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Stable income for artists still a challenge

/ 07:41 AM February 18, 2012

GROWING up in a family of painters, Dorby Alcoseba saw firsthand the struggling life of an artist.

Though his heart is on art, Alcoseba pursued a college degree in computer engineering hoping to have a more stable life. After two years of working in an office job, his love for the art haunted him back.

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“The life of an artist is a struggling one. But it’s what I really want. What’s important is to go where your heart is,” said Alcoseba, a fulltime painter, in Cebuano.

The artist was one of the guests in the Feb. 11 episode of “Pagtuki,” the official radio program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), which is aired at dyLA, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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The Feb. 11 episode talked about the “life of an artist,” in celebration of the National Arts Month in February.

With a painter father and uncle, Alcoseba is no stranger to canvass and watercolors. He knew then that painting was his calling, just like his father.

For July Carmel, a degree holder in mass communication, she said she chose to work as a full-time dancer rather than pursue a career in communication.

Though the pay is not as high as a regular job, she said what is important is she is happy with her job. Carmel was a scholar for being a member of the university’s dance and theater group.

“Performing, dancing … these are my passions,” she said.

Dennis “Sio” Montera, vice president for visual arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, said.

“Being an artist is a lifetime commitment. It has no boundaries, no limits and no bosses. But it is not a regular job. Financially, it’s a challenge. Artists need to learn how to be flexible because we all have bills to pay. Despite that challenge, you might wonder why artists are happy … because we are happy with our time and in what we do,” Montera said in Cebuano.

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He advised starting artists to not give up and pursue their passion for the arts, despite the struggles.

Montera expressed his hopes that the government will initiate programs to further develop and preserve Philippine arts.

“Art should be given importance because this reflects us as a race,” he said.

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