“Keep on creating cause we are created to create.”
Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion, because your passion might be something that the world needs”– Queenie Dungo of qletters
For some, art is just a matter of something to be looked at, a hobby, a business, or an outlet. But for others, art means more to them. It is an expression of their passion and fulfilling their purpose. For Queenie Dungo, a calligrapher and a watercolor artist, and the woman behind qletters, art is something you can grow and evolve with. Through art, she believes that you can create with deeper meaning and have your own voice.
Art as a hobby of an artistically inclined woman
Queenie has always been interested in art since she was young and would do different kinds of artworks. In 2016, she had started doing calligraphy after seeing a post of an artistically written quote in calligraphy.
Learning despite challenges
After seeing the calligraphy post from Instagram, she started searching for materials and brushes used for calligraphy. Queenie, being out of work and was just a fresh graduate from college at that time, realized that the materials were expensive for her to buy. She researched further to find alternative materials she can use to pursue calligraphy. She eventually found out that Crayola markers are suited for beginners. Good thing that when her aunt from abroad came, she brought Crayola markers as a homecoming gift for the young ones in their family. Hence, she thought that it was an answered prayer that her materials were provided. Queenie started with Crayola markers and some cheap materials just to be able to do calligraphy. As she pursued doing her craft, she realized that art materials are important to produce good art. Using substandard art materials make her work look lifeless and dull, and her watercolor painting looks chalky. To improve her art, she eventually used brush pens and nib pens with ready ink.
Overcoming hindrances to pursue her passion
Faced with challenges in pursuing her passion, Queenie prayed whether to continue doing art or not and even asked if it’s the right one for her to pursue. She just took things one step at a time and believed to just allow God to lead her course. Events confirmed that she was on the right track. Regardless that she faced struggles, she always found a way to overcome them. Also, her challenges led her to be more creative, skillful, and resourceful.
Queenie learned calligraphy without any mentor nor have attended any workshops. Her room has become her learning room and workspace. Since she cannot afford to enroll in any workshops, she is entirely self-taught. Although calligraphy was initially hard for her, she still persevered to learn. She believes that practice makes progress. She watched tutorial videos on Youtube and practiced doing the strokes shown until she learned. She also followed artists with tutorial posts on Instagram. She also researched further materials that she needs to use to improve her craft. Every finished artwork that she makes, she posts it on her wall making her room as her gallery as well.
Evolving to watercolor painting
Initially, Queenie only intends to learn calligraphy, however, she realized that calligraphy looks better if it comes with watercolor painting. Moreover, as she practiced watercolor painting, she realized that she enjoyed it more because it allows her creativity to flow and enables her to play with colors.
Art as a therapy
Previously, Queenie has been doing calligraphy intermittently. She would only paint when she feels like doing it or when something has inspired her to create. When she suffered from depression and anxiety, she started taking art seriously. When her doctor said she needs an outlet and something that would keep her occupied and busy, she instantly thought she would cope up with depression and anxiety through art in the form of calligraphy and watercolor painting. This has been effective for Queenie in dealing with her illness.
Art as a means to inspire others
Eventually, Queenie made an Instagram account and posted some of her works on it. She was motivated to share her art pieces even more on social media when someone expressed that she was encouraged after seeing her posts. Queenie genuinely appreciates and is motivated when she reads comments and messages like “thank you, I needed this today”. Queenie finds her fulfillment in doing her art knowing that some people are encouraged because of it.
Passion as a theme, motivation, and ingredient for uniqueness
Being a natural artist, Queenie doesn’t create just to impress others, nor focus on gaining followers or likes. The themes of Queenie’s artworks are mostly bible verses and encouragement lettering. She believes that art is a powerful language and speaks to us, hence, she intends that her posters are not just displays but good reminders too. She wanted to use the talent that God has bestowed upon her to give glory to Him and encourage others as well. In her own words she shared,
“I want to use yung talent na binigay ni God for me for others na ma encourage sila and for His glory”
“I want to use the talent that God has given me for others, to encourage them and for His (God’s) glory.”
Inspiration triggers and creative fatigue
Queenie also experiences creative fatigue when she paints every day, that’s why she believes taking a break once in a while is helpful. When Queenie feels that God speaks to her through bible verses, or a quote has impacted on her, she would immediately do lettering for it so she wouldn’t forget it. Queenie also gets inspiration from other artists and some artworks from Pinterest. She is also into florals and nature subjects
Art as a trade
Although Queenie has started with art as just a hobby, opportunities eventually come her way, hence art has become her trade. People close to her recognized her talent and became her initial clients. When she made her Instagram account, she was overwhelmed that despite being new and only having a few followers, she has received messages from different people inviting her for collaboration. Eventually, even companies from abroad also noticed her work and collaborated with her. It was then that she realized that you do not need too many likes on social media to be noticed. You just have to create something that will have an impact on people. At present, Queenie intends to hone her skill even more, to turn her art services into a business. She wants to focus on making invitations, wedding signage, wall prints, customized souvenirs, and conduct workshops in the future.
Words of encouragement for budding artists
Queenie can relate with budding artists, as she was once like them. Through her limitations, she has learned how to be resourceful and utilized Youtube as her online lecture classroom, Pinterest as books to look for inspiration and Instagram to present and share her works. Although Queenie is a self-taught calligraphy and watercolor artist, she still believes that it is good to have a mentor or attend some workshops if you have a budget. Also, she has generously shared her tip for beginners that they can learn calligraphy and watercolor painting on sites like Skillshare.
Based on experience, she realized the importance of investing in your tools, as good quality art materials will enable you to produce good artworks. When asked about her life lesson advice to those who want to get into arts and be a calligrapher and painter, she mentioned the importance of practicing and continual learning. Although she knows that it can be hard at first, she emphasized that one should not give up because patience is the key. She also pointed out the significance of being motivated with the right motivation. Lastly, she said…
“Never compare your work to others, madi-discourage ka lang. And if you’re planning to post them online, don’t be motivated by likes, comments, or gaining followers. Keep on creating cause we are created to create.”
“Never compare your work to others, you will just be disappointed. And if you’re planning to post them online, don’t be motivated by likes, comments, or gaining followers. Keep on creating cause we are created to create.”
Queenie strongly believes that we should not be purely passion oriented only but we should also have a purpose. Passion is important to do something that you ought to do in life. Also, the courage to pursue your passion is significant because your passion might be something that the world needs. Just like her experience, Queenie persisted and never stopped learning despite circumstances. She persevered to be better for her wellness and her craft. She opted to remain true to herself, her passion, and her purpose. She believes that if you create something meaningful, something that has a purpose, and something that will have an impact on people, your works will speak for you and eventually be recognized.
Q letters by Queenie
Quennie is open to collaboration and commissions. She does calligraphy, watercolor painting, posters, glass lettering, embossed mugs and tumbler, and custom-made invitations. At present, she isn’t yet conducting any online or onsite workshops. Some of her artworks are available for purchase at thecommandment.co under the name Q Dungo. To follow Queenie on social media you can check out @qletters on Instagram. To get in touch with her you can send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message her on Instagram.
Live contently and happy 💛
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