Bold strokes for bold women.
The internet is home to many communities. Aspiring musicians had MySpace, your college barkada might have had at least three Facebook messenger threads, and artists had deviantArt, Tumblr and Behance.
For artist Emay Peralta, it was an Instagram hashtag that got her started. “After months of trying to be on the lifestyle scene I found a place where I can express my true self,” she shares. “And that was the #Art [hashtag].”
Since then, she has been posting her illustrations, but never out of obligation. She uses her new platform to develop her skills and push herself beyond her limits. “I think that putting myself out there allowed me to become not only a better person but also an improved artist,” she says.
Answers have been edited for clarity.
Young STAR: How different is your style then and now?
To be honest, I noticed that my style depends on who were my favorite artists back then. Looking back, whenever I would come across an artist on Instagram whose style looked very interesting to me, I couldn’t help but look at their style. Because I kept on thinking about the art, I would draw without realizing that I was doing their style, as if their art was programmed in my brain.
When somebody leaves a comment that says “you know? I love your works it reminds me of [the artist]”’ I begin to lose interest on that specific artist and look for another artist as my new inspo, and get the same message again. It’s a cycle. I stayed away from other artist accounts for a while, and went back to the basics of art. Right now, I can proudly say that my [current] way of illustrating is a product of how I enjoy my creative process and the sense of accomplishment when I finished a piece that has my own style.
Where do you take inspiration?
When it comes to the arrangement of the visual elements, I take my inspiration from Pinterest, fashion and interior deco accounts, and other websites. As for my work’s mood, I can say that it is based on emotion: what I feel, what bothers me, or sometimes other people’s hugot in life. Some of my works are empowering and some are melancholic. Not that I enjoy being in pain or seeing someone go through a heartbreak, but it’s the satisfaction of when I’m able to translate a misfortune into a beautiful art. They say that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. I say, one man’s pain is another man’s inspiration.
Can you show us your top 3 favorite illustrations? What’s the story behind them?
Someone really close to me who was stuck in the past and struggling to move on inspired me to do this illustration. This shows how a person looks at her old self and remembers how she was a different person back then. It gives people an idea of how your past can strengthen you instead of break you.
The Land (2018)
I think this piece can have two different meanings; we can be literal and just think about sexual abuse, and the harassment that the girls experienced when they met the two boys. It can also be about how some of us can be so fragile in trusting other individuals and letting them take everything that we have. The damage of being “marupok” has been a hot topic in social media recently. We often let our walls down for the wrong people, without knowing that they will only just destroy us, and leave us with a broken heart.
U are Loved (2018)
We’ve all heard about this love triangle. We’ve seen it in soap operas, movies, and songs. The unnoticed cream, the sad girl, and the insensitive bust. “All these years, I see it on his face, I knew he never loved me.” Just like the girl, at some point in our lives we have loved someone that we know would never love us back. Just like the cream, we may be neglected, unnoticed, but we’re still there willing to give love, and help people heal. Just like the bust, someone loved us, and was willing to give us everything yet we know that we can’t force it. We all have experienced to be all of them in different time, situation and people, but one thing’s for sure, we will always continue to love until we find the love that we think we deserve and deserves us.
What’s next for you?
Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know where and how far this passion can take me, though I’m always open to opportunities, art-related or not. I’m still in the process of figuring things out and all that, but for now I’ll just continue being elemayper online, and share my art.
Check out Emay’s art on Instagram.