#ArtdropSpotlight | Bea Policarpio – Artdrop.shop

#ArtdropSpotlight | Bea Policarpio

In the middle of a global pandemic, a major digital shift and a crazy time where anxiety and fear are at an all-time-high, it's rare to find a breath of fresh air. It's rare to find authentic voices and safe spaces in a noisy digital landscape where everyone seems to be fighting for attention. Yet somehow, Bea Policarpio has not only managed to create a safe environment for her honest creative expression online, but she's also been able to inspire others by simply being herself.

With her distinct way with acrylics - and with words, we gotta say - Bea is your modern-day abstract expressionist. There's life in her that seeps through to every painting she makes.

This week on #ArtdropSpotlight, it's Bea's turn to share what she's been busy with these past months - from her day to day activities to workout routines to a newfound commitment to writing for others.

One of many uplifting quotes on Bea's social media platforms. Photo from Bea Policarpio Online.

What were you working on prior to the lockdown? How has the all this affected your practice as an artist?
 
"Early into the year, I was juggling time between my marketing clients (I freelance creative consultancy & content creation) and my main client: my art practice. I was creating for my first solo exhibit supposedly scheduled for this summer when 2020 clearly had other plans, so it’s been postponed indefinitely. I was initially heartbroken about it but when I remember that everyone’s plans have been deferred too it puts things into perspective. I’m just lucky to be alive and safe with my family right now!
 
To be honest, I attacked the first weeks of lockdown with the manic pace of life that I’m used to. Because my freelance clients shut down temporarily and my exhibit schedule was a big maybe, I had to fill the void somehow. Naturally, I turned to the dark side—Tiktok. [LOL] Joke time aside, maybe I was in denial and thought that we’d only be suspended for month and a half tops. In season one of ECQ, I cracked down on an ambitious bucket list and did Youtube workouts daily to offset my restless energy.

I found myself avoiding the canvas, but circled back to other creative projects I’d been meaning to start.

Fast forward 60+ days of quarantine, I’ve had lots of time to reflect—prior this, I really had been going awfully fast in all aspects of my life. In the past, my brain has always coped best with anxiety by leaning into action. I’m more comfortable doing than just being. Unfortunately as our country’s political dramas made it clear that the plan was there is no plan—I had to adjust my own."

Expression is survival. Photos from Bea Policarpio Online.

What is your routine like these days?

"Since then, I’ve changed my pace from metaphorical sprints to a marathon strategy. Direction is infinitely more important than speed, so my priorities now are self-care and creative play to avoid burning out. Instead of trying to cross off big goals everyday, I just stick to a few daily non-negotiables. My best rituals include 20 minutes of journaling by hand every morning—this has been my thread of sanity since 2018—a 15-minute guided meditation, and a 30-45 minute sweatfest. If I can get those done, I consider the day a win. I think it’s important to note that these simple activities don’t have to take a lot of time, but their positive impact on me is huge.

Working from home, I stick with the One Thing strategy: What is the one thing can I do today that, if done, will make everything else easier or unnecessary?

Often, my answer is to just paint because it puts me in the best mood and feeling good creates a domino effect: it gives me more energy to tackle my “next-best things” or second priority tasks for the day."

Bea shares her recommendations via new quarantine project: a weekly newsletter, And we love them!

Have you been working on new projects, collections or pieces while in lockdown? Any other venues where we can support you? 

Yes! My new years resolution was to use my creativity to serve others more concretely. When lockdown started and the existential crises ensued, I asked myself how I could be a gift of time—rather than a waste of time—to others. For a while now I’ve wanted to connect with the online world in a more substantial way, but the attention span on most feeds tends to limit deep discussion. So I turned to my other great love: Writing.

This quarantine, I’ve started an email newsletter called #StudioNotes. This passion project has been my north star and given me a much needed sense of structure and purpose.

The deal is, you can expect me in your email inbox every Friday at 6PM with a letter discussing a theme related to creative living. I typically draw themes from the current state of my studio and/or matters of the heart, combined with my favorite source materials and pop culture references. I tackle subjects such as imposter syndrome and overcoming creative blocks balanced with stories about heroes I love, like Ariana Grande and John Mayer. I’ve always been a Hermione Granger type and generally miss geeking out on college reflection papers—but this time, it’s about topics that matter deeply to me. It’s honestly been a lot of fun to celebrate what I’ve learned and share useful resources! The work is its own reward, most especially when I receive thoughtful letters back from readers! I’ve recently made my publication more visible, so I really hope the Artdrop community can subscribe to #StudioNotes too!

Artwork in recent open letter to Filipino artist. Photo from Bea Policarpio Online.

To end, we asked Bea what gives her hope and she simply answered, "Creating to cope, definitely—art is the highest form of hope." She says that hope can be found in the artists, galleries, and collectives helping out in this crisis. "I look forward to what I’m sure will be a Renaissance period post-COVID era—I’m excited to see the Philippine art community rise and I’m honored to be a part of it!", Bea closes.

Everything she shared during the interview speaks for itself. Again, what a breath of fresh air! Another thing about her that is so inspiring is that she seems to be busy only with things that truly matter: self-care, service through her writing, and expression through her art among other things. We're definitely honored to have her with us and we're excited to be alongside her as she continues to reach more people, through her art, words and beautiful soul.

See more of Bea's work on Artdrop here. To contact Bea directly, visit her on Instagram.