theKATcloset: An artistic spirit to carry on

Ega Carreon started drawing at the age of six; capturing everything he can set his eyes on and anything that his imagination permits.

Born into a typical Filipino household with a practical mother to boot, she recognized her son’s artistic inclinations but never encouraged him to make a career out of it, because of the usual reason that there was ‘no money in art’. “I took up aeronautics and commerce because I wanted to be a commercial pilot, but due to our financial limitations, I wasn’t able to continue. My mother then forced me to take up an HRM course at Philippine Women’s College of Davao just so I can have a diploma,” the artist recalls.

Nevertheless, Ega continued to self-develop his illustration skills until his college days while also delving into one of his creative interests—music and song writing. “I started the medium of graphite or charcoal and then crayons to watercolor; I used oil for just a short period because I didn’t like the smell—it was irritating to the nose. Then, I tried acrylic and discovered that I am comfortable with it and so I have been using the medium ever since. I actually wanted to be a singer and songwriter, but visual art took more of my time especially when I started making money out of it. Either way, every fabric of my being is of a creative person and painting is just another form of making music for the eyes,” Ega shares.

One of the artist’s thought influences is that of John Lennon’s—“art expression should not be ‘preachy’, but a reflection of life’s realities…” Ega avoids labeling his painting style, but most people in the art society would categorize his works as a combination of symbolism and surrealism as the artist is more concerned about communicating the spiritual side of humanity through his canvas. “ I am confident with my artistic expression but the first person who will criticize and appreciate my work is myself. Even though I find inspiration by exposure and interaction from fellow artists, I am an imaginative character and enjoy letting myself out of reality and dream with open eyes, since painting is like finding your inner self,” the artist explains.

Witnessing Ega’s works, there is an interplay and connectedness with humans and nature that use a kind of “dreamscape” as its background (or landscape). The transparency of different colors and forms combined together create an aura of transcendence and visual interplay between reality and non-reality. While his more abstract creations invoke a somewhat regurgitated manifestation that is both aggressive and pleasing to the eyes. Through the chaos of colors and splatters, one finds an intriguing balance that joggles the mind’s eye. “There are two realities in life: the social reality that is about daily life, and dream reality that is more about self-reflection and connection to the cosmos and of the unseen. I prefer the latter since it is more reflective and cultivates my inner spirit,” Ega notes.

There are works that the artist can finish in one sitting while others take time. His creative process is like a “swim and breathe” exercise that enables him to regroup his thoughts and reflections by walking around or talking to people; and most importantly, harmonizing inspiration from a loved one. The artist has joined countless art exhibits abroad and locally, and has conducted his own solo exhibits. He is presently working on an “Artist Sanctuary” project that will be situated by the sea in Mati City; it will focus on residency programs for local and international artists. This project is the product of Ega’s numerous experiences as an artist resident in Europe and in the US.