Digital connections and inspirations: How Twitter empowers Filipino artists in ‘next normal’

February 24, 2021 - 9:29 PM
Illustration of a painter. (Illustration by mohamed_Hassan from Pixabay)

Reliance on online conversations and digital support is becoming the “next normal” for local artists who used to attend art conventions and celebrate each others’ works before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Artist Drew Borja of webcomics “Hunghang Flashbacks” said that he relied on a microblogging platform to get fresh inspiration and bolster connections despite being locked down due to the threat of the highly contagious virus.

“Being an artist online is all about showcasing your creations. Twitter has not only helped me connect with new audiences but also new artist friends, people I look up to, and even the occasional oddballs,” he said in an exclusive interview with Twitter Philippines.

Borja believes that appreciating the power of online conversations is a way to make the best out of the current situation.

He added that he has developed friendships with fellow artists on the microblogging platform and that he never felt left out whenever he participates in online art prompts.

Borja said that he likes how it is more comfortable to join conversations on the particular platform, unlike other social networking sites.

“In Twitter, comments and feedback aren’t easily flooded or drowned with everything else. I guess that is why it’s more comfortable to build connections there,” he shared.

“It gives the sense of familiarity. [My plan is] to release new titles or do more collabs [collaborations] with people. I want to nurture the relationships I have with both my readers and my co-artists,” Borja added.

Art student and visual painter Louis Espinosa also shared how the platform has helped him cope amid the lockdown that has mentally and emotionally affected people.

“The art community on Twitter has been helping me heal and regain my fuel for passion, especially during the 5-month longest burnout I went through last year. Not only with the community, but my art moots [mutuals] helped me get up on my feet and to start my engines as well,” he shared.

Espinosa believes that art is not just a therapy but also an expression of emotions. It also serves as a method for him to spread awareness on certain issues.

The visual painter said that he visits the microblogging platform to dive into different messages and forms of art, as well as to learn from his fellow artists.

“I remain inspired not by just browsing art [and] supporting my art moots by retweeting and liking their artworks but also, [by] being able to sell my recent paintings at gallery shows as well,” he said.

“With that, it regained a sense of hope that sparked my passion for the arts even more because I was really hopeless before, especially during the course of my months-long burnout,” Espinosa added.

The platform is celebrating the annual National Arts Month in February which aims “to conserve, promote and popularize Filipino artistic creations, integrate the arts in the community life, and harness the arts as catalysts for values education.”

The annual celebration was a result of the signing of Presidential Proclamation 683 in 1991 which declares February as “National Arts Month.”

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and other government agencies as well as private companies, have been organizing events and activities to highlight the artistic talent of the Filipinos ever since.