In this week’s Qommunity Voices, we will give the spotlight to a talented Filipino artist, Arsenio Jr Nidoy. Fondly called Artsenic, this scribble artist who has been living in Qatar for ten years now is also an award-winning street photographer. He was amongst the 20 Most Influential Street Photographers for 2017 according to the streethunters.net readers, and in fact, we’ve featured some of his mind-boggling street photographs years back.
When asked why he shifted from photography to scribble art, Artsenic said: “I really didn’t end my love for photography. In street photography, you have to go outside to capture your subject, but because of the pandemic, we have to follow health protocols. I have to protect myself and my loved ones, hence I had to pause for the time being that paved the way for me to discover another interest.”
Currently, Artsenic is on a ‘365 Days Art Challenge’ where he devotes 2 to 4 hours of his time each day to complete a drawing using only a regular ballpoint pen. One month to go until he finishes this challenge, the ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) Team got in touch with Artsenic to know more about him and his 365 scribble portraits!
Artsenic: I am Arsenio Jr Nidoy, also known as ARTsenic Jr. I am working as a QA/QC engineer in a construction company. I have been living in Qatar with my wife since 2011.
Artsenic: I had already known how to draw since I was a kid, but when I saw the work of some scribble artists, I got fascinated and found it to be a bit difficult and challenging so I decided to use the same style for my 365 days art challenge. I started scribbling in January of 2021.
Artsenic: This challenge is to complete one scribble art per day. Originally, my plan was to draw anything and not just portraits, but since portrait is a complex process and more challenging for me, I decided to focus more on it to further enhance my skills.
Artsenic: I'm inspired by the works of Vince Low and Erick Centeno. I'm always looking at their work and hoping that I will be as good as them and as famous as them in the future.
Artsenic: I can still clearly remember the day I discovered my talent in drawing. I was only 5 years old when I tried to copy an image of a fish from my sister’s book. I was so surprised and amazed when it perfectly resembled the picture in the book. Since then I kept on drawing until one day my teacher caught me not listening in class because I was busy drawing something in my notebook. After my teacher discovered my talent, I started representing my school in various art competitions where I would always emerge as the champion.
After stepping into university, for no particular reason, I lost my interest in painting and drawing. Fast forward to 2012, I was already here in Qatar when suddenly I decided to pick up the pencil again. I tried portrait drawing but it didn't give me the intense desire to keep holding the pencil because I was more interested in street photography.
Artsenic: In October 2020, at the height of the pandemic, my wife encouraged me to join the Philippine Embassy's painting contest with the theme 'Painting the New Normal'. Without second thoughts, I agreed and confidently told her that I will win the first prize. True to that, I won the competition but I felt that I'm still not good enough and that I must do more to improve my skills. This is when I decided to do the '365 days art challenge'.
Artsenic: I often use a ballpoint pen as my main artistic medium. Sometimes I use a Polychromos white pencil if I want to scribble on black paper.
Artsenic: I usually choose popular celebrities and artists. Sometimes I go with what is trending like the characters of the Korean series 'Squid Game'. I also accommodate my friends' and followers' suggestions and requests for specific personalities when I can’t decide on my subject for the day.
Artsenic: For now, time is my biggest challenge since I am working during the day, I can only draw at night and it has to be completed within a maximum of 4 hours so that I will still have enough time to rest and sleep.
Artsenic: I am planning to make a book of my '365 days art challenge' after I complete it and I hope to have a solo art exhibition as well. I am also thinking about accepting commissions next year.
Artsenic: In order to ensure my growth, I don't use pencils. I'm only using a ballpen to keep myself from depending on erasers. Also, I am giving myself a time limit for each drawing in order to improve my speed but without compromising the accuracy. And of course, practice, practice, and more practice.
Artsenic: “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others” by Salvador Dali.
Artsenic: Don’t be a copycat, be original and creative.
Artsenic: Thank you for featuring me in your article and I hope you will continue to publish more stories about art and artists like me. Stay safe everyone and continue to follow health protocols.
Cover image credit: Arsenic Jr Nidoy
How challenging is Artsenic's art to you? Let us know in the comments below, and please do share this article — it keeps us going!
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