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Name: Jewelle Villarisco
Current City: Pasig City
Filipino Artist Profile: Jewelle Villarisco
Sometimes, it only takes a single piece of art to replace all the gloom and doom of our life with a dash of color and hope. If you need that kind of kick to motivate your day, you only need to take a look at 22-year old Jewelle Villarisco’s work. Her designs for Jewie’s Art Space blend all kinds of wonders and aspirations that evoke a dreamy feel whenever you look at them. Find out more about the inspiration behind her creations.
How did your journey as an artist begin?
My journey started, according to my mom,when I was three years old. But then, at nine years old, I decided that I really want art to be my profession, I want art to be my job. When I was around 15 or 16 years old, I was supposed to go to College. Instead of doing that, I didn’t. I chose to pursue art instead. I started my art business, I opened my page. That’s the start of my journey.
How did you come up with your brand name and what’s the reason for it?
With my brand name, that was more of a nickname my friends called me when we were 12. Around that time, we were really into Japanese anime. They convinced me that it was my Japanese name - Jewie. So I said, okay and I believed them. It stuck with me and I used that as my brand name. I added Art Space to make it more obvious that I was making art.
What is your favorite subject to create and why?
Before, it was people. But recently, it’s been nature. Sceneries, animals, I find them more calming now because things are really busy right now. My art has become a safe space for relaxation.
Every artist has that one creation they’re proud of the most. For you, what is that and why?
Definitely the work I did for Disney. I think every artist dreams to make art for someone or something that inspired them to draw. For me, that’s what I’m really proud of. I made art for Disney and that was a dream come true.
It started when the Art Director of Disney Shanghai messaged me and asked if I could make countdown illustrations for them. They were planning to reopen soon. It was just 3,2,1 countdown illustrations. Basically, three illustrations. The Art Director saw my art page on Facebook and sent me a message. She asked me to create a series of illustrations where I had to include Disney rides.
What are the struggles you encounter as an artist?
I think it’s the constant doubt if I should be here doing this or if there’s really a future when it comes to making art. And another struggle is believing I have a place in the world, in the industry. There are so many better and greater artists out there. It’s so easy to fall into an insecurity or thinking if I have a place in all of this. Those are my struggles.
What’s the most important achievement you’ve accomplished as an artist?
Jewelle: Definitely making a living out of my passion. It’s getting to earn while doing what I love. I’m not saying you should monetize all of the passion. But for me, this is my dream and my achievement. I get to draw and I get to earn because of it.
What would you say are your strengths as an artist?
I’d like to think that I’m strong-willed, that I am deeply rooted in my values and morals. I think it’s so easy, especially in the art industry, to put down your beliefs so you can go up the ladder. I’m grateful that there’s a strength I possess - the people who love me. I’m grateful that I have a support system that will humble me, yet also lift me up.
What do people say about your designs whenever they see them? What are their reactions? How do they approach your work?
The most common message that people tell me is that it’s hope-giving. It’s very motivational, which is really nice. One time, there was one person who messaged me and she said that she was struggling with depression. But every time she sees my posts, it helps her fight through another day, which is wonderful. I’m really glad I get to touch people’s hearts in this way.
On the other hand, how do you handle criticism directed towards your work?Jewelle: If it’s constructive naman, I accept it and I learn from it. But sometimes I wish they would just message me instead of posting a comment. I understand that they mean well, but sometimes, it’s pure criticism only, I used to dwell on it before. But now, because of a busy schedule, I don’t have the time to dwell on it. I just tell my friends that someone posted a comment about this kind of stuff. I just share my frustrations about it to them. I just shake it off.
Do you have any horrible experiences with bashers or haters so far?
One time, I wrote in a post that I’m single and ready to earn big or something. Someone replied and said I was ugly. I said, what? I’m grateful so far because there has been no experience worse than that.
Are you more comfortable working alone or do you prefer being part of a group that collaborates with each other?
When it comes to collaborations, I accept it. In general, I prefer working alone, especially when it comes to making art. But I’m understanding now that if I wanna reach out to more and do more, in general, I need to accept help too. I need to collaborate with other great people. I’m an introvert so I really prefer to work on my own.
Do you have any advice for talented individuals who are about to start their career as an artist?
I think my only advice is to fall in love with learning and with your craft. There will come a time you need to adjust and adapt to new things. If you love learning, it’s going to be easier to accept the changes that will come with the career and the business. There’s no guarantee when your career or business will take off. But when you love your craft, when you love what you’re doing, it makes things easier. And there’s a perspective that you’re not just doing this for the money. You’re doing this because you love doing this. Fall in love with learning and your craft.
How did you know about Merchiful and why did you choose it as your platform for your designs?
My mom was actually the one who told me about Merchiful. I’ve been looking for PODs based in the Philippines. I couldn’t find any. If ever I found one, I wasn’t satisfied. But when my mom showed me Merchiful, I said it looks great. It’s based here in the Philippines and it’s very new. I want to join right away because I believe Merchiful will grow and I wanna be part of it.
What can Merchiful customers expect from you?
More merch, for sure. I always wanted my art to be sources of hope and positivity and goodness. Having merch would be tangible versions of that. I want people to look forward to that.
Where can people find your work, aside from Merchiful?
People can find my work on Facebook, Instagram. I also have a Youtube channel. They’re all named Jewie’s Art Space.
In just one word, how would you describe art or yourself?
If you find yourself falling in love with the hope Jewelle’s work brings, you can find more from her Merchiful shop. Have a look and you might find something perfect to start your day. You can also check her social media platforms to learn more about this artist.