Celine Villafuerte is one of the youngest Focus Bulacan members, but in terms of exposure to the arts, her experience is immense. Taking it one step further by pursuing Fine Arts in college, she is now on her path to becoming a full-time media artist, and along the way she added photography to her body of work. With dreams of someday being an inspiration to other people through her creations, she is constantly exploring fields she could learn. Don't let the carefree demeanor fool you : she is determined to make it to the top.
Celine Villafuerte is the featured Focus photographer of the month.
Q : You’re a visual artist. How did your love for the arts develop?
C : When I was in high school I really didn’t know what course would suit me but then I had this friend who had a digital camera always with her and she loved taking stolen pictures of random people. Seeing her everyday taking pictures gave me an idea to become a photographer. I hesitated before because taking fine arts wasn’t in my plans at all, but I took it anyways to learn further about art and photography. Through the years in fine arts I've learned to love different kinds of art, from traditional painting to media art like photography.
Q : So how did you start branching out to photography? What for you is the main difference in creating art with your brush and creating it with a camera?
C : I started shooting with Focus Bulacan. Joining this group gave me more knowledge about the differences of traditional art and media art. Traditional and media art are mostly the same but different in execution. A traditional art like painting requires a long amount of time and effort to produce an image, unlike in photography, where producing an image is just one click away, which is why I prefer photography. For me they are both art but with different process of expressing moods and stuff.
Q : Tell us the start of your Focus story.
C : My elder sister met members of Focus Bulacan, then she introduced me to the group since she saw potential in me in the field of photography. She urged me to join the group, hoping for me to develop and learn more. The Macro PhotoMeet in March 2015, that was the first activity I attended.
Q : Which is more difficult, interpreting a concept into a painting, or into a photo? Why?
C : For me interpreting a concept is very difficult because it should be unique, attractive, and original. I tried interpreting concepts in both painting and photography, I can't really say which is more difficult because they're both really challenging.
Q : What’s your proudest moment as a photographer? And what photo are you most proud of?
C : Winning or simply joining competitions and exhibits are proud moments for me. I know I'm not yet professional-caliber, but my photographs have the potential to be part of exhibits or win competitions. Among my photographs, my favorites are mostly related to manipulation or post-processing because I have the chance to use both of my skills in taking pictures and editing.
Q : What’s the next step for you as a visual artist? What do you want to learn or explore?
C : The next step for me as a visual artist is to develop my skills regarding editing and to widen my knowledge in interpreting my concepts for me to further achieve greater heights, and to inspire other people with my photographs.
Q : What’s your most unforgettable shoot?
C : It was our group's photowalk in Binondo back in August 21, 2015. That was my first time to join an actual photowalk in Manila, together with so many random people. A lot of things happened that day, I learned a lot, got to know other photographers, and I also developed creating ideas for my shots.
Q : How do you see yourself as a visual artist ten years from now?
C : Ten years from now, I could be one of those famous photographers with multiple solo exhibits. I'm also hoping that someday I will inspire other people with my skills, experience, and especially with my photographs.
Celine's Favorite Photos (Click thumbnails to view in full)
Q : What's your message to those who would like to pursue photography as their field of art?
C : To those who love taking pictures, I ask you to keep doing what you love, try and try until you succeed in it. It would be a great help if you join workshops or join a legitimate group regarding photography so you can learn ideas that are very useful.
Q : What would you like to say to your fellow Focus photographers?
C : To my fellow Focus Bulacan members, staying strong is a must. Thanks to all of you because if it wasn’t for you guys, my journey being a photographer would be less fun.
Her journey is far from complete. Who knows if she's even halfway or even a quarter? What Celine is sure of is that as long as she's alive, she'll live and breathe art and photography. The brush, the camera, and the colors of life will always be her preferred tools of expression. The coming years will be her canvas, which she would love to fill with magnificent artwork for all of us to see.
Every month, we have a feature on our members, our photography idols, and other photography issues we feel deserve a heads-up.