June 9, 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic may have been a very challenging period, especially for the young people with the lockdowns taking toll on their emotional wellbeing resulting to the increased cases of depression and suicide attempts, but Joshua P. Arce, a grade 12 student at the Pangtod National High School (PNHS) in Bucay, the lockdown was a time to hone his drawing skills.
Today, he is now earning money from his art works.
Arce is currently gaining attention in the social media after his teachers noticed his exceptional sketching skills and featured him in their Facebook page during the National Arts Month celebration in February.
Among the amazing portrait drawings of this 18-year-old from the remote barangay of Bangbangcag are those of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., David of Michelangelo, and Dasha Taran.
In an interview with Joshua, he shared how he sharpened his skills in portrait drawing.
“During my pre-school years, I was already interested in drawing but I have not fully developed this hobby,” he said, but was already joining poster-making contests and was a cartoonist in their journalism group.
He started drawing portraits during the lockdown.
“It started during the pandemic. I got bored because we were not allowed to go out and we were only doing modules, so I thought of enhancing my skills during those times,” he stated.
Today, Joshua is accepting orders.
“I draw various portraits and the price varies on the size of the paper. For example, the A4 size bond paper costs around P1,000,” he said.
There are also those who want their portrait in A3 size or in vellum board paper. The bigger the size of the paper, the higher the price, he added.
The second of four children of an overseas worker mother and a farmer father, Joshua is proud that he is now earning his own money from his drawings, which he also shares with his siblings for their schooling.
“As there are those who commission me for drawing, I get to hone my skills and earn income,” he said.
This talented youth plans to take Fine Arts or Architecture in college.
His advice to people who have talent in drawing – keep on practicing. Be patient and persevering because drawing sometimes becomes boring.
PNHS principal Norma Pineda plans to put up a Fine Arts Club in school to give exposure for students who possess skills as that of Joshua.
“We will establish a club intended to develop and showcase these skills among the students and we will further discover more talented individuals like Joshua,” Pineda said.
She urged Joshua to teach his younger schoolmates to draw and continue to be a good example to them.
“According to him, he started honing his talent during the pandemic. That means he used his time productively and now he is earning from it,” Pineda said.
Those who are interested to have their own self-portrait sketch, they can contact Joshua Arce through his Facebook account.