

Despite being deeply passionate about painting, Vergara acknowledges that challenges are an inherent part of the artistic journey. However, he views these challenges as opportunities for growth and learning.

He said, "I was done being frustrated with my skill and being lazy that I really pushed myself to undergo the process of painting with discipline and dedication. The results gave me enormous satisfaction, and that's when I overcame such challenges and fell in love with painting even more." 

As a thriving artist, Vergara draws inspiration from many sources, including films, music, and the natural world. He also derives creative energy from the works of artists he admires, the stories of people, the moments he captures, and his experiences while exploring new destinations.

He also ventured into digital artistry and is currently exploring photo and video editing for clothing line product designs and branding, broadening his creative horizons.

As he continues to make his mark in art, Vergara remains resolute in representing not just the identity of a Dabawenyo but also a proud Filipino.

He offers aspiring artists these words of wisdom: "Be curious and practice your craft. One artwork at a time; don't pressure yourself to create a perfect piece immediately because no artist becomes good overnight. Enjoy the process at the same time, understand what you draw/paint. Surround yourself with inspiring artists, follow masters on social media or delve into books to learn from them. In time, you'll realize your remarkable progress as an artist. Keep doing you." DSCA

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