Hello, my name is Pergy. I am a craft artist and illustrator from the Philippines. I mostly work on the art of children’s books. My main mediums are paper and fabrics. I like making things by hand and enjoy the process of working with textures and details.
I also love sleeping, where I collect dreams.
I live in Antipolo, a city in the Rizal Province with an overlooking view of neighboring cities in Metro Manila and a magnificent panorama of the Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the Philippines. As the city that prides itself as the Pilgrimage Capital of the Philippines, many people visit the town especially during the month of May for the churches, cashew nuts, suman sa ibus (glutinous rice cakes), etc. Throughout the year, tourists flock to the city’s resorts, dine at the eclectic restaurants, or trek in the nearby mountains.
After becoming a city, Antipolo has evolved dramatically. When I was a child, there used to be a lot of open spaces with wild grasses where one can run and play. I remember after bouts of adventure outside, I will find amor-seco grass seeds clinging on my clothes. Those lots are now occupied with buildings like groceries and subdivisions. With the city’s urbanization and accessibility to Metro Manila, it has attracted more families who want to settle closer to nature.
Here, I can still see and smell nature.
Even though it is highly accessible, it will still take you some time to move in and out of the city to reach place of school, work, and events. With the traffic and few modes of transportation, it can get tiring and frustrating very quickly. Despite these things, I still like living here. It is more laid-back, and quieter compared with the nearby congested cities. Here, I can still see and smell nature.
struggling, tranquil, resourceful
I am a self-taught artist and struggled a lot with my style. For a while, I thought that being an artist only means I need to be good at painting on canvas. But when I worked as a handmade greeting card designer, I was able to develop my paper-cutting and crafting skills. I eventually discovered the style I love and found my main medium.
I then auditioned and became a member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (or INK for short, an organization of illustrators for children in the Philippines). The organization helped me find my voice and raise confidence in my skills and art. I was able to illustrate my first children’s book after joining. More opportunities became available to me as I meet other artists and prospective clients and collaborators. I believe that finding my tribe has a major impact in my growth as an artist, especially that I have no formal foundation or education in the arts.
For a while, I thought that being an artist only means I need to be good at painting on canvas. But when I worked as a handmade greeting card designer, I was able to develop my paper-cutting and crafting skills. I eventually discovered the style I love and found my main medium.
My family has been very understanding and supportive, even though they are not exposed to the arts. I am happy to have friends who are wonderfully appreciative of my work, I love that we support each other.
I would love to continue developing picture books, for local and international audience. I hope to learn other mediums and create life-sized soft sculptures and be a part of a stop-motion movie.
I would love to continue developing picture books, for local and international audience.
It would be awesome, the chance of a lifetime to collaborate with the likes of Wes Anderson and/or Michel Gondry. Their works are very dreamlike.
The women around me – my family, friends, and the art community – are strong, talented, and nurturing individuals. I have so much respect for them, they inspire and motivate me.
The women around me – my family, friends, and the art community – are strong, talented, and nurturing individuals.
I was not exposed to art early in life. I just really like to draw and make stuff. My mother is a seamstress, so there were several materials available to me that I used to work on my ideas and craft projects. I think it’s wonderful that the arts and crafts industry is gaining more recognition now.
I remember a short gig where I was a faux paint muralist. As a woman in a not so great working location (we were working on a house that was still under construction and no proper restroom), it seemed like a drawback. But other than that, there is equal opportunity for everyone in the creative field where I work. The most challenging aspect for me is fighting my insecurity and personal expectations.
Stay persistent and patient with your growth as an artist but don’t forget to enjoy the process.
Stay persistent and patient with your growth as an artist but don’t forget to enjoy the process. Practice is essential. Find the community that will support and inspire you.
Photos courtesy of Pergy Acuña.
May 22, 2020