Picasso, Michelangelo and Juan Luna – they are known as pillars of art that gave the profession such significance in the society. But there’s also a notion that a career in arts isn’t a practical one, since the works only becomes significant at the later years of an artist’s life, or worse at the end of it.
Sigwada Knicolai Mendoza begs to disagree who started her passion in arts ever since she was a little girl. “I started when I was very young - I love drawing and my family supported my love for the arts. They bought me art materials, art books and enrolled me in art workshops. In grade 7, we had a career speaker who was into advertising and was a graduate of Fine Arts in Australia. After that event, I knew what I wanted to take up in college; I knew I had to be in fine arts.”
And by the time she finished her degree from University of the Philippines in the Visayas – Cebu, she wasted no time in following her artistic desires. Sigwada Knicolai became an Art and Photography teacher in Philippine Science High School and an Art teacher in La Salle Green Hills for 9 years. When she finally resigned from teaching, she bravely got into the world of becoming a full-time artist. “Giving up on my regular job was a hard decision to make, I had a regular salary before I decided I wanted to become a full time artist,” she recalls.
With an experience in traditional art mediums such as oil and watercolor canvass painting, Sigwada Knicolai also ventures into a more modern form of art – body painting and tattoo. She enjoys creating beautiful images using the human body as canvass. She had been into body painting for years – having her first body painting gig in the famous Plantation Bay Resort in Cebu in her college years. With her traditional skills with modern twists, she had done several exhibits in Cebu, Manila and even Singapore. At present, along with her other projects, she also ventured into the world of tattoo where she further expresses her love of body canvasses at Kulture of Ink in Quezon City.
“Never cease to learn, always make room for improvements, don’t be afraid to take risks and to commit mistakes and your talent will go a long, long way.” – Motto of Sigwada Knicolai Mendoza
Rules in Arts According to Sigwada Knicolai Mendoza
“Learning new forms of art made me more versatile… but I don’t consider myself having an edge over others because I like to compete only with myself and not with other artists.”
“If God gave you artistic talents, use it.”
"Always best to start with a reasonable rate, not too low and not too high than to lower your rates when no one buys your art.”
“Practice is the only key to becoming a successful artist so to have discipline is very important.”
“Everything can be profitable if you work hard and put a positive attitude… I believe that if you don’t work hard and if you don’t sharpen your skills and acquire new knowledge, money will not come pouring in. To make ones profession lucrative is really up to the person.”
Face Painting (Models: Mary and Malee Santillan; Photographer: Rey Cardinal)
Tattoo (Tattoo Colletor: Simang Monterey)