In Focus:

  • Date: August 10th, 2017
  • Author: admin

Students at First Academy come from different backgrounds, but one thing in common is their passion for digital arts. Let’s get close and personal with…

JP Bonoan

WHO IS JP BONOAN?
Most people know me as “JP”. I’m 23-years old, I currently work as an animator at Goalfish Solutions. I’m also an animation lecturer at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. I’ve been in the Animation Industry for more than 3 years now. My Hobbies are playing video games, playing my guitar and watching wrestling shows.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST?
Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to do is to draw cartoons. It’s when I graduated high school I realized that I needed to learn more than just drawing. I needed to study animation.

WHERE DO YOU FIND IDEAS OR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK THESE DAYS?
I find inspiration from artworks of my favorite artists, what I see on the Internet, and everyday experiences.

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
Now I’m just doing 2D animation in the company I’m working on.

TELL US ABOUT A MEMORABLE PROJECT.
The first work that I’m very proud of is my Thesis film. It’s a Stop Motion short film entitled “The Ditch”. It was done by my 2 thesis mates and it won 2 awards at Animahenasyon 2013 as Best Short Film in Student Category & Technical Excellence Award. The second work that I’m also very proud of is my Stop Motion Demo Reel of 2016. It also won an award at Benilde Animation Festival 2016 held at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde for Best Alumnus Animation Film.

WHAT COURSE DID YOU TAKE IN FACA? WHY?
3D Animation & Design Track. I felt that I needed to enhance my skills in animation. I’m very motivated to learn new techniques.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOUBTFUL OF LEARNING OR EXPLORING THEIR INNER ARTIST?
Take risks. Don’t be afraid or they’ll regret it later on.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
I challenge myself in going to workshops, masterclasses, or watch art talks so I can learn and understand more about new techniques that I’m not familiar with.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL PROJECT. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
Now I’m currently working on my FACA 3D project. It’s composed of 3D models & animation.

HAS FACA HELPED OR INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTRY?

Of course! FACA helped me in improving my 3D modeling. Because of this I’ve learned to love it.

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST? WHY? WHAT WORKS DID YOU LIKE?
My favorite artist is PES, a film maker known for his stop motion films. He inspires me a lot in terms of animation and storytelling. He uses simple, everyday objects to create impactful stories. One of my favorite among his works is entitled “Fresh Guacamole,” which cleverly depicted an avocado as a grenade.

DO THE OPINIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE INFLUENCE OR CHANGE WHAT YOU CREATE?
I am always open to criticisms about my work. I believe that they can help in enhancing my artworks.

WHAT ADVISE CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ASPIRE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST LIKE YOU?
Never stop learning. As an artist, it would be better if we keep our minds open to different kinds of opportunities, study artworks of other artists, watch films, create ideas, and always take risks.

Chudrack Salinas

WHO IS CHUDRACK SALINAS?
Hello, I’m Chudrack Salinas, or just Chud. I’m 23 and a Graphic Artist for a preschool at my full-time job. I also do some freelance work on the side. I also play music as a hobby (sometimes write and record too); I play guitar, drums, harmonica, and I sing very very poorly. I’m a Computer Science graduate and enjoy talking about computer architecture and hardware. I also come from La Trinidad, Benguet (near Baguio City) so I miss the cold and can get really sweaty while walking around and getting lost in Makati (which I enjoy too).

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST?
I’ve always enjoyed drawing and generally making things. The digital part mostly came because there were things you just couldn’t do with just pen and paper. I went into digital art mostly because I really wanted to make things I kept seeing online, mostly photo manipulation and digital painting. What amazed me was the variety of thoughts put into pictures that were just not possible with other mediums. A head cracked like an egg. A tree growing into an elephant. A rock with teeth. It was amazing, it was new, it was crazy. And I wanted to be a part of it.

WHERE DO YOU FIND IDEAS OR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK THESE DAYS?
My ideas come from a mix of what I’ve seen other people make. The trick is to make something new from everything you’ve already seen. It doesn’t even have to be new, just make something, and keep making, and making, and making. Eventually you’ll inspire yourself and hopefully others.
Inspiration doesn’t even have to come from the same field you’re working on. In graphic design if you can see it you can use it. I get inspiration from architecture (mostly when I’m taking walks), video games, movies, and other pretty things your eyes can see. Sometimes inspiration doesn’t even have to be something visual: music, novels, food, whatever your senses can sense.

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
At the preschool I work in, I’m mostly doing illustrations for photo book covers and backgrounds, stories, etc. I’ll include some screenshots but no full work just to be safe. On the side I’m learning on making and animating sprites (pixel art) for a mobile game project (again sorry can’t really show any work) and sometimes consulting on user interfaces/experience and general graphic design.

TELL US ABOUT THIS PROJECT.
One of the projects I’m really proud of is the Thesis Banner for our thesis. The context behind the project is probably as important as the poster itself. In short, it had to be finished and printed in less than a week, it had to be both attractive and informative, it had to be approved by our adviser (and my three thesis mates), it had to be done while we were still working on the actual thesis, and it was about half or 25% of our grade for that subject (I don’t remember how much, but it was pretty much required to pass). Basically, it’s pretty similar to actual work I got except it was in school.
To finish on time, I had to work with my thesis mates first to come up with a design we all agreed with and since I was going to be making it, I had to make sure there was a way to do it quickly. This means that I had to pick which parts I would make from scratch and which ones I had to copy and modify from other works. So as much as I wanted the whole design to be made from scratch, time didn’t allow.
Our banner won an award for best design. We lost on best content, but still, best design. What made me enjoy making this was when I realized how similar the workflow was with what I do now: talking with teammates, getting approval, and executing (in a relatively short span of time). The icing on the cake was when I found out the following batch were given our banner to take inspiration from for their own banners.
By the way, if you understood anything written on the poster, we might have an interesting talk.
As of writing, this is the latest thing on my sketchbook that isn’t work related. It’s nothing special but it sort of makes me happy that I still get to draw on a sketchbook on my free time. Not everything I come up with can be used in my current job (can’t use those for preschool kiddie eyes), but everything I make still influences what I do next. On a related note, I recently started scanning and posting old drawings online. You can see them here if you’re interested:

WHAT COURSE DID YOU TAKE IN FACA? WHY?
I took two courses at First Academy, Print Media Arts and Web Design. I took Print Media first because it had the most Photoshop. By then I was using Photoshop for about 8 years so I knew my way around. What I didn’t know was how the industry worked, mostly how to get paid. I finished the course with a Certificate of Proficiency (yeaay!) then took a year-long internship at FACA. I was the only intern who did Print Media, everyone else took Web Design. Our supervisor, Sir Marvin was also a Web Ninja. I basically got jealous and wanted to do what they were doing so I took Web Design while finishing the internship.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOUBTFUL OF LEARNING OR EXPLORING THEIR INNER ARTIST?
Art is fun. It’s frustrating. You could say it’s useless. It may leave you with nothing. If you let it. Art only becomes meaningful when you put a part of yourself into your work. Like everything, it takes work to get even a little good. But from what I’ve seen, the best artworks aren’t the best executed ones. The best works are the ones where you get to know the artist because of the art. Learning to be an artist is learning about yourself. And if it’s for you, it’s how others will get to learn about you.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
Do something you have no (or little) knowledge of. You learn along the way, either from experience or from other people. If you can, don’t do it for money, do it for the sheer joy of learning. Or if you want the pressure, do it for the money too.

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOUR DIGITAL ARTS CAREER STARTED?
I’ve been playing around with Photoshop since around 2004. At that time I had Photoshop 7, the icon was still an eye. I started playing around when I got regular access to the internet. I started out making avatars and signatures on online forums; sometimes wallpapers. I started doing tutorials, learning from other forum members and eventually designing tarpaulins, cards and posters. I think learning through other people at forums was the most important part of my “pre-career”. You get to meet people that are much better than you and more importantly you get to meet people who aren’t afraid to tell you how much you suck. It prepares you for criticism and comments from clients and bosses in the real world. More than getting good, you need to learn how to handle yourself emotionally as well.
The actual start of my career I would say was during my internship at First Academy. I started doing work that would actually be used by people I didn’t know personally. This was new to me. It meant I had to be more professional. And I personally thought I had to do even better work.

HAS FACA HELPED OR INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTRY?
First Academy introduced me to a wider world with people interested in making pretty looking things too. It was new for me to see other people who were making things, sharing what they knew, and even learning from what I knew. Until then I only experienced that online (and sometimes at school).

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST? WHY? WHAT WORKS DID YOU LIKE?
My favorite artists are people I get to meet in person who share their work and who want to see my work. It makes a world of difference when you get to share your work with other people and you both get to talk and learn from each other. I still enjoy seeing works by artists who I’ve read about like Albrecht Durer, Erik Johansson, John Su, and Frank Frazetta. But when you get to talk to the person and see how they express themselves in their work, that’s when you truly make a connection. That’s when you get to understand a person and why they make what they make.

WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING AS A DIGITAL ARTIST?
If you enjoy creating, you’ll definitely have fun. Your time and energy will involve more than just working with designs and illustrations. You’ll still have meetings with your coworkers. You’ll still have to manage your time. You’ll still have the occasional argument with management. You’ll still overwork yourself and tire yourself out. But again, like every other job, if you find meaning in it you’ll want to keep doing it. You’ll want to serve other people with it. You’ll want to meet more people to teach and learn. You’ll want to get better at it.

Do the opinions of other people influence or change what you create?
Yes. And that’s not a bad thing.
You have clients, bosses, supervisors who will have to approve of what you do. The fun part (for me anyway) comes in making something that you and everyone else involved will agree on. The best designs I’ve made were those where other people are involved; you get to create something with more than your experience in play. This doesn’t mean you let others dictate everything you do. Pick the complaints apart from the actual useful criticisms but also be open to new ideas. But always be confident (not proud) that you’re still an (or sometimes “the”) artist in the group and that you know when an idea doesn’t work; that includes your own ideas.

How does the future look for you?
If you truly love working in this wonderful world of graphic design, you don’t stop with just one specific job title (or one skill). This makes job hunting hard for me but moving on. I’m still working on being a better illustrator and also learning User Experience design, something I want to get into as I see it as a great mix of technical knowledge mixed with design sensibility. I also have no idea how to do 3D and motion graphics, am terrible at animation, and don’t know how to use a graphics tablet. I also mentioned that I got into digital art because of photo manipulation (something I haven’t been able to do lately) but I still need to learn the “photo” part of photo manipulation.

What advise can you give to people who aspire to become a digital artist like you?
Don’t be a digital artist like me, work to be the digital artist you want to be. Keep working on projects. Produce something as often as you can. It takes hard work and discipline more than talent and motivation.
Keep a sketchpad (or sketchbook) and pencil (pen in my case) handy and get them cheap so you don’t feel bad when you draw something you don’t like. And three more related points from that:

  1. Start drawing if you haven’t already. It’s a quick way to record ideas (any idea, no matter how bad) and drawing generally helps with any design related work.
  2. The only wasted pages on a sketchpad are the empty ones.
  3. If you make something you don’t like, congratulations, you know what bad looks like. Now you have to work on being able to make something that looks good.

What skills does one need to have to survive in the creative industry?
Be professional, be organized, be useful. Being a creative doesn’t just mean you make art, it means you make art that others need. It’s as much a craft as it is a service.

What do you think should digital artists prepare for when they make their portfolios to be noticed by employers?
I’m a huge believer in portfolios. I’ve never been offered a job because of my resume but I’ve converted interviewers by putting a portfolio in front of them.
Other than presenting your work (your best work), your portfolio should also show your personality. Pick works and projects that show your skill and process but also include works that you enjoyed making. Get ready to talk about your work: why you chose that direction, what options you thought of but didn’t do, the hard parts, the fun parts. If you can, prepare a printed portfolio. If you use a sketchbook, bring it along on interviews. Other than employers wanting to know if you’re the right one for them, people just enjoy seeing others create.

Zandy Villagracia

WHO IS ZANDY VILLAGRACIA?
Zandy is a digital artist with 10 years professional experience in 2d and 3d in various fields such as gaming, animation production, architectural, graphic design, motion graphics, some visual effects, e-learning, e-commerce and social media management. She also has also some experience with professional photography for some clients local and abroad. Her hobbies include taking care of dogs, finance/stocks, and window gardening. She is 31 years old and working from home for 8 years for several companies abroad.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST?
It is what I wanted since I was young.

WHERE DO YOU FIND IDEAS OR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK THESE DAYS?
Google search, movies, magazines, DeviantArt, dribble, Shutterstock, Facebook groups, Behance, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
3d environment renders for an electronics company, graphics for an e-commerce store, image creation and Instagram management for foreign companies/individuals, two 3d book design covers, 2d illustrations for an app.

TELL US ABOUT THESE WORKS.
This was my first passion project I made with my photography instructor and business partner/ boyfriend, made 5 years ago. This particular image got me and my partner several clients and is still getting us clients until now. It is made in 3ds max and post processed using Photoshop. Buildings are from stock models, some assets are modeled, this was camera matched.

This was my art test for a game company I applied for, which started my career working from home.

WHAT COURSE DID YOU TAKE IN FACA? WHY?
I took up 3d animation at FACA many years ago. I really wanted it.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOUBTFUL OF LEARNING OR EXPLORING THEIR INNER ARTIST?
Learning opens up new opportunities to earn more.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
Stop over-thinking, just do.

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOUR DIGITAL ARTS CAREER STARTED?
It started during college. I joined 2 organizations. I was doing flyers, sketches, character designs, banners, logos for them.

HAS FACA HELPED OR INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTRY?
Our instructor asked us if we wanted to do an OJT at a production studio. My visual effects and animation experience started there.

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST? WHY? WHAT WORKS DID YOU LIKE?
I have no particular favorite artist. I love all artists who can communicate their story or message well to their audience through pictures/ animation or video and be able to relate to the human experience.

DO THE OPINIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE INFLUENCE OR CHANGE WHAT YOU CREATE?
Only opinions of clients, target audience, and people better than you should matter at this stage.

HOW DOES THE FUTURE LOOK FOR YOU?
I still see myself working from home 5-10 years from now. I am currently taking up UI/UX design + Unreal Engine, Affiliate marketing.

WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ASPIRE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST LIKE YOU?

Keep on learning, don’t compare yourself to others, focus on developing yourself and always keep busy with or without paid projects, if possible, avoid being burned out.

WHAT SKILLS DOES ONE NEED TO HAVE TO SURVIVE IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY?

Price negotiation, passion, resiliency/ flexibility, creativity, resourcefulness, and grit (not sure if this is a skill).

WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD DIGITAL ARTISTS PREPARE FOR WHEN THEY MAKE THEIR PORTFOLIOS TO BE NOTICED BY EMPLOYERS?
Prepare your best work first or send only those that are relevant to the job requirement.

Gerard Picar

WHO IS GERARD PICAR?
I’m a CG Artist. I love to watch movies and, as a millennial, be on social media sites a lot especially Instagram.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST?
I decided to become a digital artist when I was playing the GTA (Grand Theft Auto) series. It was just a joy to roam around the environment that game developers created. Creating 3D environments was the number one reason why I wanted to become a 3D artist.

WHAT COURSE DID YOU TAKE IN FACA? WHY?
I took up 3D animation in FACA. Because I was interested in becoming an environment artist.

WHERE DO YOU FIND IDEAS OR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK THESE DAYS?
I find it everywhere I can find inspiration – in movies, games, tv series, works of art…anything actually.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOUBTFUL OF LEARNING OR EXPLORING THEIR INNER ARTIST?
Just be bold and don’t be afraid to fail. I’ve failed a lot in becoming a better artist every, but it’s taking those risks that will make you better.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
I just do. I just convince myself. It’s that simple

HAS FACA HELPED OR INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTRY?
Yes it has. A lot of the classes and lessons I learned there like in drawing, composition classes, and the 3D classes helped influence my artistry in the professional field.

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOUR DIGITAL ARTS CAREER STARTED?
My digital artist career started when I worked for a Japanese company based in the company called Neun Farben. I worked as a generalist there.

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST? WHY? WHAT WORKS DID YOU LIKE?
I like this artist called The Grand Chamaco. I like his work called Feliz Día de Muertos. It’s basically a skeleton in a Mexican outfit with a sombrero. The thing that draws me to the work all the time is the sombrero and the simple yet beautiful details it has.

WHAT PROJECT/S ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
Currently, I’m working on my own 3D website. It’s a secret 😉

TELL US ABOUT THIS 3D ENVIRONMENT PROJECT.
I was an environment artist for this project in my previous company called George and we were using Unreal Engine to create the style and feel of the short.
I was proud because you see how beautiful the outcome of the environment was when you added in the lighting/mood of the scene and you see the environment you modeled come to life.

DO THE OPINIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE INFLUENCE OR CHANGE WHAT YOU CREATE?
A lot of creative criticism do influence me a lot. What I do is whenever they critique my work, I absorb their criticism, I filter the good or bad that they may say, and I apply it to my own craft.

HOW DOES THE FUTURE LOOK FOR YOU?
The future for me involves combining my knowledge in the creatives and business. Being an artist isn’t enough. You need to be able to market your art and make it sell. Learning business is something I’m looking forward to learn.

WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING AS A DIGITAL ARTIST?
It’s enjoyable and challenging at the same time. It’s enjoyable because it’s what you like doing most –creating art. It is challenging because you want to get better as an artist and you have to learn a lot of things that you haven’t learned yet.

WHAT SKILLS DOES ONE NEED TO HAVE TO SURVIVE IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY?
I wouldn’t really say a skill but to have the hunger to be better in your craft.

WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD FILIPINO DIGITAL ARTISTS PREPARE FOR WHEN THEY MAKE THEIR PORTFOLIOS TO BE NOTICED BY EMPLOYERS?
If you have pictures of your artwork. Bring out the bests ones first. If you’re planning to get a demo reel done, have the best clips from your artworks in the first 30 secs. Trust me that’s all employers need to see whether they’ll hire you or not.

WHAT ADVISE CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ASPIRE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST LIKE YOU?
I have one thing to say and it’s to pursue your passion.

JEANNE ROSE GOMEZ

Let’s get up close and personal with Jeanne Rose Gomez, a 3D graduate, and learn more about what it was like being a student at First Academy of Computer Arts.

WHO IS JEANNE ROSE GOMEZ?
Jeanne Rose Gomez is an illustrator, 3D Artist. Currently pursuing her dream and working hard to be a 3D Environment Artist soon. Graduated from Malayan Colleges Laguna major in Multimedia Arts and now a student in First Academy of Computer Arts.

After a year and half of working as Graphic Artist Operator, I decided to go back to school and study 3D Design and Animation. I am a member of Doodle Art Enthusiasts, a group of different talented doodlers. As an Artist, I’m always looking forward to express myself, my dreams, thoughts and realization through my art. The feeling is incomparable to anything when I got the chance to share my art and even the people that I have never met personally, appreciate my work and were inspired by it.

I also like playing video games, watching horror movies, reading art books, and hiking. It always excites when looking at urban abandoned places maybe because it inspires me more in creating my 3D environment. I also like sci-fi art, space art, Astronauts and whenever I get free time, I go somewhere with my camera and take some pictures as a reference for my illustrations and 3D art.

ANY MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES YOU GOT FROM YOUR PRACTICE?

I always wanted to help other people through my art. Two years ago, an opportunity came and I started to volunteer as an artist and donated my original artwork to a charity and proceeds of the sale went to the benefit of young cancer patients. It was very fulfilling and happy experience.

WHERE DO YOU FIND IDEAS OR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR WORK THESE DAYS?
There are many ways in finding ideas, specially these days because of the internet which you can find anything you want. I always go to Pinterest, there are tons of ideas, concepts and styles that you can find in there. Second is Artstation, you can see a lot of artworks as an inspiration for the kind of art that you want. I also like joining groups of 3D artists because they always share their progress and finish works. By that I can also communicate from different artists who give critique, tip and technique to help me make my work improve. The third one is Youtube. It also the best tool to learn more because of the video tutorials. The fourth one is that I go to bookstore spending hours reading some art books to get some inspirations. One of my favorite to read is the 3D Artist Magazine because it contains techniques, the process and tools that used by different artist. The last one is I watch movies, listen to music either I go somewhere like urban places and get some ideas on it.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL PROJECTS. WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
The concept of my project tells the story of a teenage girl who lives on her own in a desert. She has a dream of being an explorer but she can’t because of not having enough resources. The environment concept is a little bit inspired from the movie Rango. My inspiration in this project is that to challenge myself, too see how am I able to accomplish this project according to the concept I made.

WHEN YOU WANT TO UNWIND, WHERE DO YOU GO?
When I am having an artist block and I want to unwind the first place that I can think of is a bookstore. I spend hours or whole day sitting there and reading some art books. I also go to art stores browsing for art materials. I also like going to art events, doing road trip, and hiking as long as I have lots of free time. The last thing is that I go to one place with my small sketch pad and just draw anything.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL PEOPLE WHO ARE DOUBTFUL OF LEARNING OR EXPLORING THEIR INNER ARTIST?
You must, first, try to learn and have patience before you tell yourself that you can’t. Learning something new every day helps you to improve. There’s nothing wrong with trying and taking a little risk. Sometimes it could be the start of something that will change your life unexpectedly. Don’t be afraid to reinvent and rediscover yourself considering that it might help you to grow more. Never doubt to show your inner artist, we are all creative in different ways.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE?
I am always a doer and most of the time searching which areas I can improve on my craft. Whenever I see some 3D works that I think is impossible for me to do, I will still give my efforts to do it repeatedly despite the fact that I will be spending hours or days to do finish it and make it right. I always challenge myself to create something different than the usual things I’m doing and asked for critiques to produce something better. Through this, it will help me to have more patience, discipline, grow as an artist and to keep learning and moving forward to be better.

WHAT PART OF THE TRAINING DID YOU LIKE THE MOST? WHY?
The modeling of objects from scratch, rigging the character with too many controls, the lighting, the animation and composting are my favorite parts of the training. Those five parts were really challenging which made me eager to finish it. Despite some challenges and errors, I was able to find ways to solve the problem. It pushed me not to give up and finish what I’ve started.

HAS FIRST ACADEMY OF COMPUTER ARTS HELPED OR INFLUENCED YOUR ARTISTRY?
Yes. Without First Academy of Computer Arts I would not be able to enhance my skills in 3D and it helped me to improve more of what I am capable of. FACA opened the doors for me to pursue what I really want to be. It was truly a great opportunity and an amazing experience.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS? WHY? WHAT WORKS DID YOU LIKE?
I have three favorite artists that I really look up to and really inspire. First Kerby Rosanes and Lei Melendres. I am really amazed by every detail of their doodle illustrations that are so intricate yet still look cool and fun. Second is Ian McQue. His Sci –fi illustrations always impress me.

