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Talented Abrenian student earns money from portrait drawing

The COVID-19 pandemic may have been a very challenging period especially for the young people with the lockdowns taking toll on their emotional wellbeing resulting  to the increased cases of depression and suicide attempts.

But for this young Abrenian student, he used the lockdown period to hone his  drawing skills. Today, he is now earning cash from  his art works to sustain his financial needs.

Joshua P. Arce, a Grade-12 student at the Pangtod National High School (PNHS) in the municipality of Bucay, is currently gaining attention in the social media after his teachers noticed his exceptional sketching skills and featured him in their Facebook page during the National Arts Month celebration in February. 

Among the amazing portrait drawings of this 18-year-old from the remote barangay of Bangbangcag are those of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., David of Michelangelo, Dasha Taran and many more.  

Enhancing drawing skills

In an interview with Joshua, he shared how he sharpened his skills in portrait drawing.
“During my pre-school years, I already got interested in drawing but I have not fully developed this hobby,” he said. But he was already joining contest especially poster making and was a cartoonist in their journalism group.

He shared that he started drawuing portraints during the pandemic.
 “It started during the pandemic.  I got bored because we were not allowed to go out and we were only doing modules, so I’ve thought of enhancing my skills during those times,” he stated.

Earning from artworks

Today, Joshua is accepting orders from Abrenians and local officials who are amazed by his talent.
“I draw various portrait and the price varies on the size of the paper. For example, the A4 size bond paper costs around P1,000.00 but it depends upon the request of the client,” he said.

There are also those who want their portrait in A3 size   or in vellum board paper. The bigger the size of the paper or the number of, the higher the price, he added.

The second of four children of an Overseas Filipino Worker mom and a farmer father, Joshua is proud that he now earns his own money from his drawings, which he also shares with his siblings for their schooling.

 As there are those who commission me for drawing, I get to hone my skills and earn income, he said.

This talented youth plans to take Fine Arts or Architecture in college.

His advice to people who have talent in drawing – Just keep on practicing. Be patient and persevering because drawing   sometimes becomes boring.

LOOK: Joshua Arce shows his portrait drawing of President Bongbong Marcos from a photo he took online. (CAGT - PIA CAR, Abra)

An inspiration

In an interview with PNHS School Principal Norma Pineda, she plans to put up a fine arts clubs of the school to give an exposure for students who possess the similar skills as that of Joshua.
“We will establish a club intended to develop and showcase these skills among the students and we will further discover more talented individuals like Joshua,” Pineda said.

She   urged Joshua to teach his younger schoolmates to draw and continue to be a good example, an inspiration to them.

According to him, he started honing his talent during the pandemic. That means he used his time productively and now he is earning from it, the principal said.   
Those who are interested to have their own self-portrait sketch, they can contact  Joshua Arce through his Facebook profile. (JDP/CAGT – PIA CAR, Abra)

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Christian Allister Tubadeza

Cordillera Administrative Region

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