‘I suddenly realized that I would not grow if I stayed here’
21-year-old visual artist Brian Ilustrisimo Razon learnt how to hold a brush even before he could write.
Since he discovered his passion at age three, he’s explored painting. However, for 15 years, his creativity was boxed within the four walls of his personal space. Brian called himself a bedroom artist—someone who stayed within the comfort zone.
Through the years, however, he enriched his craft by reading history books, writing poetry, immersing himself in the words of Edgar Allan Poe and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
In addition, he ventured into drag. “I love dressing up. I have sewn clothes. Styled wigs. Did make-up,” he beamed.
“Being a bedroom artist is highly dependent on the emotional and mental stability. It is to forget about the outside world,” he explained. “I was hiding because I did not have the confidence to show others what I could do and I kept my work to myself,” he expressed.
However, all this changed when he released his personal favorite project entitled Only Fans, which exhibited his love of Japan, his fascination with the beauty of the skin and the ease with himself.
“Only Fans showed the other side of me, all bare and naked.” The painting, which Brian considered the most daring piece he ever created, earned attention and thousands of engagements when he uploaded it on social media. This exposure gave him the courage to finally break barriers and take his craft more seriously.
“I’ve hidden away from judgment, but I suddenly realized that I would not grow if I stayed here—my room had enough of me playing safe,” he imparted. From having a few requests from friends, he started to accept more commissioned portraits, landscapes and conceptual paintings.
He decided to take another big leap: to study Architecture in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts. Although he passed the entrance exam, it took him three attempts to clinch the academic scholarship.
“I am fascinated how inclusive Benilde is,” he exclaimed. “The students have so much confidence and are very much appreciated. I felt the connection and knew I belong here.”
Meanwhile, all this time, he had to fend for his family. He created art pieces as a source of income. He recalled how he worked as customer service representative. “It wasn’t an easy start, but I am proud that my artworks saved my family. I was able to provide for most of our needs during these trying times,” he admitted.
Now beyond the four walls of his room, Brian is juggling his architecture and visual arts, as he swings by client meetings after online classes and during weekends. He continues to gear up to grow his brand, plans to join competitions and group exhibitions and hopes to collaborate with fellow creators.
Discover more of Brian’s works on his official channels: Instagram www.instagram.com/peints.br/ and www.instagram.com/brian.razon_/) and Facebook (facebook.com/Peints.br / and facebook.com/brian.razon.395).