Josephine Bejasa Adame, also known by his nickname “Esang”, is a Filipina artist from San Pascual, Batangas, who loves to portray her art about environmentalism, since her advocacy is to protect and preserve our natural resources.
She spearheaded a group Philippine Environmentalist Art Society, which aims to encourage people to share their environmentalism acts in any form of visual arts through this facebook group.
Esang is also an Art Teacher, a Student Coach, a Motivational Speaker, a Promoter of Local Artists, an Exhibitor (for less than fifty(50) local exhibits, eight international and two one-woman shows), a Moderator of Paschal Artista (gearing in the promotion of art in her locality), a Judge in several art contests and as well as a Public Servant for almost thirteen years up to the present.
Checkout our exclusive interview with Esang.
Tell us about yourself, how did you start in the arts industry?
Probably my art inclination was rooted from the blood, because my uncle from my father side is the “Master of Watercolour in the Philippines, Mr. Rafael “Popoy” Cusi. Since my springtime was spent in a typical rural barrio in Batangas Province, farms and fields were my playground, somehow influencing me to do subjects about nature, more of floral, greens, birds and many others, using acrylic paints as my medium.
Luckily, my entry was selected as among the one hundred artists in an exhibit entitled “Isang Daang Obra Para sa Kalikasan” organized by the Freedom Art Society held at Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Main Office, Quezon City on April 12 to May 17, 2017. This is my first ever exhibit that marks an onset of entering the art industry, a great window of many surprising and great opportunities for me.
What motivates you to push through your career as an artist?
Through art, I experienced wonderful moments and milestones of my life.
I was given the chance to participate in various exhibits, locally and internationally. To date, I joined less than seventy local exhibits, eight international and two solo shows.
I am fortunate that I am able to become a moderator/adviser of the official art groupi in our locality at San Pascual, Batangas, the PASCHAL ARTISTA, composing the youth and newbies of art specializing in painting.
I become an art teacher/mentor, student coach for contests, judge in several art competitions in schools, artist facilitator, motivational speaker in different seminars and meeting engagements, a local artist of my municipality composing the Local Culture and Arts Council, promoter of our Pinoy artists by doing the featuring at my Esang’s Pintura page and via my YouTube account, joined in many socio-related activities pertaining to the promotion of arts in our community and as well as an advocate of environmentalism being the creator and admin of a certain facebook group, the Philippine Environmentalist Art Society.
These motivational factors inspired me to continue improving my craft, to reinvent myself and my career as an artist, because I believe that there are more remarkable things to discover and experience in this field.
What are the challenges you’ve been through as an artist?
Rejections are always the common denominator of all artists but mostly, we consider them a positive push for us to exert more and enrich our competence and skill. Thankfully, in my entire art journey I accepted minimal criticisms, but in my own initiative, I keep on growing and competing myself and my mastery based on the quality of my works in the past and in the present time. We should keep on innovating.
Another challenge is during the times when I am starting to introduce my name in the industry. I need to prove my artistry deserves to join in exhibits or rather my works to be displayed along with those beautiful paintings from participating prominent artists. I feel so blessed that though I am an amateur then, they behaved so nice towards me and continue supporting me by including my works in the series of exhibits. Until then, somehow my name ESANG, as an artist has started to be known by most people, not only from my place but in the country.
How does the pandemic affect you?
Pandemic became so ideal to many Pinoy painters because it gave an ample time to create many artworks, since everyone is opting to stay at home due to quarantine and lockdowns. I grab the chance to create more, since I have a work from home set-up in my job.
Virtual exhibits have become the common trend during the pandemic using many forms of software applications and through social media, to show our works in the public. Since the majority are spending most of our time on gadgets and cell phones, this has become our easy avenue or platform to showcase our works, especially for promotion of exhibits. Gratefully, I had a series of online exhibits, not only locally but also internationally.
But because of the depressing situation, affecting the economic income and earning capability for common households and even those successful companies and corporations had experienced bankruptcy. We, as selling artists need to cut down our price, affordability somehow helps in more sold paintings.
Can you tell us your upcoming art exhibit?
The Museum and Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art and FilArts will hold their 3rd Biennial Art Festival in Alcala, Pangasinan at the end of 2021 or early months next year. We are fortunate that our work has been approved by the joint selection committee.
Each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation, Certificate of Donation, Catalogue of the event and a copy of a magazine, circulated internationally, that will feature the event.
I also have some upcoming exhibits from my art group here at Batangas, the Grupo Sining Batangueno, which we are in the preparation stage as of now.
With all your art pieces, do you have any favourite one?
I consider all my paintings as my favourite. Even my oldest paintings which seemed not so good compared to my new works, I appreciated them. For me, all my paintings are like my children, I am their creator and for the moment they are with me, but in time somebody will take them from me and they will go to their new home.
What is your advice, especially to all the emerging artists?
If their dream is to excel and build a good name in the world of art, they should posses the quality of perseverance, passion of rediscovering their craft by constant studying, innovating and continuing reinvention of their works, be aware of their environment and surrounding for them to be updated on the fast trends and changes, composing works which always pertains to truthfulness, good values and positive impact that will leave a noble legacy for their name and reputation, and most importantly, they should always be armed with right discipline and good attitude to many.
The road to success is not easy, but if we have that fervent desire to keep holding on to our dreams and big faith in God, it will never be impossible.
Who inspires you to make more art?
I guess, making more art is already my way of life because the inspiration is rooted in my will to achieve my personal dreams and also my dreams for my family. As I become mature, that dream extends too even to those people who are also aspiring to become one. Our simplest way of sharing our knowledge and experiences gained during my art journey somehow contributes to them and through that, they become also confident in their potential.
Another reason is my advocacy of the preservation and protection of our natural environment. Our ultimate and sustainable survival will always depend on the prime needs of our body which are food and shelter. Ever since, my art connotes the beauty of our natural surroundings, floral, birds, trees, rural views and sceneries, and many more. Through this, I am encouraging people to act for our environment, for these living creatures to sustain their life and beauty.
In the end, we as human beings will always be the final living things to be benefitted by protecting our earth.