Gwaeth - A Unique Take On Art That Will Make You Feel Right At Home

Gwaeth - A Unique Take On Art That Will Make You Feel Right At Home
Authored By David Tan

Name: Guenivere Cortez

Location: Metro Manila

Filipino Artist Profile: Guenivere Cortez

Art doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, it should be as simple as possible to penetrate walls and leave an impact on people. It’s meant to give a whole new meaning to life and purpose to those who have none. That’s exactly what you’ll feel when you get to see Guenivere Cortez’ work for Gwaeth. What started as a simple idea is now an artistic force to be reckoned with. Discover more about how Gwaeth came to be and how it can leave a good impression on you.

How did your journey as an artist begin?
I learned a lot from my mom, who also enjoyed sketching, I think we inherited our love of drawing from my grandmother, who is a seamstress and owned a boutique in General Santos City before. I realized my love for acrylics at the beginning of lockdown last year, around March. We were in the middle of renovating our house when the pandemic started and none of the builders could come and finish. So we decided to paint our house ourselves and that’s when I started bringing the leftover paint to my room and painting on wood scraps scattered around the house.

How did you come up with Gwaeth for your brand name?
I just kept googling my name “Guenivere” one day out of curiosity (and vanity I  guess haha), and I came across the word “gwaeth” which was roughly translated from Welsh to mean “the worst” and I initially used that name for my gaming account with my friends because I was not very good at playing and the name just eventually stuck so I used it for my art name too because I do sometimes feel like the worst hehe.

What is your favorite subject to create, and why?
I really love painting female portraits. I enjoy painting their eyes and adding highlights to the face, it makes me really happy and satisfied when I paint faces.

Every Artist has that one creation they're proud of the most. For you, what is that piece, and why?
I am definitely most proud of my Café sa Bukid commission pieces. I really gained confidence in making money from my art and I’m forever grateful for their trust because I was declining their commission at first but they really believed in me. They have been such a blessing to my family and other small-time business owners during the pandemic and I have always admired their advocacy and work in improving the life of farmers and the tourism in Bukidnon.

What are the struggles you encounter as an Artist?
Consistency and discipline. I keep jumping from one subject to another and have not chosen a specific niche for me. Although I enjoy painting portraits,  there are just some days I am itching to paint the sky or the ocean and because of that I don’t develop skills from focusing on and studying one subject at a time and then I feel frustrated because I get stuck and see no improvement. I also struggle with balancing my skill in sketching and painting sometimes I focus more on painting and my sketching skills definitely aren’t as good.

What is the most important achievement you've accomplished as an Artist?
Realizing that I do want to be an artist and pursuing that path. I never thought that I’d reach the day I would be accepting commissions from strangers and getting paid for my art. I am just so happy and grateful that I found what I love doing and at the same time knowing it can be sustainable. So among everything, my decision to pursue art is my greatest accomplishment.

What are the strengths you possess as an Artist?
My flexibility to adapt to different subjects helps me create more and doesn’t hinder me from venturing out of my own niche.

What do people say about your designs?
Fun, colorful and diverse.

How do you handle criticism directed towards your work?
I think I handle it fairly well because I criticize myself a lot too so I’m used to it. I also didn’t have any formal art lessons so any form of education is highly appreciated.

Are you more comfortable working alone, or do you prefer being a part of a  group?
I definitely prefer working alone when it comes to art because I am so messy; I  need a whole table to myself.

Do you have any advice for talented individuals who are about to start their careers?
Build a supportive community and definitely show your work. Study more, paint more, and enjoy!

How did you know about Merchiful, and why did you choose it as the platform of your designs?
I was looking for a site based in the Philippines similar to Redbubble. I was discouraged by Redbubble’s prices and shipping fees. It wasn’t practical knowing my market was definitely from the Philippines. Merchiful was the first platform I saw when I searched print on demand PH and I was drawn to how professional and helpful everyone was. I am so proud to be associated with them and the team.

What can Merchiful customers expect from you?
Improved Baybayin designs and other designs and products in the future.

You now have a chance to bring Gwaeth’s art home and make it a part of your everyday routine. Check out her store on Merchiful and find all sorts of designs that can blow your mind away. You can also discover more of Gwaeth from these social media platforms.

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