Gary Bonguit, a self-taught artist from San Pedro, Laguna, began painting portraits of celebrities for a chance to meet these local celebrities in person.
Bonguit’s first work is a portrait of the actress Liza Soberano whom he painted nine years ago.
His projects include other celebrities like Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, Kathryn Bernardo, and Miss Universe beauty queens Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray.
He also got a chance to paint Vice Ganda, Robi Domingo, Jane De Leon, Kim Domingo, Kyline Alcantara, and social media stars Mimiyuuuh and the late Lloyd Cadena.
Bonguit was able to meet and give his works of art to these personalities as he wished.
“Bilang isang ordinaryong tao, masarap sa pakiramdam, at hindi ko ma-explain ang aking nararamdaman sa tuwing nagugustuhan at humahanga ang mga tao sa aking mga obra. Sapat na sa akin ang makita ko sila at maibahagi ang aking likha,” he said.
The 28-year-old artist shared that he’d like to take fine arts in college. But because of financial problems, after graduating from high school, he took a vocational course.
“Tanging sarili ko lang po ang nagturo sa akin. Dahil sa kahirapan din ng buhay ay hindi ako nakapag-aral ng kolehiyo para kumuha ng kursong hilig ko,” he added.
This pandemic, Bonguit uses his passion as his main source of income. Even before COVID-19 hit the country, he had already resigned as a salesman after working for a company for ten years.
“Sobrang enjoy ko ang pagiging isang sales personnel kaya naman hindi nakapagtataka na umabot ako ng 10 years sa aking trabaho. Pero alam mo yung feeling na may better pa pala na trabaho o future kung ipu-pursue natin yung totoong nagpapasaya sa atin, sa case ko, pag-do-drawing,” he said.
Bonguit remembered that when he met YouTuber and social media influencer Lloyd Cadena, he was inspired to open his own YouTube channel and be a vlogger to showcase his talents and artworks.
His YouTube channel currently has over 18,000 subscribers.
“Sa ngayon, bukod sa pagguhit, ay nag-uumpisa na din ako sa aking karera sa mundo ng YouTube. Naisipan kong gumawa ng channel para mai-share din ang aking mga natutunan at kaalaman sa arts lalo na sa mga Pilipinong nangangarap din na maging artist,” he enthused.
Bonguit was set to meet celebrities such as Ivana Alawi, Liza Soberano, Kathryn Bernardo, and Sue Ramirez, among others, on his YouTube channel. The strict quarantine measures, however, hindered him from seeing these celebrities.
The young artist shared that since he concentrated on his passion, he began to receive commissioned artworks. He also receives two to five commissioned artworks in a month.
“Mas lalo pa ako ginanahan dito sapagkat iyong sahod ko ng isang buwan sa aking trabaho noon ay kaya kong kitain sa loob lamang ng one week,” he said.
He encourages other artists to find time for their passion and other things that make them happy despite the challenging times.