HOW DOES YOUR FUTURE LOOK?
I think that it will be really great and I am really excited about seeing myself working in a game company as 3d environment artist.

WHAT ADVISE CAN YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ASPIRE TO BECOME A DIGITAL ARTIST LIKE YOU?
There might be too many amazing artists out there, but never let yourself be intimidated, instead see them as a source of your motivation. Don’t limit yourself, try to explore, keep learning and focus, have patience and always do your best. Step out of your comfort zone and most importantly start now.

Yanna Contreras

WHAT FIELD DO YOU HOPE TO VENTURE INTO SOMEDAY?

I want to venture into the graphic design and book illustration someday. I would want to experience photography and modeling as well.

HOW DID YOU FIND THE TRAINING AT FIRST ACADEMY OF COMPUTER ARTS?

I’m learned a lot and found tasks challenging but at the same time I’m had fun as well.

HOW CHALLENGING ARE THE REAL-LIFE ASSIGNMENTS?

Very challenging, because it was my first time in dealing with them. You have to consider many things in order to create whatever task has been given to you. I think it does give one a taste of what it’s like working with a client, you get to learn what to do and what not in order to make a successful design that appeals to your client.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE/COMPANIES YOU HOPE WILL SHOW INTEREST IN REVIEWING YOUR PORTFOLIO AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE COURSES?

Hopefully publishing companies, more specifically those who have done book covers.

HOW WILL YOU RATE THE INSTRUCTORS AT FIRST ACADEMY OF COMPUTER ARTS?

First of all I find all of the instructors at FACA relatable. In a way, I didn’t feel intimidated by them and because of it, I was more comfortable in asking questions or seeking help when I needed to. They have industry experience, it was good since we could ask about their experiences and how they deal with pressing situations.

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR TRAINING WAS IS IN LINE WITH THE GLOBAL INDUSTRY TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS?

Yes, I think so and what’s good about it is that FACA is always evolving. They are aware of the new trends and major changes the industry and tries to adapt to said trends.

AS A STUDENT AT/GRADUATE OF FACA, WHAT PROSPECTS DO YOU FORESEE IN YOUR CAREER AS THE WORLD GOES FORWARD INTO THE NEW MEDIA.

I hope to have a career in graphic design. To be able to create book covers and illustrations for future clients.

Invest In Your Children

Help nurture your child’s creative talents and see them become happier and fulfilled individuals. Beth Hautea’s story, is one of many stories of parents who have chosen First Academy of Computer Arts for their child’s digital arts education.

WHEN DID YOU DISCOVER , OR FIND OUT YOUR SON’S CREATIVE TALENTS?

All of my 3 children have an innate skill to draw and paint. They all have oil paintings in the house since they were in elementary. However, Cedric Jerome’s love for graphic arts paved the way to his pursuit to a higher learning. When he was 10 or 11 years old, he was already writing stories for computer games. These stories were followed by drawings.

WHAT DID YOU DO TO ENCOURAGE HIM TO PURSUE HIS CRAFT?

I enrolled him to a summer drawing and painting class. He had tutor for charcoal and other media. When he was in high school, his work was one of the entry of his school for the nationwide students’ conference in Legaspi City for which we attended. We also encouraged him to pursue higher education after his graduation in college to master his craft, hence his enrollment with First Academy of Computer Arts. Even if we live In Mindanao, we obliged to his wishes to hone his skills.

WHAT COURSE DID HE TAKE AT FIRST ACADEMY? AND WHY, THAT COURSE?

With the different courses offered at First Academy, Cedric Jerome chose the multi media. He felt that this is the course that will enhance his drawing skills and technique to create characters for computer games. The other subjects included in the course were added bonus for him.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

We’re from Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao.

WHY FIRST ACADEMY? (CONSIDERING YOU LIVE FAR)

The courses offered in First Academy and the first impression given by the staff and the instructor that he talked to the first time we went to the school had a very big impact in his choice of school.

HOW IS HE NOW?

His drawing skills and techniques improved tremendously and the knowledge he learned from the other courses widen his horizon in multi media technology.

WHAT IS HE CURRENTLY BUSY WITH? PROJECT? ARTWORK?

Cedric Jerome loves to draw characters for computer games. This what’s keeping him busy nowadays.

WHAT ADVISE CAN YOU GIVE TO PARENTS WHO SEE THAT THEIR CHILDREN HAVE THE TALENT FOR THE ARTS? OR WHOSE CHILDREN WANT TO PURSUE THE ARTS?

Parents wanted their children to be the best at what they do. Invest on your children. Observe them and try to elicit the things they want to pursue and guide them to reach their dream because even if they don’t say it the support, love and guidance we give our children will always be in their hearts.

Aiza King

Aiza King, shares her experience balancing work, family and GAP.

WAS BECOMING AN ARTIST AN EARLY DREAM OF YOURS OR DID IT JUST DEVELOP OVER TIME, OR OUT OF INSPIRATION FROM OTHER ARTISTS?

My love of art started the same time I fell in love with Anime. I loved Anime so much I would draw on all of the back of my notebooks in grade school. I guess, it really developed overtime. I wasn’t really that good in drawing compared to other artists, but with patience, and a lot of practice, I was able to excel and won some awards for my school.

WHAT YEAR DID YOU STUDY DIGITAL ARTS IN FACA?

I  enrolled in FACA January 2016.

HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN SO FAR? WERE YOU ABLE TO USE WHAT YOU LEARNED? HAVE YOU GROWN AS AN ARTIST?

My journey with FACA is amazing. Our teacher Kyle is very patient. He really explains each topic very well and is always open to questions during class and offsite. I was able to get food cart projects easily. Now I am very happy that my knowledge went to the next level because of the 3D Animation and Design Track.

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED WHILE STUDYING YOUR COURSE?

Everything was important. Each lesson compliments the next.

WHEN DID YOU START DOING YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS?

