We were lucky to catch up with Grace Bio recently and have shared our conversation below.
Grace, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Have you been able to earn a full-time living from your creative work? If so, can you walk us through your journey and how you made it happen? Was it like that from day one? If not, what were some of the major steps and milestones and do you think you could have sped up the process somehow knowing what you know now?
I started my Art Career while I was a Senior in High School at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (2004-2005). Fortunately, I got plenty of opportunities, but found myself getting burnt out bringing other people’s visions to life, yet not having any creative identity or style of my own. This created a rocky dynamic in my life as an Artist, so I unfortunately had to put my art on the backburner and get a regular job(s) to keep consistent income while I went through my journey of self discovery.
Throughout this journey, I went through a series of events that humbled me at my core – realizing that I had so much to learn, unlearn, unpack and layers of my being that I needed to heal. From these experiences, my Artwork organically became a testament of me realizing my truth, a token of my experiences, and knowledge/wisdom that I obtained.
From the beginning of my career to now, I am so happy that I finally have a mission with my work, witnessing people enjoying it, learning from it & still having consistent clientele and creative jobs/exhibitions/projects!
Even though it is honestly a daily challenge to stay afloat with the demands of everyday life, especially during unprecedented times (COVID, inflation, etc.), I trust the Universe’s plan for me, and with that, I’m more motivated than ever to keep going!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers.
Hello, my name is Grace Bio. I am a Multi-Disciplinary Creatrix – specializing in Illustration, Painting, Graphic Design, Murals, Live Art, Art Education and also have a Pop-Up Boutique called “HER PATH COLLECTION,” where I share my curated collection of rare global vintage treasures and my own creations wherever I set up!
My journey began in 2007 when I had a strong urge to learn more of my heritage & my country, the Philippines. I noticed, throughout my entire education, the Philippines was never mentioned in any of my history or Cultural Anthropology classes. So, I visited my local libraries and asked elders in my family/community for more information, disappointingly coming out short. Frustrated, I discussed it on social media and was divinely sent sources from the global Filipinx community that opened my eyes, mind & soul. Organically, my (personal) artwork became capsules of different parts of my journey and a shared narrative of the Filipinx/Asian & Pacific Islander Community and Womxn of color.
Looking back at my artistic journey, I realized that all of my passions of Art & Culture manifested through every creative pursuit, aiming to bring awareness of the beauty we have within us while paying tribute to what came before us – sharing the beauty of life, indigenous crafts, traditions and cultures – hoping that it serves as a learning tool and healing force for those that witness it.
Is there something you think non-creatives will struggle to understand about your journey as a creative? Maybe you can provide some insight – you never know who might benefit from the enlightenment.
I want everyone who is not a Creative to understand that creative folks operate differently from the rest of the world.
We create our own worlds and universes.
This is not an easy feat since we are in a constant state of how we can interpret our thoughts, emotions, experiences, perspectives and narratives all while trying to encapsulate it into a visual object in any way that we can, to the best of our abilities.
Please understand if we space out, withdraw from the world from time-to-time or just need to go off on a creative tangent – this is all part of our process and our evolution as an Artist.
The world would be a bland place without us, so please just let us be and don’t judge us for being who we inherently are.
We often hear about learning lessons – but just as important is unlearning lessons. Have you ever had to unlearn a lesson?
The first thing I learned about Artists was that they were known and successful for their work. What I learned/unlearned living as an Artist, is that every Artist has to experience their own journey to develop their own style and do their best to make a living as an Artist.
When I started my career, I realized how intimidating it can be to put yourself out there due to the fluctuating demands of clients/businesses/the world, other artists working besides you and dealing with the many nuances as a human being – from layers of trauma (ancestral, generational, societal, etc.) that we have to/choose to heal from, dealing with our mental and physical heath, dealing with the demands of everyday life – all the while having the responsibility to operate as a creative entrepreneur.
It is definitely a challenge but I wouldn’t change it for the world! My life is full of magic because of it!
- Website: https://linktr.ee/GraceBioArt
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/GraceBioArt/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grace.bio
- Other: https://gracebioart.myportfolio.com/
1. PERSONAL PHOTO: “THE PINAY PROJECT” / By: Agnes Lopez
2. “THE ROOTS THAT GROUND US” (Me in front of Filipino-American Mural) / By: C.J. Bautista (A.K.A: UNDERSIEGE 360) 3. “RAISED PINAY” (Me in front of Mandala Painting) / By: Gigi Bio
4. “RAISED PINAY – ANNSISTERS” (Me & my sister, Gigi Bio painting) / By: Anthony S. Torres