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Photo of Poj Gaerlan by John Oranga

Photo of Poj Gaerlan by John Oranga

Welcome to our Featured Young Artist segment!
Here we feature young, up-and-coming local artists and ask them questions about their art style and how they express themselves through it.

Poj Gaerlan is an BFA Information Design graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University currently taking up Animation Concept Art in a Vancouver film school. Having shifted into graphic design during his early years, Poj has realized there are still many opportunities for illustrators and concept artists like him.

How would you describe your art, and yourself as an artist?
My art is very flexible, I guess. Most illustrators have a certain style that stands out and gives them an identity, and though people tell me that I do have my own, many of my works still end up looking kind of similar to but still different from each other.

As an artist, I feel like I want to do multiple things at once. I usually start about two to three projects at a time, and I love keeping myself busy and alert while working. I love trying new things when it comes to my art.

Where do you draw inspiration for your works?
For many of my works, I drew inspiration from real life. I really enjoy drawing friends or real people as characters because it’s so interesting to take something that really exists and to push its boundaries and exaggerate things even further as illustrations. I usually mix real life inspirations with things in pop culture, like the clothes they wear or with references to the shows I watch and books I read.

FYA! Poj Gaerlan Temple Drive FYA! Poj Gaerlan Whiplash

Do you have a particularly favorite piece that you’ve done? Which is it, and why?
I don’t necessarily have one favorite, but most of the ones I like are the ones I’ve done more recently because comparing works I’ve done now from the ones I did like a year ago, the improvement in my opinion is already so great and a more personal style has been set so yeah just seeing my own growth personally still gets me.

What is your personal opinion about young people pursuing arts, whether as a passion or a profession?
I think it’s great seeing so many people pursuing arts and design and writing and all art forms nowadays because even when our generation was younger you would hear things like artists can never turn art into a career, only a hobby or freelance gig. But so much more credit and freedom is being given to concept artists, graphic artists, designers, writers, etc., so I think this is the perfect time to be an artist because it’s only getting better for us.

Any message you want give to aspiring artists?
Practice! Find time to practice every day or multiple times a week. Draw something and after a year of learning new things, draw it again. You’d be surprised that the results really pop and speak for themselves. Know that you have many people supporting you no matter what, and never be afraid or insecure when trying new things. It’s a great time to be an artist.

Poj can be contacted via Instagram at @poj.i, where he posts all his works at the moment

Source: Manila Bulletin

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