Renso David

Renso David“All things in this world start from humble beginnings. Everyone comes into being with a naked body and a nameless personality. Such a simple truth, but it is powerful enough to amplify a more important reality that speaks of nothingness at birth. Therefore, each person is essentially an artist in his own right, capable of transforming his life from nothingness to a work of art, a masterpiece.”

These are the words that an artist by the name of Rene choose to live by. He is so much in love with art that he incorporates it to the very essence of life.

Rene S. David, or Ney as most people would call him, was born on April 20, 1960. Back then, he was so clueless about what he really wanted in life. He just knew that he was a child named Rene. Until one day, at about the age of five, his grandmother taught him how to properly hold a pencil and write. Upon being able to hold a pencil, however, something snapped in him. He suddenly felt an urge to draw just about anything. Seeing how Ney seemed to love doodling on practically every piece of paper that his hands got to, his grandmother served as the source of motivation which became necessary in building up his potentials. For this reason, he would often make reference to his childhood as the canvas where he learned the basics and initial strokes of art and life.

This fresh potential of his was further nurtured when he entered formal schooling. He took every chance to join competitions such as poster-making contests. Sometimes he won; sometimes he lost. To him, it did not really matter that much. As long as he’s capable of doing what he loved, he would be happy.

In June 1978, he took up Bachelor of Science in Architecture at National University. It wasn’t long when he felt that this course just did not fit him well. Although it involved drawing, he found it to be restricted in that it’s confined to buildings and infrastructures.

Due to some constraints, he was not able to pursue another course. Instead of wasting his time and staying home idly, he tried looking for a decent job. He landed as a comic illustrator.

In 1988, he moved to Guam in search of a greener pasture. There, he was able to work in various companies which include Tropic Tees Shirt Printing Company, Color Plus Sign Company, Designers Local Tees Company, Hakubotan Company, and Pacific Charlie. The tasks he successfully completed were designing brochures and promotional poster for key company clients; conceiving and furnishing the layout for children’s magazine; stylized lettering that was much appreciated when used in client projects; designing t-shirts and logos.

A period of global recession was experienced at around year 2002, the effects of which still felt up to the present. Because of this, he shifted from jobs related to visual arts to those involving construction, specifically working as a house painter. But then, this did not wreak havoc to his passion. Whenever he found free time, he indulged himself to sketching, painting, and digital arts. He even joined various internet groups where he could interact with fellow artists.

In the end, these experiences only proved the art of transforming life from nothingness to a masterpiece – that Rene who’s only a clueless child now became this defined Rene who found meaning and passion.

The above profile was written by Ney himself, making me wonder whether he is a visual artist or a writer… 🙂



Edgar Bercasio

This profile is submitted by the artist himself to this site. This same profile is also posted at Wikipedia.

Edgar BercasioEdgar Bercasio was born in the Philippines.  He is a portrait artist, a comic book illustrator, and an animation artist who brought to life comic characters and superheroes on the drawing board.

“The human face has fascinated me whether it belongs to royalty or the average person on the street. Each person is unique and has a story to tell.”

When Edgar was 15 years old, his boyhood dream was to be an artist. At 17, survival took precedence over that goal. He struggled to pay for school as grants and scholarships were few and far between, and at times, he had to go without food to pay for art supplies. He found himself often relying on what he called “fast food art:” pen and ink illustrations for magazines, quick sketches and personalized cards, which required little imagination.

Nestor Redondo and Rudy Nebres, then considered the Philippines’ masters of comic book illustrations, took notice of Bercasio’s talent and started bringing work his way from as far away the U.S.A. They were also mentors helping him to sharpen his skills teaching him the basics of comic art. He further honed his talent by taking fine arts at FEATI University (Far Eastern Aeronautical and Technological Institute – Philippines) where he was privileged to study under more talented artists. During his years as a student, he won awards in pen and ink drawing, anatomy and commercial design.

Later, Bercasio obtained commissions from DC National Comics, an American comic book publisher, to do short stories like G.I. Combat, Ghost stories, Tales of the Unexpected series, and House of Mystery. His best work was a stunning “Golden Age Flash” strip in a four-star spectacular comic book he drew when he was 27 years old. Since then, Bercasio’s work has also been published by “Superyor Komiks, “Palos Komiks,” Hiwaga Komiks,” and “Pilipino Komiks.” He also worked on real-life stories of sports icons like Ken Griffey Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Roberto Alomar, Roberto Clemente and Mark Mcguire, all for Revolutionary Comics of San Diego, California.

In Spring 1990, Bercasio and his wife and four children emigrated from the Philippines to Winnipeg, Canada. He was one of the ten Manitoba immigrant artists who participated in “E-merging Cultures,” a juried exhibition of the work of different artists from November 19 to December 11, 1993; his work was shown and exhibited in the Main/Access Gallery (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

Edgar lived in Vancouver for more than two years (1996-1998) in collaboration with local Vancouver artists during which time, he was awarded Best Producer for his “Nilus the Sandman,” ” the Littlest Angel,” and “Shop ’till You Drop,” animated series done at Delaney & Friends Animation Studio. He has been back in Winnipeg for the last seven years working at Palliser’s Logic Division. In his spare time, he continues to pursue his passion, in addition to commissioned art work.

