Student artist stays healthy to get out of creative rut

Cyrill Acuña says that creating meaningful art is good for one’s mental and physical well-being

'Computer Laboratory' by Cyrill Acuna

‘Online Meeting’

For 21-year-old student artist Cyrill Acuña, art can bring together many influences. “The art I am creating these days can be categorized as heavy stylistic cartoons very much inspired by pop culture and ‘90s cartoons.”

Time was when Acuña had this snobbish notion that only hyper-realistic drawings and minimalist aesthetics could be considered “amazing art.” “I let go of that idea and embraced what makes me really comfortable, and just be unapologetic about it,” he said.

He has been making art since age four, and recalls how his father would draw caricature portraits of him, which inspired him a lot. This Information Technology major from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Manila draws great inspiration from Japanese culture, from Japanese stationery to food, music, and fashion.

The artist’s self portrait entitled ‘awkwardbutable’ 

Though he admits that it is hard to find inspiration lately because, like many artists, he is very vulnerable to burnout, “I am a visual person, so films and any multimedia content can give me a little bit of an inspiration boost.”

‘There is no effort too small for voicing out the needs of the masses’

Recently, however, he finds that he is more inspired when he talks to other creative people. “Even if we have differences in what we are creating, it’s very fulfilling to me to learn from and have conversations with them.”

Acuña stresses, however, that inspiration can depend on one’s state of mind. “Having a healthy body, mind, and soul can get you out of your creative rut,” he said.

Aside from doing art on the computer, he is busy practising coding in his course, which he applies as well to designing websites including his own for his portfolio. And like other young creatives, Acuña is very vocal about what is happening in the country. “Art is the manifestation of our politics. I think it is important to use our art and our platform to express our thoughts on the injustice and misinformation that are happening in our country right now.”

‘Plant Transit’

He created a tumindig art piece, as well, referring to the art movement that uses depictions of clenched fists to express a political stand. “There is no effort too small for voicing out the needs of the masses. Everyone has a voice, and let’s use that for good. Be vocal.”

Acuña is also set on illustrating a children’s book. “I’ve always loved kid literature; it’s a very genuine genre. And I hope I can collaborate with someone one day to flesh out their story with my illustrations.”


Originally published in YOU.PH

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