This 20-Year-Old Filipina Is a Self-Taught Photo Restoration Artist

Some mementos are too precious to let go of, no matter how badly damaged they’ve become. This is especially true with old photographs we, our parents, and our grandparents have kept in photo albums and cardboard boxes through the years—even when some pictures are already stained, torn, written on, and absolutely ruined.

A young Filipina student, however, knew the priceless value of these images and began using her artistic skills to help people reclaim these nearly-lost memories.

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Erika Rose Lanario, a 20-year-old artist from Laguna, taught herself how to do photo restoration and colorization after being inspired by the work of Vin Oriarte on “Kinulayang Nakaraan.” She reached out to him for guidance and began pursuing it as a hobby amid the pandemic, practicing and practicing until she decided to share her services to those who need it.

“Last 2020, I saw one of Mr. Vin Oriarte’s restoration work and it caught my attention; I asked for his basic guidance since the videos that are available on the net are just time-lapses. I practiced for a month around late September 2020 and started to take commissions afterwards,” she shared in an interview with When In Manila.

“It took me a while before starting commissions since I was hesitating because there are better artists than me. On October 1, 2020, I started to accept clients and they were amazed by the potential that I have and so that inspired me to do more.”

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(ALSO READ: Here’s how these artists bring historical photos to “life”)

Now, Erika has her own page where people can view her photo restoration work, to avail of her service, and be encouraged to pursue their own hobbies.

“I am sharing these wonderful photos to prove that as long as there are people who are supporting you, may it be one or two, keep going. Wag susuko! Magpatuloy lang. Everything will be worth it,” she said. “One thing that I learned is that it’s normal to feel bad about your art sometimes. It’s normal to start over. It’s normal na magkaron ng art block. It’s normal to feel unmotivated at times. What you are feeling is valid BUT, don’t let it win against you. Don’t let it drag you and your passion down. Yes, you still have your passion, hindi yan nawala — maybe natabunan lang.”

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Maestra’s Photo Restoration and Colorization

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