As well, Bercasio has done work for the Filipino community, such as a cover design and illustrations for a language book used to teach children about their Philippine heritage, and a cover illustration for a Philippine Independence Day celebration.

In February 2005, Edgar was chosen from among six talented artists in Winnipeg to create a piece focusing on the immigration and everyday life of Filipinos in WInnipeg. The occasion celebrates a 25-year relationship with Winnipeg and Manila, headed by the then Deputy Mayor and Councilor Mike Pagtakhan, who went to the Philippines to mark the Winnipeg-Manila Sister Cities’ anniversary and strengthen social, cultural, educational and economic ties. Edgar’s painting is titled “Panday Lahi” (Shapes of Generations), depicting the life of Filipinos in Winnipeg, shaping a better future for the next generation of Filipinos growing up in the city. His art work is currently displayed at the Winnipeg Millenium Library as a permanent collection.

Edgar works with different mediums and has a collection of art work, including many sketches, charcoal portraits, oil, water colour, and pen and ink drawings. His themes are varied in nature-people, events and places.

Today, Edgar is happy with what he has achieved for himself and his family. He has once again taken up the brush and is painting furiously. He now finds more time to create and pursue the dictates of his heart and conscience.


Romeo Manalo Castro (aka Wally)

Wally CastroRomeo Manalo Castro ( a.k.a Wally )
Born on January 25, 1963 and raised in Pampanga
Studied Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the National University.
Married and blessed with  3 children –  now living in Pasay City with his family.

Visual artist, illustrator, interior and senior graphic designer in one of the private companies in Al Khobar K.S.A since 1995.

Draftsman & Mural artist, in Victoria Court & Anito Group Drive In Hotel Manila from Dec. 1985 to 1991.

First Art Group exhibit held in Jeddah Sept 2000 ( Kulay Pinoy )
Second was in Food & Art Gallery 12f GT Tower, Makati City April 2011 ( Lakbay Kulay Art Group )

Wally says:

“From a young age I had an interest in drawing and painting. As a child I spent many hours in my father’s barber shop observing him and drawing western cowboy while he is waiting for  costumers. Studied and developed the accomplished skills and techniques now so evident in my work. I have been influenced by the Filipino & Italian master painters.

I describe myself as a ‘contemporary realist’. Although my art appears detailed, it is not the detail that interests me, but rather to create paintings that look spontaneous and convey a sense of life. ‘My art covers many aspects of our nature and lifestyle’. Drawing forms the basis for all my work no matter the final medium or application. I’m interested in combining the experiences of observation and imagination and I’m inspired by the potential of small natural forms and structures to suggest vast or other worldly realms.

For me, art is a gift that comes from GOD, He is the Master Supreme Creator of all universe… love & share it … until now I’m still learning to create different dimensions of art.”


Fernando M. Salazar

Ranie SalazarFernando M. Salazar (aka Ranie Cute), born on August 23, 1967 under the Virgo sign,  is a native of Lawan Alcantara, Romblon. He came from unpretentious family who left Romblon to live at La Loma, Quezon City where Fernando finished his elementary and secondary education.

Though living comfortably in Romblon, the family chose to rent a small room where they had their kitchen, sala, and bedroom — all rolled into one. This turn of affairs was due to the desire of the family to be with Fernando’s father who at that time was working at the Quiapo Market as pork retailer.

At a young age, he usually passed his time drawing – he started copying komiks left and right, and dreamed of becoming a famous illustrator, just like the brothers, Boy and Mel Capital, Mar Santana, and Hal Santiago.  Pursuing his childhood dream was not that simple. He was filled with misgivings that fine arts was a course for the rich, and even if he would get the opportunity to get through it, he was bothered by the fact that he might not get a job. It strengthened his idea that fine arts was a hobby, not a career. Added to his uncertainties were the expensive materials needed such as canvass, watercolor and other mediums which were necessary to master fine arts.

Some of his classmates in high school took an elective in drafting and they knew how expensive drawing materials were. He did not take the elective because his family was in a bit of a financial crunch. There were six of them going to school and whatever extra the family made was just enough for food.

It was in high school that he got sucked into those “on-the-spot-contests” which pitted him against the more proficient drafting students with their pricey gadgets specifically suited for the contest while he was armed only with a colored pen – but his remarkable talent usually land his entries on the 1st prize.

In spite of his obvious talent in arts, he had to take another course in college. He took up  architecture hoping he can still achieve his dream by applying his talent in drawing to the course. He was right because in architecture there were plates and he did utilize his skill in drawing even if they were only lines and putting colors in them, but it limited him so much as an artist.

