Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How I MADE it

I think it's every Pinoy painter's dream, whether they secretly admit or not, to win in one of the most prestigious, longest-running art competition in the country today: Metrobank's MADE or The Metrobank Art and Design Excellence. It was my lifelong dream and this is a post dedicated to my journey in achieving what I thought was impossible.

 My very first entry to MADE, a tribute to my mother.

I've been joining this painting competition almost every year since I was an art student. It's always very tough to get through because, like any subjective discourse, the judges' taste is unpredictable. You've worked so hard on a piece, spent a lot of time and medium, thinking you've exerted all your best effort until your work gets cut off early on at the preliminary selection phase. As a struggling young artist, that's totally heartbreaking, envy and bitterness could seep in. My entries through the years couldn't even get to the selection, what more to the finals. There came a point when I gave up and didn't join for some years because of that. Until one day I felt like growing old, feeling less a bit of my egocentric self, I thought I should give it one more try since it's also my last shot to fit the age limit. By some extraordinary grace, it was all worth it.

Sketch studies and work in progress

Since this year was my last chance to join, I wanted to create a piece that will truly embody this significant moment. Win or lose, this painting will be truly special. What could be a more meaningful way to realize this than to paint something that stirred my curiosity after a memorable personal experience: the fear and the feeling of uncertainty I had which was brought about by the fact that my dad was given a second chance to life.

The Extraordinary Manifestation of Something Undeniably Possible
acrylic on canvas
2014 Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE) Grand Prize, 
oil/acrylic on canvas category

Is life really possible after death? Do souls exist? If we could imagine a place for the soul when life ceases, how does it look like? If we can only see the bigger picture around us, we're just a speck of dust in this vast, ever-expanding universe. How do we become significant, how are we going to live fully? By living in the moment; appreciating life and those around you and never take them for granted; be an inspiration to others etc. Sounds cliche, but once you're closer to reality and have the first-hand experience, you'll probably agree that it's true. These were some of the ideas running through my mind while sketching. I just thought the message have to be sincere if I want it to create a powerful connection to anybody. How else can sincerity be earned than drawing through personal experiences?

Even at the photo shoot, I couldn't believe this was really happening. 
I was really down before I got the good news. 
When I got the call, I was screaming with joy silently alone. 
How I wished in that moment I could share it to anyone, even to my closest family who are far away from me. 

Indeed, winners really take all. The Metrobank Foundation made serious efforts to make you really feel like a grand winner. The awarding ceremonies were spectacular; I didn't expect it to be that eventful, all I thought was just handshakes, trophies, and ribbon cuttings. Not to mention the wide media coverage and publicity.

When all eyes are on you, it's a humbling experience.

As it turned out, MADE is more than just a competition. What aspirants don't really know is that the program is more than just all glitz and glamour for your launch into the art scene. The competition could also be a platform to fuel your personal advocacies. The winning doesn't stop there--as members of MADE NOW (Network of Winners), more opportunities await for your personal projects. 

No matter how many times I lost and got heartbroken, I felt my winning came at the right time. I realize the winning had a higher purpose, as a support for what I wanted to do now: giving back the blessings I'm given. 

Tags: Metrobank Art and Design Excellence, MADE, painting, art, philippine art, sculpture, sergio bumatay, MADE NOW, grand prize, painting contest, competition, advocacy, Metrobank foundation, dreams, heart, projects, life, death, extraordinary, surreal, mystery, reincarnation, karma, positivism,  Asian picture book, children's book in asia, tragedy, coping, healing, escapism, asian book, Filipino picture books, Filipino children's book, asian illustration, asian, art, Filipino art, Philippine art, Filipino illustrator, Filipino artist

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