CEBU CITY, Philippines — There is nothing impossible for someone who is determined to learn and do things that they want.
Take for example 21-year-old Jane Frances Latorza from Minglanilla, Cebu, who has been inclined to the world of art, specifically in illustration through digital medium.
In digital art, the primary equipment you must have are a stylus pen, and a tablet or laptop.
However, Latorza did not start there.
She told CDN Digital that when she started getting interested in digital art in 2021, she did not have a stylus pen, a tablet, nor a laptop that “could carry drawing programs.” But she really wanted to learn.
“So what I did was, I made my own stylus out of tin foil, wires and cotton buds. I had the persistence of an artist and resourcefulness of a science nerd. I downloaded free drawing apps on my phone and started practicing with my home-made stylus. And that’s how I began my digital art journey,” she said.
Before she started digital art, Latorza shared that she was into watercolors and acrylics.
It was a good start and it helped her learn color theory, shadows, and texture.
Inspiration for digital art
Latorza said that reading comics and watching animated films have inspired her to do digital art.
“Being into that stuff helped me discover a huge scope of digital artists. Specifically, I am a huge fan of DC (detective comics), Marvel, and Star Wars. Artists such as Dan Mora, Gabriel Picolo, Dexter Soy, Jen Bartel, Barbara Tarr, TB Choi and Claude Monet are my inspirations. Their works always make me go ‘That’s so cool and awesome and I want to cry and I want to make art!’” the young digital artist said.
Latorza shared that although her style is not “heavily influenced by Impressionism” (an art movement in the 19th century), she considered Claude Monet’s works as the works that “speak on a volume that are a perfect combination of a dream with depictions of reality.”
“Whenever I see his works, I can’t help but smile and feel at ease,” she said.
She added that TB Choi’s and Dan Mora’s works inspire her to draw more dynamically.
“I admire Dan Mora’s inking style and how TB Choi does anatomy. Their works make me want to grab my graphic pen and start practicing,” she said.
How art helped her
Art helped her understand the world, Latorza said.
She finds great comfort in shapes, colors, light, and strokes.
“As someone who thinks too deeply over conversations, decisions and responsibilities, art is my constant leap of faith,” she said.
And in the age where people are pressured by their surroundings, the notion that “someone is better than me at this” has been her struggle as well as finding a “steady ground” of searching for her art style.
“As an artist, you are going to be vulnerable to comparison and it is so easy to stare at an empty canvas. I know because I’ve been there. That’s why a support system and rest is very important.”
She added that in her case, the more she expressed herself through art, the more her parents were open to what she loves doing. Their support played a significant role in overcoming her doubts, she said.
To be a published artist
Latorza has always been a lover of stories.
With this, she hopes that she could publish a graphic novel or a comic series someday.
“I hope my art will be able to share the same spark, sense of excitement, awe and comfort I feel whenever I see an illustration, animated movie, or comic book. Because for me, art is at its best when it is shared,” she said.
As a current Psychology student at the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), Latorza said that she loves to apply art in Psychology “as a tool to help people find their expression, story and even identity.”
She told CDN that she loves Psychology as much as she loves art.
“Who knows? Maybe I can be a therapist by weekdays and comic book author on weekends (gotta challenge superman’s game),” she added.
Here are some of Latorza’s digital illustrations: