This Guy… His Name is Paul

I hate to break this to you guys, but sometimes we criticize other people’s work because we don’t appreciate their art.

I am not an exceptional artist – not a photographer, not a painter, not a designer. I am an aspiring writer… and let me tell you this, writing is an art… and writing is hard.

There are times that I feel so inspired that I can be able to produce something beautiful from my shallow collection of vocabulary. But there are also times that my creative juices just don’t work… as if they are lost, as if I left them somewhere.

That’s why I admire those people who have natural gifts when it comes to art. Who doesn’t like to see beautiful pieces, artworks to behold? Who doesn’t like listening to good music that makes you think, sing, or dance? Who doesn’t like to read compelling words, fiction or non-fiction?

There is a guy. His name is Paul.

He is popular in my school, in my Alma Mater. He is also popular outside it. He’s got those eyes, and those lenses, and those beautiful photographs. He’s got such a nice art. He’s got such an intense passion for photography.

I don’t know how or why or when, but one day I just happened to see one of his beautiful photos, and I admired the photograph so much that I started to look forward for more photos… I waited and waited for the next issues of the school paper not only because of the stories, but the photos as well.

I knew the name, it’s kind of stuck in many girl’s mouths. But I did not know the guy… not until later.

We had this team building in junior year. It was raining so hard that we had to weather the floods inside the campus just to go out, so I and a friend folded our jeans… and then somebody snapped a photo, it was him. I did not like that one, to be honest.

But later that month, I became really close to this girl. Let’s call her A. A is such a nice girl, a photographer, and well, someone who appreciates art. Then Paul met A, and they became friends… Then eventually, I became friends with him, too.

I knew Paul and his stuff because of A, and another friend. I only learned the “facts” from them because Paul and I, we were not that close. It was just some kind of “hi-hello” type of friendship. But I did witness those moments when Paul lets his guard down – he is nice, even vulnerable at times. He’s got issues, but he’s not bad.

I did not even add him on Facebook then, or liked his fan page, because really, I’m not his fan. I’m a fan of his art.

As days passed by, I got to know more about Paul. Not really specifics on academics and family and social life, but more on little bits of love life and his art. Then I realized, the more you get to know the person, the more you will hate or appreciate him/her. The latter applies.

A is such a nice girl, a very determined person, a dreamer, a strong individual, and she is not a hater. So I guess that’s the reason why I think Paul is great, it’s because of her.

So anyway, Paul and I had some conversations – mostly through chats and text messages and short phone calls. And from those, I learned more about him. He loves photography and he is passionate about it. He thinks deep; He wants to be a better person. Well, who doesn’t?

While Paul have those “ere” moments that people hate, he still is the same vulnerable and artistic guy. It never changed. You can hate him for his “ere”, but you’ll appreciate his “ere” when you see his art. He have “girl issues”, but many guys have those… it doesn’t mean he is exempted, because just like any other guy, he is just your ordinary guy… except with an extraordinary art… and well, charm to girls.

So yeah. I just went over those hateful comments in Yahoo. Paul was featured in Y!Philippines because of his different perspective in the recent calamity that hit the country. As usual, he took photos of the university. Flooded maybe, but standing still, imbued with unending grace. It’s his routine. That’s his art. That’s the way he sees it, and I liked it not because we are friends (that’s part of it, though) but because it promises something beautiful… something like the cliché “a rainbow after the rain”.

Just so you know. Paul? He may not have lots of money, clothes, medicine or food to donate… but he gives hope. Too impractical? Well, an optimistic or trying-hard-to-be-optimistic buys it! It’s hope… in the form of art. Tragedy, in a different and better perspective.

I was annoyed with people who “trash talked” his art. It’s his art. His art holds no boundaries. His art is a product of his heart and his passion. I may not be an artist who could talk endless and professionally about art, but I believe in his art.

Segue. I met an industrial engineer about a month ago. I wasn’t aware of his art, so when I interviewed him, I was at loss at some parts. But then, I was impressed by the way he speaks about his job, about his art, about his creation. After the interview (and some chit-chats), he handed me a large frame with an artwork, a canvass – a ballerina, no face, but beautiful. I wasn’t able to stare for so long but I liked it and I was excited to show them off. When I reached our office, I showed the “gift” to our graphic artists and they exclaimed their appreciation “Wow”. “Beautiful”. “Where’d you get that?”… Then, I went to the editorial office, and showed them to the editors. Then one of them said “Ano yan? Nakakatakot!” (“What is that? It’s scary!”) And just like that, I want to keep the artwork for myself. Because I wanted it. I loved it. But because it’s against our rules to keep anything given to you by an interviewee as things like that are considered the company’s property, I didn’t. But I wish I did. They let it catch dirt and dust, together with a heap of “useless” stuff. I liked the art. The boss didn’t.

But what can we do? People just don’t get to appreciate your type of art all the time. Criticisms may be good; they can be constructive ones. But I don’t think one can totally disqualify an artwork as an art just because of someone’s lack of taste. We all have our own art, our own tastes, our own type. I respect that. And I guess Paul deserves that same kind of respect.

So yeah. There’s this guy. He is my friend. He is an artist and I believe in his art. This guy looks tough and stable, but he has a soft heart. This guy? He loves his art, and he does everything to improve his craft. This guy? He never stops believing that he can be better – in all aspects of life.

This guy… his name is Paul.

Note: For my next post, I reblogged something from someone’s blog and it’s related to this one.


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think. :)

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