Why did you pick this picture?
I believed I’ve already improved much ever since I finished this painting and so I spot a lot of parts there I believe I could’ve polished more, but more than the quality and the pretty visuals, this isolated painting speaks to me in volume. I entitled it “Blooming” because it personally reflects to me my growth as an artist so far. This single painting has gone so much before it arrived on its most final output. From a small, quick painting sketch in my watercolor book, I decided that I wanted to translate it on a larger scale. However, I didn’t expect it to be harder than simply making it bigger. With the thought that it’ll be easy enough, I recklessly scrapped 4 final pieces of this before I was able to finish the final piece 3 months after I made the study.
The real treasure of this painting is the journey I had with it
Through here I was to realize a great deal of lessons that later has helped me on my art journey till currently. It has taught me the tradeoff of belittling a process and confidently thinking I can do it 100% with my skill — which is the great frustration I felt when I grasped that I wasn’t skilled enough after all. Within those 3 months I was painting the previous versions of this, I was significantly saddened by the level of my skill. I got heavily stressed out and led me to a seemingly endless path of art block. Along with this slight depression was my constant insecurity coming from discouraging views by other people that wasn’t balanced by the support and cheer I felt. This made me question if I’m even worthy for the title of an “Artist”. On an emotional description, I feel like I’m drowning in a deep sea of doubts and I don’t know which way is up; lost in a bigger world, losing my own voice in art. Even though I personally think I’m not yet in the level of being worthy of owning my own voice, I feel very insecure that I don’t have it. Along with this is a very emotional struggle I’m sure many artists relate to. And as if being lost as I was already then wasn’t enough, I also had a lot of personal problems which completely clouded my mind with negative thoughts. I couldn’t finish any painting I wanted to make; I couldn’t draw anything I imagined. I had no vision.
On a lighter note, weeks before I decided to pick this WIP up again, my group of friends decided to push me into creating an art group that’ll help me get up from my crippling situation. Through the making of this group named, ART HUB MNL, I found scattered ideas of why I love art in the first place, we used this and my friends’ personal art ideas as foundation, objective, vision and mission to start up the group. Through the process of building this group I felt something think I haven’t felt for a very long time before – support and genuine happiness for my achievements coming from friends. It was the support I thought I didn’t need before as an individual artist, but turned out to be an eye-opener for me. I started to feel my confidence gathering up again and I grew in positive ways I haven’t stumble upon before. I started painting the WIP again but with a clearer vision this time.
Where did the idea for this art come from?
The final piece of this is several times lighter than my first sketch and concept. Just from the overall of it I already see how obvious my more positive outlook critically influenced it. At first I just wanted to create a beautiful subject, but ultimately the idea of it subconsciously came out of simply feeling more happy and peaceful.
What does this art mean to you?
Blooming means coming into or be in full beauty or flourish
From what I encountered with it, this piece is a great significance of my growth as a person and as an art lover. Through this piece I hope spectators can also sense and feel the beautiful journey I had with this, and that they also experience developing in beautiful ways that’ll turn them into better versions of themselves – artists or not.
At the same time – The same way that I see from this painting that I can make a better version of this now, It mean I can continuously improve the quality of my art and continuously improve myself as an artist.
What can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Mimi Sarmiento but I’m more known as my online moniker, dollicandy. I’m from Manila, Philippines. I’m a Fine Arts graduate; major in Advertising, from the University of Santo Tomas here in the Philippines.
I’m an artist currently focusing on Portraiture with Watercolors. My greatest inspiration when I started was a Japanese artist I saw in pixiv, たえ (Tae), whose works captivated me so much it inspired me to practice portraits.
My main art materials currently are: Holbein 18-set watercolor, Escoda Reserva round brush, Hahnemuhle Britannia watercolor papers (for studies and concepts), Waterford or Arches for Final pieces.
I read a lot of art books and currently I’m obsessed with re-learning art history since I have this future dream to professionally share my knowledge as an art professor. So I feel it’s a must to further solidify my formal art knowledge. Although the art scene right now in Manila is growing, it is still very limited and the community is very small so I believe studying thru books and the internet gives me the access to art philosophies and culture outside our country. I believe that’s one way to make me better-rounded. Especially now I’ve just started conducting workshops under ART HUB MNL, where I teach key concepts on how to get started on painting portraits with watercolor, mostly based on my personal techniques.
Aligned with my future dream to further share the beauty of art in our local home is our group ART HUB MNL’s vision — It is a collective of artists whose one of the main objective is to showcase and influence the art scene in its best form here in Manila since me and my friends believe that our local market deserves to see a wider scope of our local art and artists. Alongside with outside artists who shares the same vision with us, we started by organizing quality workshops to offer to art-enthusiast (artist or not) and make them see that art is a very beautiful thing and everyone is capable of appreciating it.
I believe I still have a whole lot of room (a mansion actually) for improvement. Or rather, I believe there’s never a limit to knowledge because as they say, it’s only when you believe you’ve learned enough that you will start going downhill. At the same time, I push myself to make a finished output that can translate my overall skills currently even though it’s not finished because in the end, what’s important is not that it is perfect but it’s that it is finished.
On rough times I remind myself a motto I heard from my college professor, “Strive to do what you love, and the universe conspires on your behalf”. I know how hard it is for always fighting to justify how much I love art because I’ve been there a lot of times but it’s the journey that matters and I just believe that things will all make sense eventually.
What more can you tell us about your art?
I honestly still don’t see myself anything near to being extravagantly good in art, nor do I see myself earning my own voice in art any time soon. I’m still far away from anything like that. Right now I’m just focused on improving myself towards creating art that has a light and airy feeling and further developing my art fundamentals relatively.
If there’s anything rewarding from my art, it would be the reward of having a family in art and to being able to inspire other people. Having people express their appreciation for my art always feels like a dream, even more so when they share how my works inspire them in their art journey. Like most people, I’m just an ordinary aspiring artist who endlessly seeks improvement. But it’s a very humbling experience to be able to participate in other artists’ progress, especially with the little skill I have.
On the other end, it’s also a great challenge to stay grounded. Receiving thanks makes me float but I remind myself that in the art universe, I and my art are nothing but a tiny speck of dust in a museum. I believe staying humble gives my art ways to speak in great volume.
To see more of dollicandy’s art please follow the link below to see their Instagram page