Interview with Artist Faye Louise L. Pamintuan

Artist: Faye Louise L. Pamintuan

Location: Manila, Philippines or Houston, Texas

Social Media: Instagram | Behance



Non Representational Based Artworks by Faye
Refuge From the Turmoil


How and when did you get interested in art? 
I’ve always been interested in art as a little kid and would always take drawing or painting classes, but it wasn’t until I was in my junior year of high school that I took art seriously. All throughout school either elementary, middle school, and high school taking art classes was always the obvious choice for me mostly because I’d rather take art more than do sports, or theatre, or even band. 

How would you describe your art? 
The art I make now really stemmed from me slowly breaking away from painting actual objects or places, and choosing instead to lean towards shapes, colors, and the interaction between paint and the surface I’m working on. Through this, I feel like it captures a level of energy that I want to convey in the artwork. It is as if I’m attempting to get a hold of or have a mental picture of how a certain event or place affects me.
The artwork itself aims at being something but chooses to surprise and heads off to a different direction instead so people can’t quite get their head around it. I am really more concerned about the possibility of what that image could be rather than spoon feeding what the image actually is.

What subject or themes interest you when creating your art? 
Currently, I am really interested in the role of entropy in art. It’s more of an emphasis on what something could be or the potential of an image rather than what the image is at its end point. Plus, constantly moving from Texas to the Philippines, an attempt to be in two places at once or merging spaces constantly pop up when i create art. 

What kind of message or emotion are you trying to convey with your art? 
I really want to challenge people in trying to make sense of what my paintings are or what their mean but the same time, just be entertained and engaged with the image. Whenever I’m painting it is more of a reaction to the image that unfolds in front of me. One of the things I really dislike is knowing exactly what a painting or a piece of art is going to look like in the end. I always feel the need to try and search for the image. People often ask how or when do I know when a painting is done, and ( this is something I’ve read somewhere before but I don’t remember now 🙁 )where it says a painting is finished once it can breathe on its own – that still a bit of an abstract thought, but that is when I feel like I can let go – when nothing I add or subtract will make the painting any better.
I Wish Raindrops Bled in Color

I’ve been following your account for a long while now and have seen that you go back and forth between the Philippines and the US. How did that come to be? Any plan on being a travelling artist where you live in different locations every year? 

I have the amazing opportunity to go to college in the University of the Philippines for my Bachelors in Fine Arts in Painting and since my family is based in the United States that makes me go back and forth between the two countries. This duality and the idea of always moving and never really being home or if you want to look at it in a positive perspective – having two homes also play a big part in my paintings. The similarities and contrasts in the two cultures allow me to create a conversation and examine how different people from different places perceive different ideas. With this being said, I do plan in the future to really move from place to place to just enrich myself and get to know about different cultures.
Elements Series

You also have a number of mural works, how did you become interested in that field? Was it something that you’ve always wanted to do or was doing mural works a decision that came out of the blue? 
I can’t quite pinpoint exactly when I became interested in murals – it came more as a natural choice or road for me to take as I looked for bigger and bigger planes and spaces to paint on. Having and stretching huge canvases just wasn’t practical anymore so when I saw the opportunity to paint a wall I just took the chance and went for it. I remember it was my sister’s room that I first did a mural on and I was inspired by a Filipino artist named Eggfiasco – I saw some of his stuff back home in Manila and I just loved his work. It was the mural in my room, however that I felt like I actually had the courage to kind of go crazy and paint the usual way I did on canvases. There’s a certain kind of courage needed to stain a wall that’s more intimidating than staining a canvas and that was what got me hooked – the image had to look good because often times I did not have the wall paint of the background so if I made a mistake, I had to roll with it and balance the mistake within the mural – which in the end always ends up for the better.
In addition, a have a thing about being scared of white walls (i don’t know why) so painting murals became a way to counter that fear. 

What do you like about being a muralist? What do you dislike about it?

