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From Desk Doodles to High Street Murals with Janica Rina

I was into drawing even when I was small. I loved doing portraits at the age of 7 and since my mom is a high school teacher, I used to borrow chalk from her and while she’s teaching I’d go under the teacher’s desk and use it as my blackboard. When the teachers from that school conduct classes and see all desks have doodles they'd say “Oh, Mrs. Lugo (my mom) was here.” My “Yayi”, Jerson Samson was the one who honed my skills. He was my caregiver, guardian, and mentor. I grew up with him and got inspired as I always see him paint. I remember one of his activities for me to keep me from talking nonstop and just sit in the corner was that he would doodle random tangled lines and I had to draw something from it.

I am a mom of 2 playful boys and since my youngest was born, I had very little time to paint (because whenever I paint, no one could stop me. I was too focused and I could paint for 12 hours straight). But even though I’m homeschooling my eldest and looking after my baby, I still want to express my creativity, that’s why I saw BGC Art Mart as a great chance and started selling prints of my digital works. Careful preparation was one of the things I learned from joining BGC Art Mart. I can finish a painting in 3-6 hrs but since the art mart was conducted live on Facebook, and I have to showcase my work and explain my products, I have to exert extra time and effort to prepare my selling script which I don’t usually have to do for art exhibitions.

There are a lot of things [that] I consider as the “best” about being able to partner with BGC Arts [Center]. First, I was able to present my talent to different people all around the metro. It was such a surreal feeling when I got the chance to do a mural with my mentor Jerson Samson for the Bonifacio [Art] Foundation project in November 2017. Other than the experience, it really was such a great pleasure to be working with The Mind Museum’s amazing team because they have been very helpful and kind to us. That’s when I started to feel the treatment artists like us deserve. The kind of treatment we have been hoping for; respect and professionalism. Then when the pandemic started, I got an opportunity to join BGC Art Mart Online and showcase my other talent, the entrepreneurial side. As always, everything BAFI organizes is always smooth sailing and very organized that’s why every time they open an opportunity, I always grab it. Yes! That’s it. BAFI always gives opportunities to Filipino artists like me.


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