You meet a lot of interesting people in an Art Fair and the Escolta Fair is no different. It was there where we met the Fabonan Family.
Joel Fabonan, Fabo for short, worked as an Art Director for eighteen years under several advertising agencies and now going on his fifth year working as a freelancer. He had solo, joint and group exhibits in the past but perhaps the greatest collaboration he has is with his family starting with his wife Gerrie whom she met in 1984 and who is currently the solo accounts team of his work from home set-up. His daughter Ayi has the eye for fashion styling, photography and films. And then there’s Miles who turned thirteen last month. Fabo and Miles only started selling prints of their artworks last July 20 through the 98B Future Market Fair held every month at Escolta. The family plans to join the said fair until the end of the month.
We take the time to get to know this Father and Son Team by asking them some questions.
BBR: What got you attracted to drawing or art in general? Did having creative parent/s influence your interest?
Miles: I am always inspired by characters in TV shows. One of them is the Tiny Planet shown years before in Disney Channel. My mom usually reads me stories. We have lots of books! And after the stories, I draw characters from it.
BBR: How much do you enjoy doing art these days? Do you enjoy it better than school? How do you find the balance?
Miles: I love doing art more now than back then. Since I have seen enough wonderful and weird TV shows and movies. I enjoy doing art and school equally.
BBR: At your age, are you already into a particular art form or do you dabble in a lot of things?
Miles: Usually my drawings change depending in the mood that I am in. Sometimes I mix cut-outs from old books and magazines with my drawings. I also try out new pens, pencils and papers sent to me as gifts by my parents’ friend. But I always draw using my black gel pen point 7, no pencils first. I draw straight with my black pen then sometimes add color using markers or color pencils.
BBR: Is being an artist genetically linked or is it something you can learn to do? How early on did you find out about Miles’ talent? How did you respond as a parent?
Fabo: I don’t think it is genetic. I believe it is more on the influence of the environment. It is like when you see beauty in things that surround you that makes you want to do beautiful illustrations or you get so affected by the ugliness of your environment/society/community that it makes you crave for change. I think it is not limited to art. It also applies to a person’s overall goals in life. In our family, there are no fulltime artists. There are people in our family who have fun drawing but did not choose to do art all their lives or make art for a living. I know Miles’ grandfather from my wife’s side (my father-in-law) wins in nationwide painting competitions when he was in high school and he did not choose to paint when he got older. Until now, the two of them are not yet talking about art, though the Lolo from time to time, expresses his appreciation thru overseas calls. I really think it is still not genetic, for me it is more on influence.
BBR: Do you enjoy working together with your child or you prefer to create art on your own?
Fabo: Miles learned to draw before writing his name or the alphabet. I think most kids are because it is their form of communication. They draw what they like, right? They like stars that’s why they draw stars or sun and people. And then there are kids who, as they grow up, choose things they love doing that identify their existence or individuality. Some kids like dressing up, some loves music, or enjoy being active and getting into athletic sports later on. And Miles chose art. I am in full-support but my wife supports our kids more, she has that “extra” effort just like all the mothers out there. Whatever makes our children happy, when possible and attainable, as long as no one gets hurt and hopefully one that would benefit everyone, then GO! They are free to do whatever they want.
We have our own styles and interests, thankfully the common passion that we all share is being serious fans of art. We don’t have joint projects yet but we are looking forward to doing one soon and we are excited about it. For now, the mode is working with each other. We work on different things separately then continuously support each other. Scenarios are “Mama, what do you think of this?” then the mom would say “Maganda yan anak, tuloy mo yan.”, we also help to meet each other’s goals, “Anak, pakikulayan mo ito.” Or “Daddy, pakihanap ito please.” And do I enjoy it? Very much!!!
If you are interested to see more of their works, you can check out the following channels and pages:
These days, Miles is learning video recording and is having fun in editing his videos. His short videos are found in his YouTube channel, mamagerrie1.
Our family created a Facebook page to showcase Ayi’s thrift finds and Fabo and Miles’ creations to be sold at 98B Future Market. The page is No. 24.
More samples of works can be seen in Miles’ page - Miles Fabonan.