Artist Portfolio Magazine’s 10 Art Competition
Johnny E. SJ. Otilano/Visual Artist, Singer Songwriter
I’m a self-taught artist born in the Philippines, a country rich in culture and history. I graduated from Feati University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, major in Advertising Design. In 1989, I made my first trip to the U.S. at the invitation of the Philippine Arts Festival in Los Angeles.
I was fortunate to be recognized after my painting “Market Place” won Second Place and received the highest winning bid in an art contest sponsored by KVPT Channel 18 for their 20th Great Annual Art Auction in 1997. In 1998 I was awarded Outstanding Filipino American in Fresno and Vicinity and in 2010 one of my paintings, entitled “November 25, 1994,” received the People’s Choice Award at the Pink Show and 2011 my paintings “Autumn Leaves” received the Most Inspiring Entry Award and Peoples Choice Award and in 2013 my paintings “My Old Guitar” received The Margaret Hudson Choice Award and Peoples Choice Award.
Recently I received a Certificate of Recognition from the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, District Assembly Adrin Nazarian and a Certificate of Achievement given by the Philippine Institute of Language, Arts and Culture.
I have been known for my portrait commissions and landscape paintings. I dreamed about becoming a soldier as a kid to help defend my country, but my interest changed when I started to dabble with art using the four walls of our home. With my artistic blood awakened, I then channeled my energy and passion for my country through arts with a paintbrush filled with bold, striking colors.
My own style was developed with influences of masters and recent artists. The distinctive personal style and technique that I have incorporated in my pieces are spreading paint on raw plywood, and gluing and nailing found objects like soda can pull tabs, old keys, metal chains and gun shells.
If I gained recognition, it was for the ability to conjure great emotions and portray a story behind each of my creations. As a established international artist living in Pasadena California, I still carry that passion with dozens of artwork pieces conveying my style and insignia.
I’ve exhibited in many galleries here in the U.S. and museums abroad. In addition to the visual art, I compose and write music that relate to my paintings and that are performed at my shows.
It is my belief, as an artist and as a human, that we all exist here for a purpose. As an Artist, you have to explore a lot and experiment, and as time goes by you uncover your own self and discover where you stand. No matter what other people say: continue what you’re doing, believe in yourself and be passionate in your art. Your art and what you express and everything that comes out of it is your soul, a God-given talent, a God-given soul.
I feel that my paintings express a thousand words and myriad thoughts, “If a pen be mightier than a sword, my brushes are more powerful than a bow and arrow.”