I USED TO SHOOT PEOPLE FOR A LIVING
It's been a while since I posted something on my blog. If I haven't caught myself humorously, yet a tad bit uncomfortably, reminiscing because of all the things that I'm looking at right now, blogging would have been long forgotten for me still. But I felt compelled to write this because of something I know, as much as I want to sweep it under the rug, will always be a part of all that molded me to be the person I am now.
Yes. I used to shoot people for a living. (wink! wink!) I used to be a professional photographer and also a graphic artist and, a graphic designer. I came across their immortalized mementos while gathering as many previous works as I can. I'm now trying to make a decent body of work; that I apparently need as a full-time artist. (By the way, shout out to another amazing artist, Cindel Tiausas, who's putting this together for me! Thank you!)
It's both a nostalgic and an eerie feeling to see my old works again. I must say I'm still happy with how they looked. Not to sound too proud of me but they are edgy, beautiful, and awesome. However, stitched with them are the awkward memories that came from a time, shall I be so frank to say, where I'm at the early part of the most embarrassingly, terrible, full-of-failures stage of my life.
I've been so openly sharing my story during interviews and I went to bare out the majority of it during my guesting and testimony with Ms. Dyan Castellejo at the ABS-CBN fellowship.
I know during the times, that I was shooting these amazingly wonderful, and celebrated people; including brands, products, and places; I was becoming the worst version of myself. I did enjoy but I was, arrogant, boastful, loud, annoying, irritating, and feel free to add more negative adjectives to the list. I was too full of myself during the time I haven't even done anything significant in my career. I did things I regretted. I went to places I shouldn't have been in. I found myself in situations that ruined me. But looking back, I now realize, it was necessary and part of an elevated process. They may be the things that I'm not proud of and I didn't want to happen but they were what I needed.
Most of us, if not all, surely did or experienced something we hoped to never have happened. But as I keep on sharing my story, I came to know the power of the truth that, with grace and mercy, shameful things are something we should never be ashamed of.
We go through embarrassing moments to be humbled.
We go through failures to learn.
We become dispirited so we can inspire.
We stumble so we can rise stronger.
We go through unfavorable moments to see how God favors us.
As my friend and partner, Junior, said, "Kung wala kang kwento, wala kang kwenta." (If you don't have a story that matters, then you don't matter).
Our faults, flaws, and failures should never be a hindrance for us to do and create beautiful things. God can and will always use us, even if we are unaware of it. I still fall short of the mundane but I do believe I continue to make beautiful works just like what the Lord allowed me to do so in my humbling past. Praise Him who lives in me for that.
When I had my comeback exhibit, 'Almost There', at the Manila Hotel, I felt undeserving of having a sold-out show before the event even started. It was partly because I would always remember all that I went through which I had no one to blame but myself. In full realization, I concluded it was futile to dwell on it and I just embraced that it's not about me. It's was never about me. It should NEVER be about me.
Though focusing on painting, I believe I still do shoot people for a living. Now, I always aim for their hearts; hoping I can pave the way for Him to pierce through anyone that needs to humble down, learn, get inspired, get stronger, and get to know Him more.
Sharing with you some throwback-works (slide life / right)