Cover Fitz Herrera

Finding freedom in abstraction is what most artists experience. But for this visual artist and band drummer, it is also more of expressing life’s triumphs and pains.

There are two creative sides to Fitz Herrera, a native of the province of Nueva Vizcaya: art and music. An advertising graduate from the University of the East-College of Fine Arts, he got into both painting and playing drums for various bands. Herrera’s figurative acrylic works that utilise impasto technique have been exhibited in various hotels throughout the country and numerous times in premier art galleries and fairs in Metro Manila. Among his accomplishments is earning 3rd place at the 2004 Metrobank Art and Design (MADE) Competition.

“To understand my work is to understand my present predisposition, which is more tranquil yet vibrant, buoyant and open, where things seem to flow naturally and seamlessly like good music that we plead not to stop,” says Herrera.

How did your passion for the arts come about?

Since elementary days I have always loved drawing on my notebooks, although at that age I didn’t know much about the arts—but I think my love for it started there. I don’t have a particular influential teacher or mentor, but I always follow and observe the works of older artists.

Name artists who inspire you and tell us what you love about their work.

I have always loved the works of José Joya. His body of works inspired me a lot in terms of colours and composition. I also love the works of Bernardo Pacquing. His large non-representational works and installations are very strong and raw.

Tell us about abstract art. How did your passion for this come about and how does your background in music play a big part in your artistic journey?

When I was still working in a recording company, I got into figurative painting; but every time I came home after work, I was already exhausted. I had little time to paint in the figurative style. I had an extra small canvas in my studio and so I tried mixing colours straight onto the canvas. It was like magic and I felt relaxed. I was ecstatic. I realised how happy I was doing abstract. Music is a big part of my artistic process; it sets my mood every time I paint. I can’t paint without music. They are intertwined.

What does “art” mean to you?

Art for me is universal, unlimited and with not enough words to describe it.

Tell us more about some of your pieces.

Euphoria is all about the happiness we feel when we do good things around us. Tie Dye Sky is about equality as I believe in the philosophy that we are all created equal.

What would you like to say to budding Filipino artists?

Find your own style in art, that’s the most important part, and never ever copy other artists. Never stop learning what you love and be inspired every day. Just paint and make sure you love every minute of it.

This story was originally published in the 27th volume of Tatler Homes Philippines. Download it on your digital device via Zinio, Magzter, or Pressreader.

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