(Artist | Pen and Ink | Antipolo, PH)
His remarkable father introduced him to the world of art. His passionate wife inspired him to create.
These days, every time Chuck picks up his pen, he knows his dad and his beautiful wife are smiling at him from above.
FTV: How did you start out as an artist?
CS: I started with watercolor. When I had time, I would go with my dad Lino Severino, Jr. and his artists friends around Antipolo for on-the-spot painting sessions. I also experimented with pastel and would take it with me during trips shuffling between the two mediums. Joined my first bazaar in 1997, again tagging along with my dad. I actually sold my first painting. I asked the client as to why my painting, she said, I’d like an artwork of a person who would be famous one day. My heart jumped! Since then, I have always remembered her words!
FTV: What were the early signs that you were inclined towards illustrations?
CS: In 2015, my better half didn’t like roses for our anniversary but Tulips. Since I couldn’t find any at flower shops, I joked that I would just draw it for her. She dared me. And so I did, picked up a ball point pen and drawing paper. Surprised her with it as soon as she got home. She of course loved the gift! Whew!
CS (cont.) : It had been hanging in our master bedroom for the longest time. I have then become bold enough to try the felt-tip pen, learning certain techniques and experiment with different colors during the process. I had made several, that an idea of having an exhibit should happen. An exhibit dedicated to my deceased father. Again my heart jumped, higher this time around, as my exhibit was sold out! I know how it felt to be like my artist father then. In 2017, we found out that she had cancer. It took a couple days or more for her chemo sessions, and there was nothing to do in the hospital. So instead of being on the phone or watching the tv the whole time, I decided to bring my felt-tip pens and drawing board. There I was also able to get some works started, at times do some finishing touches. With that, a second exhibit would materialize dedicated to a cancer group where my better half was part of. Because of her, who was my manager, it was another successful show.
(Mary Catherine Amalingan Nazareno passed away Mar 24 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She was 49 years old. She was a match commissioner for the Asian Football Confederation and was recognized for spreading the game at grassroots level. )
Love of Football
FTV: You were also into football. Can you tell us briefly about your football journey?
CS: My love of football started in grade school when I was following the footsteps of my best friend. When he got into it, so did I. Trying to outdo one another, even with our crushes! In the end, I became more serious with football that I made it through tryouts and be part of the Colegio San Agustin Midgets-B Team.
Riding in a bus with your teammates traveling to the schools of opponents was quite a thrill for me! I’ve tried other sports later on: basketball, volleyball, table tennis, judo, taekwondo and swimming. I actually did well in a few of them, but it was football that I fell in love with.
I didn’t play as much in high school, but would get to be with teams beyond the boundaries of school.
CS (cont.) : As an Architecture major in UST in my university days, it seemed draining to try and get into the UAAP team. There was just so many sleepless nights finishing drawings that I decided to just participate at the inter college tourney representing the College of Architecture and Fine Arts. Far cry from UAAP but still get to play competitively and isn’t a walk in the park. I became captain for several years and was tasked to design our jerseys yearly. We were also able to bag championships!
It was actually at the Nomads Sports Club in Merville that really honed my playing as I was exposed to my foreign friends there, expats from Europe. It was more thrilling this time, from bus rides with teammates during my grade school days, to riding planes yearly to Bangkok with my Nomads team. There again I experienced top level football because of my teammates and the opponents.
Who would ever think, that as a young boy in his BMX (bike) watching football at Nomads, become part of the team as a young lad, get married at the sports club and eventually grow old and be participating in veterans tournaments? We were all gutted though when the club that I grew up in and loved closed down.
There was a moment that I have retired from playing because of my knee injury and have become a team manager instead. Retirement only lasted a couple of years because our goalkeeper was either late or was a no show. I had to take his place from time to time. From the last man of defense as a ‘Sweeper’ as called for most of my playing years, I became a goalkeeper from then on. There are many tournaments that I continue to join till this day as a goalkeeper despite my knee injury, mostly for my alma mater UST. I guess I just love the sport so much despite my body telling me I’m nuts!
As for retirement, time will tell.
FTV: How about your background in architecture?
CS: I was sure as to what I wanted to be which was to become a pilot like my dad. But I didn’t have 20/20 vision, a requirement. I applied as a steward, to have a foot in the door, a stepping stone to be a pilot. But it really wasn’t meant to be, I wasn’t accepted.
So I fell into the abyss with the rest where you didn’t know which path to take in college. Until one day, my teacher saw my penmanship, how I would make my name using a ruler or protractor. As she was over my shoulder looking at what I was doing, she utters, ‘Wow, why don’t you become an architect?’ If not for her, I honestly wouldn’t know what I’d end up becoming.