I started accepting freelance work back in  2007 but this was on top of my job as a sales supervisor. I worked on the needs of few clients after work. I became a full time freelancer last August 2015 and it’s been a blast since then because I also spend more time with my family.

CAN YOU SHARE WITH US SOME PROJECTS YOU CONSIDER WERE MEMORABLE? WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THOSE ART PROJECTS?

A friend told me to work with him for Lisa Macuja. Photos came from him and I did the photo manipulation. Lisa was really happy.

Another memorable project I got is the food cart design project which I would like to thank FACA. I told my client that I am still studying 3D. But he insisted that I do the project because he doesn’t want to talk to another artist. It was really a challenge as well but because of the guidance of our teacher Kyle I was able to make my client happy.

TELL US HOW GAP CAME ABOUT? WHEN DID YOU OFFICIALLY LAUNCH THE GROUP?

I founded GAP in 2012. I am just actually testing Facebook groups because I was assigned as a social media specialist in my previous company. The group grew with the help of my assigned admins and I am very happy to say that now we are 32k and still growing.

MAINTAINING A GROUP OF ARTISTS MUST BE A DAUNTING TASK, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE STORIES THAT YOU CONSIDER MAKE THIS EFFORT WORTHWHILE?

Our goal is to help creatives and when I see member share their experience on how the group helped them find a job, or how it inspires them to do better. It is an amazing feeling and that keeps me and the admins going.

WHAT CAN GAP MEMBERS LOOK FORWARD TO THIS 2017?

We have a lot planned for the group this 2017. Specially, now that more sponsors are coming in. More events and our official website.

WHAT CAN YOU ADVICE DIGITAL ARTISTS WHO WANT TO SET UP THEIR OWN DESIGN BUSINESS?

Keep Learning – I always make sure that I am updated with the graphics software I use also learning new things and expanding your knowledge is a good thing to do. When you grow your business will also grow.

Make Money From Your Passion

Rachelle Cerera- Leones of Rachelle Arts & Print Co shares her journey on how she found her true passion.

Being an employee for almost 13 years, you would think that Rachelle has set her career in Government until retirement. But, who would have known that a deeper desire for the arts was developing. It didn’t take long before Rachelle finally chose to pursue her passion in digital arts and started her own business.

We caught up with the busy entrepreneur and talked about life after FACA.

WHAT YEAR DID YOU STUDY DIGITAL ARTS?

I studied the Print Media Program of First Academy of Computer Arts in 2012 and had my OJT in 2013.  It was a comprehensive 6-month course which includes Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator as well as Principles and theories of graphic design.

HOW HAS THE JOURNEY BEEN SO FAR?

Art has always been a passion, but I was unable to fully express it for more than a decade as I took a different career path which I thought was for me.  Before I studied print media, I have very minimal if not zero skills in using graphics design software.  After finishing the course, I am surprised that I am able to execute the programs and produce artworks.  As soon as I finished my OJT in 2013, I quit my full time job and I became a freelance artist and a development consultant.

Having the skills and the knowledge in graphics design gave me greater advantage as I worked on either creative or development projects. I am able to deliver something beyond the scope of my terms of reference.

For instance, in my experience as a consultant in the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR), when they learned that I am a graphics designer, I became highly involved in the communication initiatives of OPARR such as the development and design of briefing materials, audio-visual presentations, and was given the opportunity to do the layout of the comprehensive plan for Haiyan-affected areas.

Learning graphics design has opened so many doors for me.  As I was already getting more design projects which evolved to include printing requirements, I pursued putting up my graphics and printing company in late 2015.  Now, I am a full time artist/entrepreneur and a part-time development professional.  In that sense, it was a career shift for me. Having taken the course propelled me to take that biggest leap of faith in my career.  It may have been a slow moving journey but I would say that I am progressing.  To this day, I continue to invest in learning and in enhancing my skills and creativity so that I can be more and can give more as an artist.

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED WHILE STUDYING PRINT DESIGN?

The most important thing that I learned aside the execution of the software was the principles of design.  In whatever creative project I do, I aim to be mindful of the principles not only to make it visually appealing but more importantly to make the design effective.

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THESE ART PROJECTS

Souvenir Program for the 3rd Gawd ACLAT of the ABK 3 LEAP Project (Livelihoods, Education, Advocacy & Protection to Reduce Child Labor in Sugarcane Areas)

I was engaged to design and print a number of collaterals for this event of the ABK 3 LEAP Project of World Vision Philippines. The souvenir program is one of the print materials I did.  ABK comes from the three letters of the old Filipino alphabet Alibata to form the acronym for Pag-Aaral ng Bata para sa Kinabukasan (Education for the Children’s Future). It was implemented through a consortium of World Vision Philippines, Child Fund and ERDA Foundation. The 3rd GAWAD ACLAT through the souvenir program featured individuals and groups who have championed in advocating the reduction of child labor in the sugarcane farms in the Philippines.  We working on a tight timelines for this project but I enjoyed doing this as the children is one sector close to my heart.

Cover layout of the Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan


Photo Credits to GMA Network

I was among those who designed collaterals and materials for the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR).  I was given the opportunity to design the comprehensive Plan for Haiyan-affected areas. I was also doing the infographic style briefer for the Yolanda rehabilitation efforts which was submitted to the Office of the President. 

This design was showcased in the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015 at Sendai, Japan.  This design was my tribute to all my kababayans in Leyte.

 Three-fold Brochure for ERDA Foundation 

This is one of the earliest design projects that I did.  Having the skills in graphics design allowed me to work on projects that are close to my heart, graphics arts and the development sector.  Because of my knowledge about the sector, I was not only providing inputs on the aesthetic aspects  but as well as the substantive aspect of the work. 

 WHAT CAN YOU ADVICE DIGITAL ARTISTS WHO WANT TO SET UP THEIR OWN DESIGN BUSINESS?

When I started my business, I did not have much capital. I maximized on what I have which are essentially my skill sets.  It is not always about how good or creative you are.  Ours is a service industry.  Therefore, it also means being professional and client-oriented.  When a client likes you chances are they will get your service again or they will refer you to their network.  Another important advice is to continue learning and evolving.  One must not stagnate.  You have to keep upgrading your skills so that you can be competitive with the rest.

TELL US ABOUT RACHE AND PRINTS. WHAT MAKES IT UNIQUE?  

The Rachelle Arts & Print Co. is an online graphics design, printing and photography company. We offer design, layout, and printing services for a wide range of print media such as business cards, reports, brochures, flyers, branding, packaging, customized invitation cards for weddings, birthdays and other events, gift cards/stickers, canvas souvenir bags and pouches, among others.  As an added service, we also do photography for social and corporate events, business and advocacy projects.  For hassle-free service, we ship print products nationwide.

What is unique?  Our service does not end by providing designs, print and photography, we collaborate with our clients.  We build relationships with them by assisting them from the start and even after their projects.  We help you in the conceptualization and the promotion of your projects.  We market you and give you the opportunity to link with other networks.

 

The Chua’s, SHAZA AND REYMAR

chuacouple
Shaza and Reymar talk about Art in their Heart and how they found their “loves” during their stay in FACA.

Who is Shaza?
Hi, my name is Shaza Chua and currently 23 years of age. I’m the Co-founding Creative and Manager of a humble design studio, Creative Workman Design Studio. I’ve worked with various clients across the globe and gained a unique experience in my career as a digital artist.

Why did you decide to become a digital artist?
Prior to pursuing digital arts in early 2010, I was attending medical school up until I met my boyfriend, now husband, Reymar. What gave me the curiosity and interest in digital arts was seeing my husband come up with concepts and seeing it come to life.
I can clearly remember exploring Adobe Photoshop on my own out of curiosity not even knowing what the tools are. When Reymar saw my first ever digital work which was a basic retouched photo (removing of acne, wrinkles, etc), he was very impressed. And that’s basically how it all started. Since then he encouraged me to pursue digital arts because he saw my potential and capability.
My husband’s faith in me and encouragement definitely motivated me to grow as a digital artist since the beginning up to this day.

Where are you finding ideas or inspiration for your work these days?
For most digital artists, it’s online. It may be Pinterest, Behance, design blogs, etc. But I personally think that finding inspiration from nature is the best. Appreciating what God has created. You can even find all of the design elements/principles in nature, like balance, proportion, perspective, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, rhythm, variety, harmony, and unity.

What project/s are you working on now?
At the moment, I am helping out my husband/business partner with tech startup ideas. On the side, I’m also working on my personal blog called ‘More Precious than Rubies’ which mostly consists of beneficial information about healthy living, natural remedies, faith & encouragement and many more.

What course did you take at FACA? Why did you choose that course?
I took a course in Web Design due to my interest on how websites are built and how they work.

What can you tell those people who are doubtful of learning or exploring their inner artist?
Always trust your instinct and don’t let negativity run you. Do something you know you will love. Just a simple pen and paper can unleash your creativity. Take that first step and it can take you to many places.

What do you do to step outside your comfort zone?
Being bold. And this may sound cheesy, but also ask God for strength. Be up for the challenge to take on project/s that you’re not normally an expert at. Often times we discover our strengths, weaknesses and potential by doing something that’s unfamiliar with our skillset.
If I could create something with an unlimited budget, what would the end result be?
Hmm, there are tons of ideas at the moment but what I really want to create is an app to help with a user’s experience shopping in malls. I personally struggled finding certain item/s that I’m not even sure of existed at within a shopping mall. So what I have to do is to deliberately search every relevant store for me to find that item.
What I want to build is an app that can filter out exact stores that have the specific item you want to purchase without the effort of you having to mall-hop or waste time and money to find it. Mind you, online shopping is still a different experience from actual shopping 🙂

Where do you work now? Tell us about your work?
As of the moment, I am working from the comfort of our home. I’m a Creative Director for a digital marketing company in the US, and a Co-founding Creative and Manager of our very own design agency here in the Philippines.

Has FACA helped or influenced your artistry?
Definitely! FACA has built the foundation needed to head start my career as a digital artist. What I loved about the environment at FACA is being able to interact and socialize with other digital artists who are in different fields. You get to discover what others’ style are and how their design process is.

What’s the first artwork you ever sold? Have you ever sold your work?
I accidentally sold a contact form template built in Adobe Photoshop. ‘Accidental’ because that template was supposed to be for a client but it was never used. So I said to myself, ‘Hey, why not just post it in the digital market to see if I can profit out of my rejected work’. And it did! To my surprise it has been sold for over 20 times. You definitely learn something new by trying.

What do you do to get into your creative zone?
Stepping outside, breathing fresh air and start sketching my ideas. At times a good background music will do too.

Tell us about how you met Reymar? Would you like to share you love story with us?
We haven’t precisely ‘met’ at FACA but we have grown our love for design together in First Academy of Computer Arts. We both knew each other through Facebook (I know, it’s unbelievable!). Being with Reymar for the first year of our relationship made me discover his passion and his love for design, which made me fall in love with his character.
Ever since we finished our courses in FACA, we still pursued design together. We’re happily married for 3 years and counting.

 

reymar-work

Who is Reymar?
My Name is Reymar Chua. 25 years young, Designer before College, Artist since birth. I am a tech-startup enthusiast. A visual design generalist; I love branding, drawing and painting, graphic and web (ui/ux) design, desktop publishing, print media, photo/videography, photo/video editing, 3D and motion graphics, and even writing. I just love Multimedia Arts. As for my hobbies, I am a musician; I sing and play the guitar. I used to be addicted to Chess and Billiards. I’m not much of an athlete but I love playing badminton, table tennis, and biking for many hours.

