Passion or Career? This Professional Artist Tells You Why You Should Choose Both

Words by Jerika Danielle Clemente
Photos by Eunick Nobe

Ma, Pa, gusto ko po mag-Fine Arts.”
Ano? Wag na ‘dun anak, walang pera ‘dun.”

Sound familiar? May it be Fine Arts, Writing, History, or whatever it is you’re passionate about, remember that a career worth having can always grow—and Jappy Agoncillo is a living proof to that.

But wait, who is Jappy Agoncillo?

RELATED: 5 Things I Learned When I Left My Corporate Job To Pursue My Passion

Jappy Agoncillo is an artist, muralist, illustrator, and painter who started doing art since childhood thanks to his uncle, a comic book creator, who always drew comic book characters and superheroes for him. Eventually, Jappy asked his uncle to teach him, and once he was in high school, he realized he wanted to pursue art as his career. These days, he can be seen doing murals and making bare walls a masterpiece worth seeing.

Originally, Jappy took up Fine Arts in UST but then transferred to DLSU and took up a course that isn’t as close to the arts as we expected it to be: Legal Management. And as graduation day got closer, his art career was also slowly graduating from being his own to one shared to the world through commissioned murals and the like. And ever since he graduated, he continued doing art more than pursuing his law degree.

While it’s true that you can always learn to be passionate about the career you’ve chosen, there’s still this fine line between loving what you do and doing what you really love. So why not just pursue your passion as your career?

Jappy gives us 3 reasons why you should always choose your passion:

3. When you choose your passion, you’ll never have to work a day in your life

Exactly how the saying goes, when you love your work, it wouldn’t feel like working at all because you enjoy every bit of it. Just imagine not having any “ugh, Monday nanaman” drag because you don’t dread going to work. Quite the opposite, you actually love it. Wouldn’t that be fun? And when you’re passionate at what you do, you learn about your craft better. You grow each day.

Sounds like an absolute win-win for me.

Jappy’s wall mural

2. When you choose your passion, you can be sure of your career choice

Maybe once in a while, you wonder, what if I chose ____ instead? Thinking about your what-ifs could be hard especially when it’s a what-if that could’ve changed your whole life right now. Would things have been different if you chose a different course? Would I be happier someplace else? Maybe.

But if you’re doing what you love and know that it’s what you’ve always wanted to do then you don’t have to wonder at all. If you know that you’re willing to do your passion for probably the rest of your life, then there wouldn’t be no doubting where you’re at and where you’re going.

RELATED: 5 Student Freelancers on Taking a Chance on Their Passions

1. When you choose your passion, you can be confident in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it

Don’t you just have those moments when you’re so tired and stressed out at what you’re doing that you just ask yourself why you’re there doing it in the first place? Like why are you really doing it and if it’s worth it. Or maybe you ever felt doubts about whether your’re really good enough for your job.

There’s no assurance that no doubts will ever cross your mind when you’re doing what you love, but know that this is a normal part of the process. After all, there’s always room for improvement. But despite the doubts, at least you have you have a solid reason to keep on keeping on: passion.

BUT hey, choosing your passion doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave your job (that is if you love your job too)! Like Jappy who still has plans on pursuing a law degree, you too can continue doing the job you love and make time for what you really love. Aside from your passion, it’s also good to keep on growing in other aspects in life, and sometimes it’s a matter of knowing whether or not what you’re doing is worth every ounce (and if it is, why leave?).

Photo from Jappy Agoncillo Art’s social media account

Take it from Jappy:

I myself, having left art school and graduating instead a Legal Management Major, I do agree that you can take other courses and still pursue your passion. Though, I don’t think it has to be limited to becoming merely a hobby. You can still pursue your passion as a career and still make it through an unrelated college course. It’s all in how much you want it, really…There’s no shame whatsoever in doing what you think needs to be done, or in pursuing other things, but don’t let go of your true passions. Remember that these things, whatever they may be, are a part of you and it wouldn’t be wise at all to ignore who you really are. Whether it’s just a hobby or something you’d like to turn into a career, don’t ignore what you have.”

And remember, it’s you who make your career work—not the other way around.

Find out more about Jappy Agoncillo’s art here:


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