Where There Is No Heart, There Is No Art

Posted on November 27, 2017 by Ann Kullberg | 2 Comments

by ILONAH JEAN PALAGAM

8" x 11" Family caricature, Princess Sofia themed.

In 2009, when I was diagnosed with a rheumatic heart disease, it started out with a throat infection but ended up with me needing a heart surgery. I lost hope and began to question, “Why me? We’re not rich... I don’t have any vices... I’m not a bad person...” Not that I’m saying that those kind of people deserve to be sick, I just couldn't help thinking about it at that time. But then again, maybe God has a purpose. It saddens me to see my family worried about my condition. I said to myself that I need to be strong for them. I went through a successful operation in 2013 thanks to support from my family and God for giving me a second chance in life.

It was 2014 when I thought of going back to drawing. I started with graphite, until I decided to learn colored pencils. I bought a set of Faber-Castell Classic because they say it’s cheap and good enough. I didn't know much about colored pencils at that time. My friends encouraged me to join a Facebook art group where I could find drawings, tips, and techniques. I’ve learned many things since joining and felt more inspired to pursue art.

12" x 17" Mayor's speech themed caricature.

I saw a particular style there that caught my attention—caricature! I studied how they are made and the materials needed. I frequently go to malls to look for artwork displays in art nooks and I also watch video tutorials on YouTube.

I later realized that it would probably be better if I have my own style. Attending workshops helped me a lot, especially the free colored pencil workshop conducted by Bleuie Acosta.

There's so much more I can improve on. I’ve learned a lot about different CP brands and techniques for how to make my drawings come to life, things that I didn't know before. This workshop was a big help for us beginners, attendees even got a set of colored pencils thanks to Ann Kullberg who sponsored the event.

With the skills learned in drawing caricatures, I started taking commissions and many liked my style. My clients grew in numbers and I decided to create an Instagram account to have an online shop for those who want their portraits drawn. I’m very happy because now I’m able to earn and save money for my medications and check-ups, and I’m able to help my parents as well.

I don’t get tired of drawing. I’m happy because I’m continually learning, and earning money from it is an added bonus. I think that this is God’s reward because I’ve overcome the trial He gave me. I know that I can achieve more. I continue to advance my learning in colored pencil through the help of people who are ready to guide me and have trust in my talent.

I dream of becoming a famous colored pencil artist one day and I know that with perseverance, hardship, and sacrifice something good will come out as long as I believe in myself and in my skills.

8" x 11" Sweet couple, profession inspired caricature.

About Ilonah:

I've loved to draw since I was young. I took up a course in computer programming but what I really love is fine arts. Lacking the finances to support my dream, I resorted to self-study to broaden my knowledge in drawing.


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2 Responses

ilonah jean palagam
ilonah jean palagam

November 28, 2017

Thank you so much for being so kind mam sharon. You’re such an inspiration to me. God bless you more! :)

Sharon SS KOW
Sharon SS KOW

November 28, 2017

Such an inspiring real life story. I salute your strength and determination and at such a young age, you’re mature beyond your actual age. It’s goes to show that nothing is impossible, as long as we work hard for it.
I wish you more successes to come and may GOD bless you always.

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