Why did you decide to become a digital artist?  
Originally, I wanted to be an aircraft mechanic, but then I started hearing about Digital Arts in 2008 and how it is the new fad on demand and the future via FACA’s TV/radio interview. And being fully aware of my God-Given talent in art and my great interest in learning more, I decided to pursue this path in First Academy. This is how my digital journey began.

Where are you finding ideas or inspiration for your work these days? 
Being a Designer, it is in my nature to solve problems. For startup ideas, I love leeching on real problems that normal people like me face in everyday life. I find my inspirations from all sorts of sources: God, Jesus, Bible, notable ancient cultures, beautiful nature, architecture, people, random thoughts, memories of events and moments, blogs, websites, seeing how other people do it.

What project/s are you working on now? 
I’m currently busy working on my own tech-startups with my awesome wife.

What course did you take at FACA? Why did you choose that course? 
I took a total of 4 short course programs, and those are: Digital Arts, Web Design, 3D Arts, and Basic Digital Photography. I took these courses one after the other as I realise their importance and relevance to each other. Thinking ahead of all the benefits of harbouring many set of skills, I wanted to enlarge my potential value as an asset in my future career in the creative industry. And what do you know, it totally paid of. All these short programs of First Academy are so worth it.

What can you tell those people who are doubtful of learning or exploring their inner artist? 
I want to say what’s only real, which is this: Doubt which is rooted in fear is our common enemy, it is faithlessness, and it is the no.1 hindrance to any success. In all aspects of life, if you want to really succeed at anything at all, one notable thing is essential above all else, and that’s your Will Power your unstoppable passion to make things happen continuously. You need a driving force to push you to the edge, you need this thing called Faith. It’s all about Who/What you believe in, and for me that’s my Lord Jesus Christ; I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me (Phil4:13), The things that are impossible with people are possible with God (Lk18:27), Nothing’s impossible with God (Lk1:37), Nothing’s too hard for The Lord (Jer32:17). These are just a few out of many powerful words that I hold on to, for they give me courage and strength. For me, God’s Faithful Word is the most unbeatable motivator any person could ever have. The fact that our Heavenly Father is The Creator of The Universe tells us that as His children, we were born to explore, practice, and use the artistic talents that Almighty God has graciously given us for His Glory.

What do you do to step outside your comfort zone? 
First thing’s first: I deny myself and shut every negative frequency around me, not entertaining any voice from the enemy. Then I consult my no.1 Supporter and my no.1 Source of all Wisdom and Power: I pray and ask God for His Strength, and I remind myself of my identity who I am in Christ. Because the only way to effectively push myself to the limit is to activate my borderless faith.

If I could create something with an unlimited budget, what would the end result be? 
I have a number of dream projects but I will only mention 1 of them: The V Room (or VRX for short) The most innovative room of the century. Something so specially tailored and designed for the highest, most realistic virtual reality experience on the face of the planet. A place where one could experience entire stories, movies, games and many interesting life scenarios in the most realistic way possible. Not only on the visual aspect, but I want this room to activate all of our 5 senses accurately as to heavily participate in the overall VRX(V Room eXperience). I imagine this room to be the hottest new thing of the next generation; very customisable and available in many sizes and forms. I picture it to be hosting not only national and international competitions, but it can also serve as the latest most efficient and most safe platform for technology-advanced warfare. VRX could be operated by both police and military personnel in remote locations where they are safe and far from all hostility. It will digitally simulate the actual crime or war scenes from their headquarters and remote bases, while they control high speed flying armed drones and DARPA ground units on the actual battlefield, live. This way, less and less human soldiers will have to risk their lives. Think about the movie Surrogate and Gamer but only 100x cooler, and 1000x more advanced. This very innovative product will create a vast number of business opportunities in many industries worldwide.

Where do you work now? Tell us about your work? 
Just like more and more people nowadays, I work in the comfort of my own home. Together with my wife. We officially registered our own design agency last year. Our company is Creative Workman, and we specialise in the creative side of marketing mainly in the areas of branding, web, and print media.

Has FACA helped or influenced your artistry?
Of course FACA did! This is where I learned the basics of everything, even many advanced techniques that I still use to this very day. The quality of the hands-on training at FACA is fantastic. I felt very free to explore my creativity while my instructors are very supportive. What else can I say? My whole FACA experience is just awesome!

What advice can you give to people who aspire to become a digital artist like you? 
I say Go, Go, Go! And it’s so easy to just keep it short that way, but no, I would say before getting into all sorts of things, be smart be informed. Don’t waste time, energy and money. Educate yourselves first and foremost; find out what does it really mean to be a Digital Artist, consider both the pros and the cons alike. Figure out what are the affecting factors and variables like time, schedule, budget/expenses, equipment, average salary, all the limitations and possibilities based on your current situation. Explore potential professional career paths and what are the most efficient way to get to them. Go pursue your dreams, be competitive and advance in it, have fun and do something weird. Create something bizarre; something that’s classically unique yet innovated. And whatever you do, research, research, and research. Talents and Skills are great assets, but they’re not everything. Knowledge is Power and doing things with Wisdom and Understanding are essential keys to success.

What inspires you? 
Aside from awesome people like my wife, I would say anything and everything that is worthy enough to get me hooked and captivated whether that thing be from the past, present or future. What I saw in the past, what I observe now, and the things that I imagine about the future all of these factors contribute and mould what inspires me in general.

Aside from career, we believe you also met your wife at FACA?
Tell us about how you met Shaza? Would you like to share you love story with us?  Shaza and I first saw each other via Facebook. We met at MOA, and as our relationship grew deeper, I discovered her interest and potential in arts, so I taught her everything I know, and I thought what if I let her study at FACA and experience the whole awesome thing herself? That’s how and why my wife came to First Academy of Computer Arts. We’ve been together for 6 years already, happily married for 3 years (and counting).

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