Fernando 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.