Learn the inspiration and creative process behind RV Basco's paintings for his newest children’s book, 𝗔𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝘂𝗻𝗹𝗮 𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘀, written by Eugene Evasco.
RV Basco and one of his artworks for Ang Punla ng Aratiles
LFJ: What was your inspiration behind your initial artwork for the Romeo Forbes Storywriting Competition that inspired the story?
RV: I started working on the contest piece during the early part of the lockdown. We live in a village where planes would fly by at certain hours of the day. One morning I realized that we no longer heard the sound of an airbus flying above our house. Then I noticed the sky was clear, the air was fresh, and the birds were everywhere. I guess this explains why I painted something related to the environment.
Close-up shot of one of the inside pages of the book
LFJ: Were there any considerations when you were creating the artworks for the book?
RV: There were many considerations. One of them was adding humor to entertain the kids. But since the story tackled serious environmental issues, I thought it was inappropriate to make it into a comedy. I then figured a theater-style presentation might balance things out, and hopefully attract a broader age group. So, I spent most of the illustration process drafting the scenic and stage designs before adding the characters.
From RV Basco's exhibit of Ang Punla ng Aratiles at UP College of Fine Arts
LFJ: Why are stories and art important for children in this day and age?
RV: I believe it’s essential for parents and teachers to separate the good stories from the bad. Children need to read literature. In my opinion, good literature will always lead to sound art.
One of the scenes inside the book, Ang Punla ng Aratiles
LFJ: What would you like children to take away after reading Punla ng Aratiles?
RV: I think after reading the book, there will be a growing trend of kids wanting to try this fruit. Nothing is more satisfying than having your picture book re-enacted in real life.
Front cover of the book, Ang Punla ng Aratiles