Electromilk

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Please introduce yourself!

Hi! I’m Shin. I’m a high school teacher at a University here in Laguna and my subjects are Language and Literature, I taught Contemporary Philippine Arts  last semester, which was super great. I do my work in the academe from 8-5, then I draw during evenings or when I get to sneak in some time at work. I fill up sketchbooks and pick the good stuff in it to usually compile in a zine/short comic material.

Your illustrations gear towards mature content, but can you recall how you fell in love with the innocence of craft as a kid?

All I can recall now from childhood is drawing in a hospital because I had a lot of asthma attacks. It was pretty cool–even until now the nurses and staff there remember me.

Growing up as a kid in the province, we didn’t have a lot of money and there weren’t a lot of bookstores, so the few comics I had, I just read them over and over again and tried to copy what the images looked like. I had to make up my own entertainment mostly because even dealing with other people back then felt like a lot of work.

Did your family, in any way, help shape you as an artist?

My father was a commission artist. He’s very good with the technicals of almost any visual art form, but he didn’t have a lot of original ideas. I think I grew up being quite the opposite.

My older brother also used to draw a lot and we usually shared the dinner table together, where I would just make inferior versions of whatever he was drawing. He hated it, but now I think I do more “original” shit than he does.

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I think I’m really fun to be with once I open up and people are willing to understand that even though I cry a lot and talk shit about everything, my heart is always open and I don’t lie or fuck around. Sincerity is key!

How did you manage to evolve from that kid who used to echo his brother’s art to the artist that you are now?

I was drawing only for myself, then I made an Instagram account. From there, I got to meet people who had similar interests. Eventually, I started joining zine fairs and met artists personally who thought my work is ok.

Was there any struggle in finding that voice?

My biggest challenge is not being largely involved in any “art scene” whatsoever and tbh feeling like an outcast EVERYWHERE. Like, where I come from and where I work, not a lot of people care for “art”, so we don’t have common interests, and when I’m with other artists like in Manila, they come from such a different environment and I can’t really connect to them either. But I’m fine where I’m at. When I look at my work and social well-being, I’m at peace with it.

Speaking of struggles, what’s probably your most challenging project to date?

Every time I have to do an artwork (an album art, portrait, tattoo design) for someone else, it’s literally THE BIGGEST challenge ever, but I’m also very grateful that anybody would be willing to pay me real money to draw something for them. How I work around the process of it is that I just say sorry a lot for being terrible [laughs].

How about your most memorable work so far?

My favorite work are the recent zines I’ve self-published, but my dream project is just to complete a short comic book. It’s so hard ’cause after five minutes, I feel like any idea for a story I come up with is bad.

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A reader shouldn’t judge a person based on their zine cover, so what are you like beyond the pages that you draw on?

I think I’m really fun to be with once I open up and people are willing to understand that even though I cry a lot and talk shit about everything, my heart is always open and I don’t lie or fuck around. Sincerity is key!

Do you have any tips for overcoming creative block?

When I see somebody’s artwork, a really beautiful, or captivating photograph, I just look at it for a long time and try to understand what makes it ‘work’ the way it does.

But I don’t think about the word “art block” so much. I think when you name commonplace occurrences like that, you give them more power than they should have in the first place!

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Is there anything that frustrates you the most in life?

It frustrates me when I’m misunderstood. Or you know, when you insist you didn’t do something but somebody insists you did anyway? That KILLS ME.

Going back to your art, what keeps that fire within you from being burned out?

I let the feeling pass by itself. Or if it’s something I really have to do, then I just DO IT. Granted, I shall be complaining and cursing a lot in the process, but at least I’m doing it he he.

Lastly, what’s the future like for you?

For me, it’ll be just alright. For this country, I’m extremely worried.

Share our goals of fostering creativity, spreading inspiration, and sparking change. Together, let’s make bigger things happen.

Never Stop Learning ™