“Usually if you’re an artist, you tend to just focus on your art. Well, if you really want to be known or famous you should also focus on the Marketing aspect. You should interact with your community and work on your branding,” Surfaçage or also known as Surfi shared during our interview with her at the FanFes Manila 2018.
Art in the Philippines
Art, as one may say, conveys universal language. People may perceive one’s art in different level and depth. People can also do various kinds of art to express their feelings or champion certain advocacy. Art is the most distilled expression of culture.
In the Philippines only there are eight traditional subdivisions of Arts. They are Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Poetry, Dance, Performing (or Theater), and Film. With all these subdivisions many will agree that visual art is the most popular kind among the Filipinos. Since 1972 the Government has conferred 16 visual artists as National Artists of the Philippines — the larger in number among all the subdivisions. Their works ranges from paintings to sculptures.
Graphic Art, on the other hand, is quite popular to date especially with the younger generation. It is also part of the visual art scene but more of on the independent or indie side. Graphic artists in the country surprisingly have a larger number of following and community. With the influx of popular and geek culture in the Philippines, it is not surprising to see that even a six-year-old kid can give a name of the artist he/she is following.
FanFes Manila 2018
Following the growth of the art community in the country, Cosplay.ph thought of a brilliant idea to bring together the artists and their communities in one convention. It is their way to create the camaraderie between the two area. They highlighted independent artists rather than those mainstream and already known by the public.
FanFes Manila 2018 was a two-day successful event that satisfied each of the fanatics’ desire to interact with their favorite pop culture artists. There were over 60 booths that accommodated the communities.
One of the featured fan artists during the event is Surfaçage, a software engineer and an artist who popularized the Pokémon Go inspired comics called Ash (And The World Will Turn To Ash).
Surfaçage and her journey as an artist
In almost ten years ago, Surfi started making fan arts. She’s best in making “realistic manga” as what her followers call her art. In mid-August 2016 Surfi launched her very own web comic called Ash, but before the birth of it she tried to do different kinds of art.
She set up her online site way back in 2010 with the pen name Surfaçage, which according to her doesn’t really mean anything. “It’s actually just a French word I like, especially the sound of it.” Now, all her followers knew her by that pen name.
If you’ll inspect her fan arts closely, you’ll notice that she’s very fond of illustrating intense and dramatic scenes. According to her, she love intensity and drama that’s why it’s reflecting in her illustrations. Truly, climax is when the story becomes colorful.
“You’ll see that my art always have that dark with back light style, my signature style,” she added. Those details actually adds to the power of her art. It draws people’s attention and convey very powerful emotions.
“In the future I would like to launch my very own and original comics and expand my art. I also love to have an art book,” Surfi happily said when asked about her future plans. She’s still accepting commissioned artworks when she has time.
Surfi also shared some tips to artists who are experiencing artist’s block and those who couldn’t find time to pursue their art. According to her the trick for creative block is to break the monotony. You can surf the net and inspect other people’s arts, how are they doing it and will you be able to do that also. You can also go to some place you really want to go, breathe some fresh air and clear your head.
And for those who couldn’t find time to do what they love because of their responsibilities, she advised to have some strict time management. Surfi also gave her words of wisdom to all indie artists who desires to make it big in the industry, for her focus not only on the art but also the branding and marketing.