It’s always amazing to hear stories of people seriously pursuing their passion. Many sacrifice their passion for professions they don’t love. This fear hasn’t stopped the creative artist behind Lilila Primitive Art, Carlo V. Rodriguez.
For those who frequent gigs and concerts in Cebu, you have no doubt seen Carlo. Always smiling and talking to people, he is the creative designer for all the fashion accessories, trinkets and sculptures inspired by earth and mystery. Whenever we think of Carlo, we always think about this quote:
“Hard work becomes easy when your work becomes your play. Never underestimate the value of loving what you do” via The 4-Hour Workweek.
This is something we can all relate to. Find out how he found his way to selling his awesome artwork. Here’s Carlo, the creative artist behind Lilila Primitive Art.
Carlo: I am Carlo V. Rodriguez. I graduated with a degree in Marine Biology in 2010. After I graduated, I decided to pursue my passion for arts and sculpting. This made me set aside my Marine Biologist career for a while. I figured that I should take a break from studying for a while after being in school for quite sometime. I still join a few freelance marine biology projects with my colleagues around the Philippines if time permits. Aside from sculpting and selling my crafts, I skateboard, surf, longboard, skimboard, mountain climb, go caving and travel. These activities also contribute as an inspiration to my art and allow me to create concepts for them.
I have been creating and selling stuff since I was in high school. It started as a fun hobby and a way to fund our travels. When I got into college, that’s when I realized that I could earn and live with the money from our crafts.
032: So what’s the inspiration behind these crafts?
Carlo: Inspiration comes in a lot of forms. If I were to give a quick list, it would be nature, the world, different cultures, simple machines, people’s experiences, the tribes of the world, the movies I watch, the mystical world, the creatures of the world and expressions. All of these have different things to offer as I make my crafts, but mainly, I take inspiration from ancient cultures where trinkets and gems are the source of happiness, beliefs, prophecies, and good vibes.
032: Where do you usually get your ideas for new designs?
Carlo: When I go about my normal things in my day, I usually hunt for new designs at the back of my head. I also take note of the everyday people that I see. I check to see what is common between all of them in terms of the trinkets they wear, and lastly, I check out the people in the lime light and see what recent gear they are wearing to beautify their individuality. When I gather the information in my head, I don’t replicate the idea, but I take the variables that have made it whole and extract how they were able to come up with it. But sometimes it just comes to me and I make them as I please.
Carlo: Well, amazingly enough, they were drawn to it like coke on a hot day. They usually seem puzzled then interested, and they always assume that I bought it somewhere and resell them. The moment they find out it’s handmade, they flip with amazement. But yeah, we can’t please everyone, some people are actually weirded out and sometimes disgusted by some of them. The real challenge was actually getting people that matter to me to believe in me. I’ve went through a number of discouragements and doubts about my craft because of the unbelievers, but I pushed through though despite their negativity.
032: Do you still recall your first customers?
Carlo: It would be my classmates. College was where I started really asking for payment for my work, I was in Business Administration then, I guess I carry some of that with me today.
Carlo: Price range is significantly different if I put into account all the types of crafts that I create, from anklets, to necklaces, to ash trays, and large sculptures to water bongs. I’d have to say 50 php to 5,000 php roughly.
032: Why should I grab some items from you?
Carlo: Choose an item that captures you and be different from everyone else. You will be the only one who has that.
032: What should we look forward to from your items and store?
Carlo: I’m thrilled to be in the Assembly as one of the artists. I have only a few to display for now, but I guarantee that more will come. You may be able to see crafts that you never imagined would be possible to materialise.