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Eunice Cruzabra

Eunice Cruzabra

Meet illustrator from the Philippines, Eunice Cruzabra.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Eunice Cruzabra, a full-time freelance illustrator living in Makati. I am a graduate of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde’s Multimedia Arts program.

When I’m not drawing, I like making good food, taking long walks/runs and traveling.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Living in Makati is a dream!

I used to live on a hillside in the province so it was pretty secluded. The nearest mall was a 30-minute drive away, and you could only have food delivered from Shakey’s. Moving to Makati was a huge culture shock, to say the least. It’s a diverse, vibrant, clean city, bustling with life. Anything you need, from groceries to art supplies, is just 5 minutes away.  During the weekends, you can enjoy the popup food markets that deliver fresh fruit, vegetables, and other locally made treasures. A few times a year, we also have art fairs that show off various local talent, from statues to paintings. The food scene also never gets boring, with new restaurants featuring new fresh flavors pop up every few months.

I love living here.

 

The best thing about living in Makati is that everything is easily within your reach.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing about living in Makati is that everything is easily within your reach. Whatever you feel like doing or eating is accessible. It’s a lively city, so it never runs out of new things to surprise you.

 

But, because it’s a dense city, it’s polluted in a lot of ways. The air isn’t as fresh as it is in the province. I remember when I used to live in Laguna, you could feel the energy of the mountain and breathe in clear air.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Exciting. Inspiring. Growing.

 

How did you start your career in art?

I think that the roots of my career go way way waaay back. Illustration and I have a very deep history. For as long as I could remember, I’ve always been drawing. As a kid, I would spend countless hours in my room making my own Disney storybooks and comics. I would create character designs and caricatures in my notebooks during class. It felt like second nature to draw. I loved it. I loved it so much! But as I grew up, I slowly started to resent my work.

 

I used to look at DeviantArt’s featured page and ask myself why I was so horrible.

I was, and still, am my own worst critic. That is why during my teens, I accepted intricate, time-consuming jobs with very little payoff. I felt like my work wasn’t worthy of anyone’s money.

 

It was only at about 2nd-year college that I graduated from this toxic way of thinking and started taking serious commissions.  Thankfully, it’s been that way ever since.

 

I think that the roots of my career go way way waaay back. Illustration and I have a very deep history.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Yes, they were.

Despite art not being a very popular career choice here in the Philippines, my parents supported me in any way that they could. They bought me all that I needed without complaining, sent me to different art classes, gave me honest feedback every time I showed them a drawing, took me to different local and international museums, and commended me every time I won art contests or completed paintings.

Though they were hoping I would get a business course for college, they did not attest to me taking up Multimedia Arts.

I am so incredibly thankful for their constant support. I don’t think I would have pursued becoming an illustrator if I didn’t receive it.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

There are too many to list down!

I am never 100% happy with my work and every time I create a new piece, I see things that I need to improve on. I think that all my goals boil down to being able to get closer to the idea of the piece that I have in my head.

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

That’s a tough one!

There are so many exciting and inspiring voices, young and old, in the fashion and art world. But if I had to pick one, it would be Kiko Mizuhara. She has such a unique vision and sense of style! I would love to collaborate with her!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

The women around me are strong, smart, gritty, driven and goal oriented.

I’ve always been so thankful to be surrounded by women who are not afraid to have a voice. They don’t shrink when faced with adversity, they tackle it head on. Shout out to you mom!

 

The women around me are strong, smart, gritty, driven and goal oriented.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

There was one female creative, but sadly, I’ve forgotten her name. A very long time ago, about 10 years if I’m not mistaken, my parents gave me a newspaper article featuring a young female digital artist. Her works were so beautiful, I was immediately entranced by them! I remember keeping that newspaper article in my inspiration box, telling myself ‘That’ll be me one day’.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

I am very happy to say that the challenges that I face as an illustrator don’t come from me being a woman. That is the beauty of freelance, it’s output based. As long as you deliver, being male or female doesn’t matter! The patrons and clients that I’ve dealt with are forward-thinking and kind people who have never made me feel like I was less of an artist because I am a woman.

 

Love what you do. That becomes your driving force to become better.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Love what you do. That becomes your driving force to become better.

Practice.

Be diligent.

Find your voice. It’s what makes your art special.

Don’t give up.

Be confident in your art and the artist that you are. But–

Be humble. Be willing to accept constructive criticism from people who only mean well.

Don’t compete with other artists. Support each other.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Eunice Cruzabra.

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