Local artist Dante Abaygar shares his story on pursuing his passion on creating ballpoint pen artworks. Low cost and portable, it has been the most accessible medium to most artist. But being a local artist and living in an industrialized society, passion and talents are often ignored, ridiculed, and taken for granted. Dante have surpassed them all and just do what he loves to do.


Being the 7th child in a household of 9 kids, Dante grew up in Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. A fish and sugar producing city in the Visayas. He went to North Fairview High School in Quezon City to finish secondary education. During which he won awards on journalism competitions. He bagged 1st place in Editorial Cartooning for the National Press Conference held in Cebu City.


His love for drawings has made him the favorite of his friends. He has put up a Facebook page called “I Will Sketch Your Song” where he would collect songs suggested by his followers for him to sketch then he will post it in that page. And he’s doing this just for fun. He would also draw for his friends as a favor. He even drew me a clear book full of artworks as a souvenir of our high school memories.



Dante and I share the same birthdays. I have always wondered how much talent he had on him and wished I have them too. He had been always humble about his gift and most often share this generously. He had drawn murals on walls of our High School buildings and have been remembered as a revered batch­mate up to this day.


It’s been so long that I have known you and you have been a talented artist ever since. What fuels your passion to do art?


” I draw or paint whenever I want to express myself. There are some days that I am so driven and inspired to draw but there were also days that I don’t want to. Just like most artists do. But if there’s one thing why I’m so determined to improve my talent, it is for the people who do and don’t believe in me. It is an everyday struggle to prove that what I do is precious and valuable.”


And your style has kept on evolving every time you show us your next work. From cartooning, to oil pastel then you are now showing us your ballpoint pen portraits. How do you bring out your creativity?


“Sometimes when I sketch, ideas and images will just flow out and let my hand do its own magic. I’ll just wait for how it would look like when it’s done. Most of my best artworks are when I’m unhappy. But I get my ideas mostly on music.”



“I listen to some of my favorite songs then draw concepts out of it. Like translating the mood of the song into images. I also get concepts from my dreams or when I’m drunk. And I am very proud to say that I have never experimented with drugs to draw imaginations from. All my inspirations are just from my own.”



What are the challenges you had met to pursue your career as an artist?

” I can’t really say that this is a career because I’m just doing this for fun. I don’t have that much pressure on creating artworks because that’s what I love doing. There were just people who scoffs at what other people loves doing. I have this friend who laughed at me when I told him how much my artwork is going to sell. He said I couldn’t sell it at that much amount of money. I know it is just a joke but it hurts deep inside. Last year, I have sold that artwork, the very same artwork that he laughed at. I sold it twice the price that I told him in an exhibit. That are the kind of challenges I’m facing. Most will say that I will get nothing out of art, but for me, it’s just a hobby. It may not be my primary source of income, but it is my main source of happiness.

For you, in pursuing to improve your talents and skills. What is the most important to the work of an artist?

“Patience. Because nothing great comes easy.”

What is your favorite artwork?

“My most favorite work is the “Koi Series”. I put too much time and effort on it.”



For you, in pursuing to improve your talents and skills. What is the most important to the work of an artist?

“Patience. Because nothing great comes easy.”

What is your favorite artwork?

“My most favorite work is the “Koi Series”. I put too much time and effort on it.”



To conclude, tell us how you can guide the next generation in following their dreams. What is your message to young aspiring artists?

“My advice is if ever you are going to find a reason why you want to pursue art, or anything that you want to do, it is because you want it and you really love doing it. You are not expressing yourself just to please other people. Particularly to those kids that post their artworks in social media. The most number of likes or the price of the artwork is not the basis of its value. The true value of an artwork is on how much the artist loves its creation.”

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About the Author

A tech savvy, music enthusiast and a coffee lover. Her writing experience comprises of journal entries and software codes in C#. Though she is more profound on the latter, writing her own thoughts is still her first love.


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