So far with the murals I’ve done it’s mostly been inside people’s homes and mostly their bedrooms, so I really love having the chance to get to know the people who live in the space – those who would be interacting with the wall everyday. Just having the time to be with them as I paint their wall really helps me understand different people more and that is very interesting to me. It is the interaction and the friendships with people that is the most rewarding and it’s fun to see their reactions from the beginning all the way to the end of the whole painting process. The process for me is important and being able to have them partake in that is really rewarding.
Painting murals also enables me to value that piece of artwork even more – with paintings, the artworks are mobile and can be moved from different places which adds a different story to them every time- but with murals, they can’t be moved- they’re stationary and this ability to stay in one place and be appreciated just in that space for me makes them so much more worth it. Also since I don’t usually stay in one place, it is satisfying and makes me feel safe knowing that if I at least can’t stay in one place, my works can and hopefully add something for the better for that space.
I don’t think there’s really anything I dislike about murals except that I wish we had more opportunities to make more murals around Manila or in the Philippines in general.
Deboxed Series
If you ever get the chance to create a mural on one of the buildings anywhere in the world, what building would that be? What would you paint? 
Whenever, I paint- instead of having an image in mind ready to come alive on the canvas, I instead always try to bring a sense of energy – energy that I get from the people that interact with that space or wall. There wouldn’t be a specific building I’d chose but any structure or place in the poorest areas of the Philippines – other buildings get enough attention and i think its important that murals bring attention to spaces that people would rather neglect. 

Who are your favorite muralists and/or artists in general that have helped shape who you are as an artist right now? 
Cinta Vidal
Etam cru
Jenny Morgan
Soey milk
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Francis Bacon
Wassily Kandinsky
Mark Rothko
Capriccio I
Art is subjective and there are going to be people who are more drawn to certain types of art but are critical of others. Having your works shown in exhibits, have you ever experience a negative response towards your works, whether it be through facial expression, body language or just outright saying it? How did you handle that? 
People always can’t take my work on the surface- they always seem to have a puzzled face or just trying to analyze and make sense of it. One of the worst ones actually come from my dad. He asked me if one day I could make art that he could understand or one that wasn’t just doodles or scribbles and I think that gave the most negative impact just because he is my dad and we always try to make them the most proud and hearing him say that just kind of tore me apart. At first my initial response was just that I stopped painting for a couple of days or when i did attempt to paint – I found myself second guessing everything. Then realizing that I don’t make art for people “to get” or to see something they can understand but rather to make art to in a sense capture a certain energy or feeling about what was happening around me or in my life that needed to get analyzed. Painting and creating art (right now and for the time being) is my way of just making sense of the world by highlighting how it doesn’t always make sense and trying in that curiosity and doubt to accept that fact. So in times when I do get negative responses, I try to analyze the critic and use it. If its helpful then good, if not then I go back to trusting the paint and how it flows on the canvas. 

What was the best thing someone has said to you about your art? 
My classmates always don’t know what to say or can’t pinpoint it- so they just say its so you faye or it’s faye-ish. I don’t know if this is a good thing, but I try to take it positively – I’ve made it a promise to myself to always try and stick to being honest and genuine in my art and go back to always what made me paint or create art in the first place, and if that is something I’m proud of then I’m okay.

In your artistic journey, what work or moment are you most proud of currently?
The portrait I painted of my grandmother as she went through cancer. I painted her in watercolor, then when I presented the painting in class, I dipped the whole piece of watercolor paper in water and slowly all the different colors started fading and blending together. I wanted there to be more of a drastic change to the painting, but it didn’t quite workout but nonetheless it was my attempt in a symbolic/ritual way to hopefully use the water as a healing method to get rid of the cancer if only symbolically. That painting was the scariest one I’ve ever painted and took the most courage out of me to try and paint. I don’t paint portraits a lot but that one I really had to.
Close Up of the Portrait of My Grandmother
What is your ultimate goal as an artist? 
My ultimate goal as an artist is just to never really get to  a point where I’m bored or say that I don’t want to create art anymore. I don’t have a specific goal but just to make sure that I’m always creating until the day I die I guess.  I mean I have my small goals like create work and have work shown in different places around the world. Also, to bring more interaction with art to Filipinos and hopefully it’ll be so much more ingrained in the public than it is now, but to have an ultimate goal makes it seem as if there’s an end goal and I don’t want that because I don’t want to ever stop creating.
In a parallel universe, what do you think your alternate self would be doing in that universe? 
I would be a physicist doing research in quantum mechanics and I would be a great cook 😀 

Name three things that you can’t possibly live without?
God, Family, and FOOD. 😀
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