Art is very much expressive and is limitless. It allows one to create different interpretations of the world around us through different means and platforms, even the most unique ones like for artist Jeh Aquino who creates beautiful masterpieces through LEAVES.
— Jeh Aquino (@jehqn) August 17, 2017
— Jeh Aquino (@jehqn) August 17, 2017
Leaves are deemed very delicate and more fragile. It was something Aquino found challenging but doable. As an artist, he tries to experiment with different forms and modes of art, and he found an inkling with leaves.
WHEN IN MANILA has reached out to Aquino for further details.
WHEN IN MANILA: How long have you been an artist?
JEH AQUINO: Medyo matagal na rin po. I think 2 to 3 years ago nung nagsimula akong gumawa ng art, which is hindi pa sa dahon. Self-taught lang (ako sa art).
(Quite a while already. I think 2-3 years ago was the time I started creating art. I wasn’t creating leaf art yet at that time. It’s all self-taught.)
WIM: Where did you start? (Painting, sketching, etc.) How would you describe your style in art?
JA: Nag-start ako sa scribbling, parang naglalaro ka lang kasi sa scribbling (gugulu-guluhin mo lang yung linya then makakabuo kana ng image) tapos non nag-try ako ng ibat-ibang style like stencil art, inverse drawing, etc. Nung huli lang ako nag-try mag leaf art, tinry ko siyang gawin para maiba naman. Haha!
(I started with scribbling, it’s like as if you’re “playing” when you scribble. Like, you ‘play’ or sketch freely with the lines, then you are able to create an image. After that, I tried different styles like stencil art and inverse drawing. It was just recent that I tried leaf art, I tried it for a change. Haha!)
WIM: What tools do you use for leaf art?
JA: Cutter lang. (Just a cutter.)
WIM: Do you use a specific kind of leaf for your art?
JA: Meron po kaso hindi ko alam tawag. Haha! Halamang ligaw lang po kasi siya. (I do, but I don’t know what it’s called. Haha! I believe it’s a ‘ligaw’ plant.)
WIM: What/who inspires you to create leaf art?
JA: May mga nakikita na rin po kasi akong ibang artist na gumagawa non, mga foreign artists. Kaya sinubukan ko siyang gayahin pero hindi gaya ng kanila.
(I’ve observed other artists try [leaf art], such as foreign artists. I tried to create a similar version but not exactly like their’s.)
WIM: Given the tools and the materials you use to create your leaf art, do you think it’s more difficult and challenging to do compared to other traditional art forms (painting, sketching, animation, etc)? What do you enjoy doing more?
JA: Napaka-challenging talaga ng pagle-leaf art, dahil konting mali mo lang sa pag-cut, sira na. Mahabang pasensya saka gaan ng kamay ang kailangan pag magka-cut. Worth it naman kung alam mong in the end maganda yung kalalabasan. Pero mas ineenjoy ko ang scribbling, gaya nga po nang sabi ko parang naglalaro ka lang sa scribbling.
(Creating leaf art is challenging. One mistake can eventually break [the leaf]. Patience and a delicate hand are needed to cut and create the masterpiece. It’s worth it in the end, knowing you’re satisfied with the output. But I enjoy scribbling more, because like what I mentioned earlier, it feels like you’re just playing.)
WIM: When did you start with leaf art?
JA: Last year of January (2016).
WIM: What is your message for aspiring artists?
JA: Ituloy lang nila yung pagiging inspirasyon sa mga taong gustong matuto. Hangga’t wala kang ginagawang masama, tuloy lang! Wag magpadala sa mga negative comments na ibabato nila sa’yo. Matuto rin tayong maging mapagkumbaba sa lahat ng bagay. So, yon! Abante lang sa buhay.
(Continue being an inspiration to people who want to learn. As long as you’re not doing anything wrong, keep doing what you do! Do not be swayed by negative comments that will be thrown to you. We should also learn how to be humble with all aspects! So, there! Continue to move forward in life.)
Keep up the great work, Jeh!
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Disclaimer: WheninManila.com does not own the photos above. Photo credits go to Jeh Aquino.