This February, Looking For Juan celebrates National Arts Month by highlighting Filipino artists through Quaderno's Page Talk—a series of conversations featuring the extraordinary talents shaping the present and future of Philippine art.
In Jomike Tejido's paintings and sculptures, everyday terrains are transformed into animated abstract schemes of multicolor hues, midcentury forms, and pictorial planes. His wide-ranging work embodies an intersection between visual arts, technical drawing, and architecture.
Renewed Lifestyle 01 & 02 | acrylic on canvas (2020)
Below, the architect turned full-time visual artist—who has published over 100 children's books in the country and abroad—talks briefly with Looking for Juan about his art and the role of the Filipino artist.
What inspires or motivates you to create?
"What inspires me to create is the creative lifestyle itself. With my profession, I get to wake up each morning and be energized to paint, draw or write something, whether it is continuing the adventure of unfinished work or an exciting start of creating something out of nothing. Days often lead to me losing track of time or feeling that it is not enough to contain my creative pursuits."
Reconstruction 01 & 02 | acrylic on canvas (2020)
What does your art represent?
"My art represents happiness, contentment, and inspiration. I often paint abstract geometric shapes that are whimsical and seem to be floating in an abyss of never-ending bliss. Its organic forms symbolize the ability to grow and expand exponentially despite the changes in the environment."
How can art influence change?
"Art can influence change as it provides a visual respite from the real world. The science of meditation is actually to stop, pause and think. I believe art gives the same effect as a viewer is drawn into a painting. Whether abstract or figurative, the power an image has to put into trance a person, even for a few seconds, can be a catalyst for an idea, a solution, or a change of course of action."
Evening Skyline 01 & 02 | acrylic on canvas (2020)
What's the role of Filipino artists in this time of misinformation, division, and pandemic?
"The role of artists is to inspire in our own small ways. As the saying goes, 'a picture can paint a thousand words.' Our paintings can either blatantly shout or subtly speak of how we think or feel in certain societal situations. And it is through our pictures that we can influence and inspire others."
Inspired by Jomike Tejido’s art? Support Philippine art while you write with Quaderno by Jomike Tejido, featuring four limited-edition notebooks designed in collaboration with the artist, created to find a renewed appreciation for Philippine art, probe ideas, and express yourself however you like.
Urban Farming 01 & 02 | acrylic on canvas (2020)
A part of the proceeds from Tejido's Quaderno collection will go to book donations to children in disadvantaged communities in the Philippines in support of CANVAS' One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.