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Student Feature: Melissa Abuga-a

Years ago, our staff Kyla interviewed Melissa Abuga-a, one of our students in the 2015 School of Cartooning and Animation for Missions (SoCAM), which we ran in Chiangmai, Thailand. Melissa, a very creative artist, hails from the Philippines, and always had time during the school to produce quirky, textured paintings done in the hallway of the dorm. She and Kyla were fellow students at the time. Although we are no longer running the SoCAM, our two current training programs, AniMissions and the Frontier Comics Seminar, cover most of what the SoCAM covered during its ten-year history.

Here are some of her thoughts on art and the SoCAM.


K: Where did you grow up? When did you decide you were an artist?

M: I grew up on a small town in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. I decided to be an artist at the age of eighteen but I wasn't that serious yet. Around the age of twenty-four was when I became a little bit more serious about it. Just a little. Hahah!

K: How did the SoCAM develop your artistic skills?

M: The SoCAM developed my consistency, speed, discipline and fun!

How about we go higher than deeper?

K: What's your favorite thing to draw?

M: I like drawing details on any subjects. Like not just seeing what been put on the table, but seeing the seed or the nerves and stuff.

The brain tonic

K: What's the best part of the creative process? What's the hardest part?

M: The best part is the last few sessions, when my motor is already aware of what we are doing and we just go with the flow. The hardest part is the research part and creating a character. Especially when it needs to be recreated.

K: Is there something that you have created that you are most proud of?

M: I like the Tibetan old lady I made (with colored pencil) during the drawing class in the SoCAM.

Tibetan woman

K: If someone were curious about the SoCAM, what would be the first thing you would want them to know about it?

M: Learn to unlearn. And go with the flow.

K: What are your longterm artistic goals?

M: I hope that my works will speak goodness and never stop exploring. As long as I have a firm foundation.

Ode to the Sea

K: What advice would you give to an artist struggling with artist's block?

M: Pray. Empty yourself. Get a bike. Go see other people.

K: Where can we see your art online, or get in touch with you?

M: I have Wordpress: meling420.wordpress.com and Instagram: melingerzone

Thanks again! Thanks also, Kyla!

Fiesta mandala

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