Featured Artist | Johnny ESJ. Otilano

Johnny ESJ. Otilano

Sun Valley, CA

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. Recently, one of my paintings, entitled “November 25, 1994,” received the People’s Choice Award at the Pink Show 2010 and in 2011 my paintings “Autumn Leaves” received the Most Inspiring Entry Award & Peoples Choice Award and in 2013 my paintings “My Old Guitar” received The Peoples Choice Award & Margaret Hudson’s Choice Award.

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 during the Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2017. I’m also given an award by ArtTour International Magazine as one of the Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Arts 2019 that was held in New York Museum of Arts & Design on April 27th, 2019.

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 Central 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.

"Synopsis" Series#2 | Oil & Mixed-media | 60" X72"
“Synopsis” Series#2 | Oil & Mixed-media | 60″ X72″
"Sumpa" Series#1 | Acrylic & Mixed-media | 36" X22"
“Sumpa” Series#1 | Acrylic & Mixed-media | 36″ X22″
“Shaken” | Oil & Mixed-media
48″ X48″
P. T. S. D. Series#26 | "Dreams" | Oil & Mixed-media | 40" X30"
P. T. S. D. Series#26 | “Dreams” | Oil & Mixed-media | 40″ X30″


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