Nevertheless, he graduated from architecture and eventually built his own family. He worked for a well-known architectural firm, a company credited for designing high-rise buildings in the Philippines, with such clients as Federal Land, the property unit of Metrobank Group.

As an artist, he pursued his passion by doing portraits for his siblings, his parents, and his friends but due to the demands of his job, he could not have enough time to really get into it —  so he had to set it aside.

When he worked in Saudi Arabia, he had to find something to get his mind off the loneliness of being away from his family, so he used most of his free time to draw. He was able to draw 250 portraits, more or less, for his batch mates in high school. He did not stop there —  he also did portraits for his colleagues at Zaid Al Hussain – he did the portraits of his Filipino and non-Filipino colleagues, and even the managers enjoyed a portrait from him – for FREE!

At the moment, doing portraits is how Fernando battles homesickness – his way of keeping himself occupied so as not to dwell on his loneliness. Arts has always been his passion and so much a part of his being,  and no one can take that away from him. Wherever he is and whatever he does, his art comes out –  his work as a landscape architect in Saudi Arabia proves without a doubt that Fernando Salazar is a natural born artist.

Rusty Tabo is credited for inviting him to join the fun at FPAE. He has picked up some tips and bits from the group to hone his skill in doing portraits.  Now he has joined the Styles, Strokes and Sketches Society as its Technical Head.


Jose C. Capital aka Boy Capital

Bot CapitalJose C. Capital, Jr. (aka Boy Capital) was born on October 1, 1950 in Tabaco, Albay and grew up in Pasay City. At the age of 5, he already showed interest in drawing.  Influenced by his older brother, a comics illustrator himself, Boy Capital became the youngest comics illustrator at the age of 13.  His first illustrations were published by BAL Publications.

After high school at Southeastern College, Boy Capital took up Fine Arts at Feati University. He became a fulltime comics illustrator and his works were published by Atlas Publications under the mentorship of Hal Santiago, Nestor Redondo, and his brother Mel.

He was commissioned to do the illustration of a family planning comic book for the  Papua New Guinea government. His achievement did not stop there. With the recommendation of mutual friends, he got into a major advertising firm and became its Art Director.

He moved to the Middle East and held the position of Art Director of BBDO, an international advertising company based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where some of his artworks, concepts and ideas won the most-coveted “GOLDEN SWORD AWARD” in advertising.

He started painting while in Jeddah and among his inspirations were the works of Fernando Amorsolo, Botong Francisco, and Vicente Manansala.

Together with other members of  Pinta Pilipino, they held a group show exhibit for the benefit of lahar victims in the Philippines. The entry piece entitled “A DAY AND THE LIFE”  depicted a busy street just like “Spice of Life” by Larry Alcala. His work was appraised by one of the guest media columnists who compared  it to the works of the famous painter-illustrator Norman Rockwell. His artwork was eventually published in the Saudi Gazette which inspired him even more to pursue his painting career.

In 1998, he decided that Philippines is the place for him to  pursue his passion for painting.  He joined the AAP (Artists Association of the Philippines) and launched his first solo painting exhibit in 2004. The successful exhibit was held at the GSIS Museum with special guest Senator Manny Villar cutting the ribbon.

His next solo exhibit in 2005 featured his sons Joselito and Jonathan as guest artists. It was held at the Manila Adventist Medical Center and School of Arts (formerly Manila Sanitarium and Hospital).


Rodolfo Samonte: Simply an Artist

Rodolfo SamonteI was awed, amazed,  and  astonished when I read the profile of Rodolfo Samonte –and I wondered how I can put to words his outstanding achievements in the field of art without repeating what has already been written about him in the Arts and Culture page of the Manila Bulletin.

That’s right! A whole page entitled Rodolfo Samonte: Master Digital Artist Comes Home was dedicated to this Filipino Artist when he put on an  “energized” exhibit of 30 digital art works in the Philippines last December 2011.

I am not into serious arts so I will not even pretend that I understand its technicalities especially when it involves “computer-aided geometric abstractions” (wow … that’s a mouthful) – but I do appreciate beauty so I might be able to add in some “Wow…”, “Amazing…”, “Beautiful…..” when asked what I think of an art work.

Now back to my dilemma – how can I give justice to this world-acclaimed artist and what words do I use to introduce him to the “masang Pilipino” who need to know that there is another reason we can be “Proud to be Pinoy”.

In an  interview done by one of the top art critics of the Philippines with Samonte for the book “Conversations on Philippine Art” published in 1989 by the Cultural Center of the Philippines –  Samonte opened up with:  “I prefer to be called simply an artist.”

With everything that he’s been into (printmaking, graphic designing, photography, lacquered relief painting, silkscreening,  doing woodcuts) — yes, he’s simply an Artist but add award-winning, international, world-class, superb, and all superlatives you can think of because that is all you can say when you see his works of art.

Here are some samples of Rod Samonte’s works. He calls these Painted Photographs:

Visit The Art of Rodolfo Samonte and The Photography of Rodolfo Samonte