CS (cont.) : I’ve had the privilege of working for the national artist for architecture Leandro Locsin under the wing of Architect Ed Ledesma . Five years with the firm is something I’ll never forget, what an amazing learning experience! I’ve gone on my own afterwards and also had the opportunity to work in Los Gatos, California with the Bob Flurry Design Group, a hand drafting architectural firm. A tough measurement transition from meters to feet, but eventually got by immediately. Was there for a couple of years. When 911 happened, I was with those who were laid off.
Been back at the motherland since 2003, continuing architecture. There are no regrets, as it was all in God’s hands.
But yes, I still want to [be] a pilot like my dad.
FTV: How has your background in the fields of football and architecture influenced your art?
CS: Architecture has influenced my art in a massive way. You open your thought bubble on how a certain design will come into play whether orchestrated by the clients wants and/or your own design proposal. I started manual drafting then, and still do manual drafting now. When all and done, I hand them over to autoCad experts. I finished the course but never got the chance to really get into it. Odd as it may be, I still prefer a complete set of architectural drawings hand drawn. Old school, but I just love it!
Drawing a perspective would be the main player as influence, as not only do you draw the final look of the house, the colors, the landscape and whatever nature that needs to be included comes in, to get the taste of what your dream house would look like. It’s like a painting once done compared to a computer product. Don’t get me wrong, with the computer, it looks like a photograph. But when hand drawn, a piece of art!
CS (cont.) : Football influences my art as well in a big way. Just like architecture, you tap again into your thought bubble as to how your team would look. You start to design the kits to wear. The saying, ‘If you cannot play, Display!’ or ‘If you cannot perform, Japorm!’ is funny but true. Your kit design will most of the time be your savior despite your team’s performance. A big victory if you come home with ‘Best in Uniform’ award!
CS (cont.) : Whether a solo performance in architecture or a team effort in football, both involve design. Both help bring out the creativity in me.
All on the drawing board at first, then I start witnessing slowly as it becomes alive when my art is on someone’s wall or when on a team kicking a ball on a football pitch.
FTV: Your choice of colours are cheerful and vibrant. How do you choose them? Do you stick to a signature color palette?
CS: Color choice varies. Sometimes while in bed and about to sleep, I already think of the subject and the colors I would use. As soon as I wake, everything changes. A different subject, different colors altogether from the night before. A certain subject that I thought I wanted to do changes depending on the mood I’m in. If I felt like drawing something from my childhood days, would change instantly with a building of the past, from a landscape to a portrait, from black and white to vibrant colors. At times a combination of both.
There is no strict regimen with palettes.
With some unforeseen disaster like pens drying out, I have no choice but to stick with what I have till I step out of the door to get replacements for the pens that died out on me.
But the closeness of what I planned still comes to fruition despite a few hiccups.
FTV: How does illustrating make you feel?
CS: I never expected to be an artist. It never crossed my mind. Funny really how God uses people to shape your future. Your future may be bright, or as dark as a forest at night. But I do believe that people play a big role in one’s life. My dad never pushed me to be a pilot like him, to be a 10 handicap golfer like him. Yet I wanted to be a pilot.
Despite not getting what I wanted, another path was shown through my teacher who said I should be an architect. My grade school best friend who got me into playing the number one sport of the world till this day. And my Cathy, who believed in my illustrations that art exhibits would actually become a part of my old age.
I always thought that houses were the only ones that would come out of my head and hand. Boy was I wrong. I get to draw whatever pleases me!
How does it make me feel? Liberating!
FTV: What would you like to achieve as an artist?
CS: I hope to one day achieve the status of my dad. I can never be close to it, but being recognized as his son in the eyes of some is already quite something. To be told, ‘You are truly your father’s son is not what I’d expect to hear, but it does make me think that he is smiling from above. More so to the person who was beside me for several years until she joined my dad. Her grin from above is what matters. As long as I keep this going, then I would say, achievement accomplished!
FTV: Any message to Filipinos out there?
CS: I think once God has revealed a talent that you thought you never had, embrace it and not be afraid of it. Although just like with anything, whether work, sport, languages or musical instruments, spending time with it brings out more what God has revealed in the first place. The love of it can flourish, but it has already been presented to you. What you do with it is your choice. Hoping at the end, He’ll say, ‘Well done son, well done!”
If you know any visual artists like Chuck Severino that we can feature in this portion of FTV Likha, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach a link to their works and how to get in touch with them.