My Introduction: The Creative Pursuit of Richard John

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Hello!


My name is Richard John. RJ or Arj for short.
Born on the 1st of July, a Cancer;
stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, shorter when I get insecure;
needs to gain weight;
an Introvert; a Beach Lover, a Minimalist;
I enjoy listening to music when I'm working or commuting;
enjoys streaming movies and television shows;
still dunno how to ride a bike;
enjoys swimming, mostly floating at sea really;
gets inspiration from nature, a good sunrise and/or sunset,
blue skies, or a rainy day when I'm at home.

the last 3 decades: my life story


I grew up in a small town in the Philippines. An introvert and a dreamer, I've dedicated most of my life creating and expressing myself through photography and art.

When I was young, I was the quiet nerdy kid in class, with his pen and sketchbook, keeping things to himself, always doodling and drawing. My life was from home to school and vise versa, a walking distance but I still found myself coming to school late. Simpler times back then, watching the afternoon cartoons on tv, not a lot going on in that moment. I've filled up a number of sketch books in my early years.

High School went by too fast, a blurry memory looking back to. I didn't have friends back then, my classmates were the ones closest to that time, fast forward and I only am able to talk to a few of them now. The time I graduated high school, I wanted to have friends I can share my interests with. The quiet kid in me wanted to find genuine friendship then.

I took up Computer Engineering in college. On my second year, I failed three times over physics class, which was a prerequisite to most of my third year classes that time. Fear of getting left behind, and a gut feeling that maybe this was not for me, I shifted. It wasn't all bad though, I've learned a lot about basic coding and I've met the friendship I've manifested while I was taking up Engineering.

With a lot of support from my family, I was able to proceed to Fine Arts Major in Advertising Arts. The first year, I felt a lot of possibilities opening up for me. The classes we were learning about were Freehand Drawing, Graphic Design, Photography, Film Making, a little bit of everything creative really. We also had a Marketing class since Advertising Arts is just a small part of Marketing.

I fell in love with photography the most in college. It sort of created a divide along the way, since I was no longer able to draw as much unlike my earlier years. But I kept taking a lot of photographs then. It is important that when you do want to learn photography, aside from getting familiar with the basic settings of your camera and learning about light and theories, that you also take photographs of anything and everything that peaks your interest. You may not like everything you photograph of, but it will help you develop an eye for it. What works for you and what does not.

When I graduated, I went straight to a corporate life. It was a change of pace. That time I was no longer able to create as much. There were months I was no longer creating at all. The pay was good, the people too. But something was missing. At 30, I've almost always been questioning my career decisions, felt a little lost honestly. When the pandemic hit, I got depressed. It took a toll on my mental health reading about so many sad things happening in the world, and feeling helpless about most of it, I felt the need to restart. It's scary being a freelancer these days, especially with the uncertainty of all the changes that are happening. But I want to give myself a shot at it. To fully commit on taking back control of my creative path.

At present, I have a few freelance creative works keeping me afloat, it helps a lot also that I know how to manage my money for I would not last months if I didn't. I'm working with local brands creating photography content mostly and short videos sometimes, as well as editing the same footage; I shoot portraits of people, friends, models for designer names here in Cebu; I'm also working as an event stylist; and a creative assistant. Things I've come to learn about myself working as a creative: I'm a bit of a workaholic when it comes to being creative, I like being busy as well as managing my time. I like learning; and I like challenging myself. I like being surrounded by people who are passion driven, life smart and are responsible. I get inspired by creatives doing their thing too, being able to cheer them on in their endeavors.

insights I'll be sharing about here

BEHIND THE WORK
In the future, I want to go in depth of what life is like as an Event Stylist, a Photographer, an Assistant and a Creative Director. Maybe share a thing or two of what I have learned, and what I wished I have learned before. Share a lot of behind the scenes photographs.

Being no stranger to sharing my works online, I never really had a platform where I was able to share my collected thoughts on the matter, so I plan to do so here.

My Personal Levitation Project

A growing number of more than 50 collected levitation photographs of me jumping from different places I fancy. I want to share this personal levitation project with you as well. This started back in 2011, back then I had most of my friends take photographs of me jumping. I liked the idea of me being able to fly or float even if it's just in a photograph. As of now I'm able to do self portrait levitation photography, quite an achievement for me really.

MY ARTWORKS

My first early drawings were done through pen and paper, I mostly draw portraits from my imagination and also get inspired by mainstream media. I can't really draw realistic portraits, but I still like challenging myself to try to.

I took a long hiatus making artworks when I graduated college up until the pandemic hit, mainly because of work that time, and also because I was focusing more on photography. There were times I find myself scribbling on a piece of paper, but unlike before, it's not really the same.

During the pandemic, I tried creating art again with the free time I had, that time I was relearning how to do watercolor artworks. I was creating on two watercolor pads with a lot of blank spaces between artworks, before I took a pause. Sometimes during the process, I get too caught up in an idea or how I imagined the final artwork to be, that when it doesn't come close to how I've pictured it I get so frustrated of myself when I fail to deliver. I'm still trying to not be too hard on myself though, especially in the process of making art.

Portraits & Conceptual Photography

I'll be sharing the stories behind the photographs I take, the emotions and the ideas I was going for.
Photography just like many forms of art for me is like a self discovery and a bit of therapy. A way to express one's self. I like exploring themes such as loneliness, feeling invisible, an empty space, hope, love and lost through my photographs. I like being able to evoke emotion, or just share photographs and portraits that captures my interest.

Lastly, the human being behind the art.

I like spending days by the beach, slow days to recharge,
exploring new places to take photographs of or maybe draw about;
I am in a journey to find inspiration and translate that into an artwork.
Maybe inspire someone to do the same in the process.
I hope to share all those things here in Hive: a creative pursuit of the life I'm living.


About the Author
A human being with a passion for creating, Richard John is a photographer, artist, stylist and creative director from Cebu City, Philippines. He is always challenging himself to do better, learn more and try different mediums to create more.

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❤️If you like his content about the creative world he's in, don't forget to upvote, share your thoughts in the comments and maybe reblog. All forms of love is always welcome. Follow his journey here on Hive for more. ❤️


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