How it started.
My art journey began when I graduated high school and entering as a Pre-Illustration Major in a university near home. I was a student trying to imitate my vision of what an artist should be like.
In high school, my art space consisted of random desks and tables I could comfortably perch on. My workspace served its convenience, while I had access to free art supplies. Not that I had any of my own supplies, to begin with. Free and an abundance of them was something I took advantage of. I was also close to most of the art teachers (amongst others) which meant, I could crash and draw in their classrooms if or when necessary.
When not in school, my work ‘table’ was my bed. It wasn’t the best option but was the only viable one. At home, at the time, we didn’t really have a place that was just a desk to do homework. We had maybe one or two desks with a PC setup. I did work a few times on our coffee table though. That was exhausting to the back, but I was 17/18. My youth was on my side!
I suppose, looking back, my home was never a conducive place to study let alone an art space.
The simple evolution of my workspace truly began in 2011, just after my first semester in University. We moved, and I didn’t have to share my room with 2 other people… just one. Lol!
It was a game changer.
I worked on my own bed. For 10 years, my sisters and I shared a bunkbed together. Eight years before that, I shared a bed with a nanny when I was still living in the Philippines. Oh, the memories.
It was still quite the hard-knock life for me, but not as bad in comparison. Still, working on the bed just wasn’t productive. It gets dirty really quickly and cleaning up was a real bother.
I am an advocate for ‘dedicated spaces’.
I believe that a thing should function the way it’s meant to. A bed is not meant for work.
Unfortunately, it was all I could work on back then. And I wasn’t dabbling in multiple mediums during that time either. I worked mostly with pens and pencils because those were the mediums I loved using back in high school. As a Pre-Illustration Major as well, I wasn’t really dabbling seriously into one specific medium. So, the flexibility of working on a coffee table, the floor, or my bed was good enough. And yes, I worked on the floor. It was not butt-friendly, let’s just say.
Then I started to suffer deeply from depression, and I transferred colleges making my art journey a little bit more convoluted.
The two things shouldn’t have correlated, but they did. A story for another time.
Continuing my art journey, when I changed schools, I also changed majors from Pre-Illustration to Game Design— from a B.A. to a B.S. (I’ll tell my school stories another time.)
The change in majors meant that I needed to work differently. I started using my sister’s desk more often. Easily, I can say that sharing a desk is also not ideal. I still had to make sure to clean up right after a long day of work. I needed to be mindful that I didn’t exactly have ownership of anything in that space.
I believe these were the first times I realized how money-dependent I was, and what “ownership” really meant.
Eventually, I re-cracked open the drafting table I once used in our garage from the old house. I inherited the desk from one of my beloved high school art teachers.
When we moved, I kept the desk in the new garage as there was nowhere to place such a hefty desk. Changing schools gave me a reason to claim a space for it.
This led me to start caring for my workspace. I think, I used to work on that drafting table during my years in University in the stuffy garage of the old house we used to live in. It was not a nice place to work. Aside from the quiet atmosphere, it got hot in there quickly, dusty beyond help, and dark. That garage lacked sufficient lighting. So, bringing the drafting table into the new house meant that I was gaining air and light, but it also meant giving up that beautiful quietness.
You’ll find out later on that my art journey consisted a lot trials and errors, if you didn’t already feel that way.
I had my drafting table placed in the open living area for about 2.5 years before I started to really feel the depression weigh heavily on me. I remember working on that desk while watching the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening with the entire family.
And I started seeking quiet spaces, my safe spaces. I worked less at home, and I sought out libraries. I forced myself to wake up early and leave school late because it was the only place I could retreat to. The downside to working at school was I was always working. I was always in the dark with bright computer screens. There was just never a chance to separate school from my life and it was stressful so then, I sought things far from my school. I would visit my old University and my friends who went there. I took my work with me and surrounded myself with their energy which I couldn’t find for myself.
Eventually as this went on, my eldest sister who I shared a room with finally moved out.
The space we couldn’t amicably share was now empty. I realized then that my entire life for five years had been in a box.
I hadn’t really moved in.
My art journey was still just a journey to somewhere.
My drafting table had been tucked back inside the garage due to lack of use between 2013 to 2015. I had my sketchbooks in a moving box while my clothes lay about as I didn’t have a drawer. I was never really living in that space, as did my sister when we were together.
When she left, I quickly made the space my own. I brought my drafting table in. The walls were pasted with my art, something I had never done before. I even crafted myself a tiny bookshelf (seen on second photo) for the things that I’d begun to accumulate.
It felt like home.
And over the years since dropping out of college in 2015 and focusing more on digital art, this space I call my room has evolved in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.
In 2019, we had our floor renovated from carpet to hardwood flooring. This is how my art journey cycle repeats itself.
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