(Painter | San Juan City, PH)
Cindy has fond memories of painting side-by-side with her mom when she was a child. She says her mother is a superwoman who raised four daughters while she had a solid career in the arts. She was a professor, a dean, an entrepreneur and a painter.
That’s why Cindy proudly signs her artworks Cindy11. The 11 actually is the roman numeral for the number 2. Because she’s a junior, and she’s proud to follow in her footsteps as an artist.
FTV: What’s your art style?
CPB: Cubism currently, but in the past it was more of modern impressionism
FTV: What materials do you use?
CPB: Lately, I have been using more acrylic paint as a medium and sometimes mixed-media. However, I still enjoy using oil paint whenever I can. What subjects do you often paint? I would normally paint whatever pops in my mind. I am a day dreamer, I often create scenarios in my mind. These scenarios I pick up through observing people and nature. I take note of the situations, textures of elements, and it intrigues me how I can create drama with the play of lights and shadows and execute it using the simplest lines. Most often I hope to send positivity, hope, strength, resilience, or just to create something that is relaxing to look at. My message is often in my painting titles.
FTV: How did you get started with painting?
CPB: I learned how to paint at a very early age of 7. My mom who is an all around artist/ superwoman paints whenever she can. I remember, growing up painting next to my mom who was also painting. Whenever she paints, I’d paint too! She made professional art materials abundant and accessible to me and my sisters. She taught us to be fearless and pointed out what makes our art beautiful, and she loved seeing what makes our work different. I had always been active in my field of interest. I joined my school’s Arts club every single year till I graduated elementary and highschool. Then took Fine Arts and Majored in Advertising Arts in UST. After graduating, I pursued advertising production designing as my job. All my education and job practice had trained me for this moment when I rekindled my love for visual expression. I recently went back to painting (2016) thinking that it was about time to seriously pursue my true passion, painting.
FTV: Is painting a full time job?
CPB: Well now it is more of what I prefer to do aside from taking care of my rescued catssss!
FTV: Do you dream of doing it full time?
CPB: Yes, I think I am headed towards that direction.
FTV: We’re you ever in other forms of art? Anu-ano?
CPB: Well being an advertising production designer for almost 30 years, exposed me to every form of art possible.
FTV: Why did you decide to be an artist?
CPB: I don’t think it was a decision, but it was just in my blood, in my existence. It was like it was what I was meant to be doing.
FTV: Anong pinag pilian mong propesyon?
CPB: Nung bata pa ako, manghuhula! Hahaha Tapos nung nagumpisa ako mag pinta, maging pintor. Binigyan din ako ng oportunidad mag artista pero tinanggihan ko; hindi ko kaya haha! Masyado pa po akong mahiyain noon pang behind the camera lang po ako Nang magtapos ako ng BFA sa UST, agad ako nakapasok para maging Production Designer para sa mga TV commercials, print media, and events. Ano ang nag inspire sayo maging pintor? My mom! Sino o papano ka na inspire? Sa totoo lang po, pinaka hinahangaan ko ang mom ko. She was everything to me and my sisters. Solo parent po siya at napagtapos niya kaming apat magkakapatid sa college
FTV: Tell us about your early exposure to art
CPB: My mom painted. She bought and sold paintings from the masters. I was exposed to seeing the works of my mom and great artists like Edades, HR Ocampo, Legaspi, Angelito Antonio, Norma Belleza, Ang Kiukok, Lamarosa going in and out of our house. I remember admiring their works, how I found some weird but beautiful! And sad when they had to go. I think those were the artists I truly admired growing up.
FTV: Apart from you mom who else are the artists in the family?
CPB: My lola and my mom were both very artistic!
FTV: What are your goals and dreams as an artist?
CPB: I think it is every artist’s dream for our name to be recognized and our works to be valued and treasured. Safe to say that each painting an artist creates has a piece of the artist’s being and heart in it. It is after all our legacy; our stamp that we exist, or once existed.
FTV: How do you want your pieces to be perceived or viewed?
CPB: Literally speaking, my paintings are best viewed in actual, not just in photos. I created it in such a way that it gets better as you look at it longer and in different light sources & positions, cause it changes. Figuratively, I want my art to make the viewer feel good, relaxed, inspired, hopeful and alive.
FTV: How is the life of being a visual artist/ illustrator in the PH?
CPB: Filipinos are very artistic! It is hard to compete with so many great artists, both recognized and not yet recognized artists. It is a challenge! Bawal ang mahina ang loob, at bawal ang tamad!
FTV: How does art make you feel?
CPB: My art frees me. I feel free to have expressed my vision and yet I feel vulnerable. Now that it is out there, I have to be tougher to learn who likes my work and who doesn’t. It is like you become more confident yet there is insecurity. Beautiful, isn’t it? For me being an artist, it keeps me humble or grounded.
FTV: Ano ba para sa’yo ang isang “artist”?
CPB: Artists are dreamers who possess the ability to share their visions and dreams to others. We are insecure beings, even sadists. We put our works out there and brace ourselves if our works are appreciated or criticized hahaha! And we love it! Hahaha
FTV: What for you is the essence of painting?
CPB: Did you mean painting as a verb? It is an expression of an artist using lines and colors that is visually and emotionally gratifying to the artist.
FTV: Message to Filipinos around the world if any?
CPB: Your courage, strength, nationalism and resilience makes us proud of you. You inspire us to do and be better at whatever we do. Stay safe and stay blessed!
FTV: Anything else you want to add (could be about anything)?
CPB: I often get asked by moms what to do when they see their kids who are inclined in arts.( the fear of pag artist- gutom) Don’t discourage! Encourage and support! Art puts food on the table, and it heals the soul.
FTV: Anything else you can share about your life or journey:
CPB: My life is like a tele novela, too dramatic to share But because of all that, I found myself. Now I have so much hope and ideas to share! I began to appreciate and be happy with the simple things. I took all the blows of life, learned from it, now I am braver plus I have a medium to use to express myself and to inspire hope, and spread beauty. No matter how dark the days are, the true spark is in us, we just need to keep going, one day at a time until we eventually find that spark. With that spark comes hope and a great adventure!
Cynthia Muñoz Perez Belleza, the artist's mom, is also a painter. She was an interior designer, a furniture manufacturer and a fine arts professor. She was a former Dean of Fine Arts at College of the Holy Spirit, Manila , and one of the pioneers of the Philippine Institute of Interior Designers (PIID). She's in her 80's and stopped painting just last year after a stroke affected her eyesight.