Marj Liwag’s story as an artist is about pursuing what she has always loved as a child. Her journey illustrates how we can never lose touch with our creative side. That we can always reignite our lost passions again and develop our talents through practice and dedication.
We are happy to have witnessed Marj’s creative journey and we thank her for the dedication & heart that she puts into each of her work submitted to our community. She was one of the volunteers who lent her artistic talents during our The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® holiday celebration this 2016, and we couldn’t be more proud of her!
Read all about her story as an artist and as as a community member of Brew Your Best Year below!
WHO IS SHE? Marjorie G. Liwag, 22 years old.
WHAT DOES SHE DO? She is a full-time calligraphy artist at LittleMsPrinter.
- Tell us about your story as an artist. How did you discover your love for art?
I started doing arts and crafts when I was 5 years old. Even if my handwriting was not that good, I still loved writing my thoughts and sending random letters to my loved ones. As I was growing up, the love I had for art became lukewarm as I was trying to focus on my studies. However, during my college days, that passion was reignited when I heard of a poster making competition at school. I joined the competition and even if I didn’t win, from that moment onwards, I made a commitment that I wouldn’t let the love I had for art lukewarm again.
When I started working, I would create a lot of collage art and give it to my officemates. I would also sometimes write letters or an inspiring word to make their day. Last July 2014, I discovered a new art called calligraphy and I fell in love with it immediately. I learned the tricks and rules on my own and ventured to brush pens, dip pens and watercolour on my own as well. Last May 2015, I jumped out of the corporate world and started becoming an artist as a full-time profession.
- What kind of artist are you? Describe your style/niche and how has this changed through the years.
I am a calligraphy artist. My style right now is more of freehand, and as much as possible, I use at least four colors. I do not want to imitate a font that’s why I incorporate my own handwriting when I do calligraphy. I also have a vision of how my artwork should look like. I think the more I explore, the more I improve. The more I commit mistakes, the more I improve my style.
- What is the highlight of your practice so far?
I think, the highlight of my practice or rather, the experience that changed my life as an artist is the moment I pursued it full time. Doing this made me learn the real meaning of SHARING; that it is not only about giving, but about being selfless — to the point where sometimes you do not get anything but joy and fullfillment.
- Where do you get inspiration?
I draw inspiration from a lot of sources. However, the best inspiration will always be my experiences in life where I’ve committed mistakes. The more I commit them, the more I crave to explore and learn.
I also consider my Giving Journal as a source of inspiration; its weekly challenges help me a lot.
- What is your creative process like?
My creative process goes like this: solitude, coffee and music. I do some drills first until I am finally able to write something— either a one word encouragement, or a inspirational quote.
- Do you experience creative blocks? What do you do when this happens?
Yes, I do, and I think everyone does. When I do have creative blocks, I go to the restroom and scream and sing my heart out. Usually, it works. But, if it doesn’t, I go out and just stroll in a mall, look at random people and think, “What are they thinking?” or “Are they willing to do something to change the world?”
- How do you choose what artwork to create?
The way I choose what artwork to do is by setting a monthly theme. For example, this month’s theme is about the lessons I have learned.
- Who are some of the individuals you look up to in line with your craft?
Some of the individuals I look up to are my past students. I am reminded of myself whenever I see or remember them.
- What’s your favourite artwork that you’ve created?
- What kinds of challenge are associated with your job and how do you overcome them?
Probably the challenges that I face as an artist revolved around how I am able to inspire others when I myself feel uninspired, and how to make a difference with my art. To overcome them, I always go back to the reason why I make art, not only as an expression but as a source of living. And, I always think of those people whom I inspired to do art for.
- What are your biggest lessons as an artist?
The best lesson I have probably learned is that, “Practice makes progress not perfection.”
- What do you believe is an important factor in creating a good piece of art?
For me, the most important factor in creating a good piece of art is when the artist believes that their art can inspire someone and that it will spark someone’s passion to be more creative.
- What advice can you give the community, especially emerging artists?
The best advice I can actually give to everyone who creates art, especially to the emerging artists, is to never stop learning.
- What is Brew Your Best Year to you and how has it inspired you as an artist?
Brew Your Best Year is not only a community for me. It also serves as a source of inspiration, an avenue to share my work of art, and a website to read refreshing stories. It inspires me to do my craft excellently. It also encourages me to inspire other artists as well. I love the overflow of ideas and inspirations from Brew Your Best Year, and I really want to thank the community for being so passionate.
(Above) Marj Liwag as a participant in our 2016 Giving Journal Launch Event
(Above) Marj Liwag as a volunteer crafter with her own booth at our 2017 Giving Journal Launch Event