Interviewed by: Alfonso Syquia

Senior MJ L. has been into art for as long as she can remember. This has definitely been demonstrated throughout her art career as she has created many beautiful and thought provoking art pieces that stand out in the ISM community. As Bamboo Telegraph’s third Artist in Focus, MJ L., an IB art student and member of the National Art Honor Society, has given us an insight into her journey with art as well as her creative process.

What inspires you to pursue art?

I think what inspires me to continue to pursue art is that after years of practice, I have finally fostered the ability to envision what I essentially want a piece of mine to look like. Then, after a few weeks of hard work, the image I originally saw in my head has transcended into a finished work of art before my eyes. That in itself is incredibly rewarding and is what inspires me to keep creating.

What mediums are you most drawn to?

I mostly work with acrylic paint because it’s a fast clean up, which is important because I am notorious for being late to all of my classes. Also, it’s water based so it’s easy to clean off of clothing. Lastly, it dries very quickly so if I make a mistake, which doesn’t happen very often, I can leave it to dry for a few minutes and just go over it afterwards. This suits me because when I paint, it’s my time to relax so I don’t want to stress about messing up.

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What themes and/or messages do you try to convey through your art pieces?

Right now, the overarching theme that I convey through my pieces is “home”, whether that’s the Philippines, my family, or wherever I find comfort and a sense of familiarity. Through my pieces, which are often portraits, I typically convey how I see and understand my subject, the impact they’ve had on me, how they inspire me and the significance that they have in my life.

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Has being in IB Art changed you as an artist?

I wouldn’t say that it has changed who I am as an artist, but rather it has pushed me as an artist. Taking IB Art has helped me improve and structure my thought process before starting on a final work, it has inspired me to experiment with different mediums and really reflect on what I could do to my pieces to make them more impactful on the viewer.

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What piece are you most proud of?

The piece I am most proud of is one that I am currently working because it is a great example of how I am most inspired to create a piece when I am making it for someone else or I am dedicating it to someone. I am making this piece for my Lola (grandma) because she’s been in and out of the hospital lately and I knew it would cheer her up if I dedicated a painting to her.

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What piece do you think was the biggest challenge for you?

It’s not necessarily a specific piece that has challenged me but more so a whole category of art. In general, sculpture or anything 3D has always been the bane of my existence. I consider myself a 2D artist and I only ever practice my painting/drawing skills, so my sculpting skills are definitely sub-par. If I have to make a 3D piece, I will never get it done. Mrs. Dodd can attest to that.

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Do you have any plans for the future regarding art?

Right now, I don’t have any plans on pursuing this as a career but I know for a fact that I will always keep creating because art is my first passion and I can’t imagine not having the escape that it gives me. But who knows? Maybe I will end up pursuing a career in art.

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