My name’s Bernard Abarquez and I like drawing. I draw as an exercise. It’s meditative. It’s focus, concentration. Sometimes I think I have ADD, but when I draw, it kind of disappears.
I think creating something is one of the most fulfilling things. I remember as a kid, instead of going outside to play, my brother and I would take hockey cards, spread them all out and then choose six or seven cards each, and we’d spend the whole day just drawing them.
I always used life drawing and photo realism as exercices for precision of colour and likeness studies. The whole portrait commission business naturally came along with it and just spread through word of mouth from customers.
At first, commissions would feel just like another colour study — I would judge the final product on pure asthetics and its likeness to the photo with no emotion to the work. But once I started delivering and seeing the responses from each customer, I began to realize and appreciate the subjects that I was drawing. The photos given to me had sentiments and were special to whomever the work was being presented to — this realization changed my perspective and my mindset while drawing. I began to put more heart into it. I was creating gifts, rather then mere reproductions.
While time and compensation for that time is what allows me continue this work, it’s the reward of creating a gift for someone that fuels me to continue and not look at it as a business and exchange for money.
- Bernard Abarquez