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Name: Ciara Enriquez
Filipino Artist Profile: Ciara Enriquez
It’s tough to make art when you’re going against the tide, so to speak. You’ll have to face insurmountable challenges that will test your very core as an artist. The same can’t be said about Ciara Enriquez and Charm Up. With youth on her side and an indomitable will to express herself, she sets out every day to create art that will not only be appealing to people, but most especially, to charm them as well. Discover how she makes her art by learning her journey below.
How did your journey as an artist begin?
As far as I can remember, I’m already interested in the arts. There’s this show called Art Angel. I used to recreate the artwork I see from that show. Then this 2018, I decided to show my art using social media. I created an Instagram account for work. That’s when I also started exploring other forms of art, like watercolor and acrylic paint. Now, I’m more into digital art for my designs for products or logo commissions.
Back then, I’ve had my first sketchbook when I was around grade six or seven. Most of the time, I drew female portraits. I stopped around 2017 because I felt I wasn’t improving. I kept on drawing the same thing over and over again. When I came back last 2018, that’s when I started exploring other forms of media. So far, I can see myself improving. Since I wasn’t able to enroll in a workshop or a formal class, I maximized all the available resources through the internet and Youtube. That’s what I used.
How did you come up with Charm Up, and what is the reason behind it?
It’s really funny because it was super random. I didn’t expect that my application for Merchiful would push through. I wasn’t really prepared when it comes to my brand name. Right at that moment, when Merchiful was asking for my brand name, I couldn’t think of anything. I was a bit pressured.
There’s this one person that keeps coming to my mind. He’s our instructor. I remember every time I see her; she would always greet me “A charming day” or a “charming morning.” I thought, why not use that since charm seemed to be a good word. I added the tagline Level up your charm with Charm Up. I thought it would be great to entice people to buy the products.
How would you describe your style as an artist?
Up until now, I feel I don’t have that certain art style, unlike other artists, when you see their work. I’m still exploring and finding my art style.
Even if you haven’t discovered your style, what or who are the influences that help shape the way you do your art?
Aside from the people I follow online, it’s that desire to express. Whatever I want to express at a specific moment, that’s what I’ll draw or paint.
Speaking of what you want to draw or paint, what’s your favorite subject to create and why?
So far, my favorite subject to draw is a female portrait because I am used to creating those from way back.
Every artist has that one creation they’re proud of the most. For you, what is that piece, and why?
Ciara: For now, my favorite piece is a coffee painting of an eagle. It became my favorite because it’s something out of my comfort zone. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I always painted female portraits. I joined a contest before, an art contest, which I wasn’t expecting anything from it because I joined several art contests before and I haven’t experienced winning back then. During this art contest, I got the second place award. I was really proud of that achievement.
What are the struggles you encounter as an artist?
I guess comparisons. I mean, it can’t be helped for other people to compare. It’s harder if it comes from yourself. When you see your work, you’ll tend to compare it with other people’s art. I’m trying to learn to appreciate my own art without comparing it to other people so I can feel more comfortable about it.
What are the strengths you possess as an artist?
I guess my strength is a willingness to improve and try other things. I’m still looking for my art style and exploring other forms of media. I’m still open to trying other things.
What is your most important achievement, and why?
Considerably, placing second in that contest is one of my achievements. My favorites is that I was able to express myself because that feeling cannot be matched by any award. I’m not the expressive type of person but when it comes to art, I feel more free to express what I want to convey to other people.
Whenever people see your work, whether online or in person, what do they usually say about it?
Most of the time, I do get compliments from other people, and I really feel about it. There are some who really express their honest opinion or criticism about our art, and that’s totally normal.
You spoke about criticism. How do you handle it?
There are times when I can’t ignore to get sad about it. We also have to consider it because it’s a suggestion that will help determine how you can improve. We have to keep in mind that we need to filter the opinions you should consider. Sometimes, we have to think if this opinion will make my art better or can it change the message I’m trying to convey. If you won’t be able to express yourself when you follow a certain suggestion, maybe, you don’t really have to follow that suggestion at all. In the first, it’s your art. You still get to decide what you want to do about it.
Which option are you most comfortable with - working alone or collaborating with other people as part of a group?
I’m okay working with other people because I’ve experienced it before, and it’s fun. I prefer working alone because I feel that’s where I can express myself better.
Do you have any advice for individuals who are about to start their respective journeys towards being an artist?
Do it. Start now. You don’t have to wait for anything else because I’ve seen that kind of rant on social media - I want to start making art, but I don’t have the resources or the materials. You can maximize your resources; you can maximize what you have right now. If they want to start digital art, they can start. They also try the traditional manner while saving for the resources. You don’t even need expensive drawing tablets. You can start with your phone. I started with my phone when it comes to digital art. You just need to set up the settings. What you have right now will help you start. You don’t have to wait for anything else. Besides, it’s not about the materials. It’s your passion because if you really have the desire to win, the desire to make art, you can do it.
Speaking of passion, how do you motivate yourself to do the hard work everyday?
I motivate myself by always remembering the thought of being successful in this field, the thought of producing art. My favorite reason is it’s a way to express myself.
How did you discover Merchiful, and why did you choose it as the platform for your designs?
I was searching where I can post my designs and how I can show them to people, apart from posting them on social media. I stumbled upon an article talking about Print On Demand companies. I searched for Print On Demand companies here in the Philippines. I watched a Youtube video from Photo Fusion about Merchiful. I then applied via email. I was happy that my application was accepted. It was actually my second time applying. The first time that I did, it wasn’t accepted. Then I received an email that Merchiful was searching for more unique, trendy, and vibrant designs. I didn’t give up at that moment. I tried submitting another portfolio. I did something more colorful. Luckily, I got accepted during the second try.
What can Merchiful customers expect from you in the coming months ahead?
These past few weeks, well, I guess months, I was really inactive. This month of October, I’m planning on launching new designs based on Philippine mythology. I was thinking of focusing on one subject so my work won’t be all over the place. The new designs will surely be better and more improved.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
If you want to express yourself using Ciara’s work, you can do so without breaking a sweat. Visit her Merchiful store now and discover the charm behind her designs. You can also check her work on these social media platforms.
Merchiful Shop: charmup.merchiful.com