“People often generalize street artists as going nowhere in life, and that really bothers me. People often tell me it should just be a hobby and it wouldn’t take me anywhere,” Jappy Agoncillo shares.
Jappy initially set out to be a legal professional, but soon found himself giving that life up to pursue a career as an artist. “Street artist” isn’t on the list of the most lucrative jobs in the country, yet the Legal Management graduate chose to become one, and for a good reason: It gives him the freedom to self-expression.
With no credentials to support his claim as a creative, Jappy had to finance everything when he was starting as a muralist. He had to go the extra mile and find willing clients who would commission his work. Jappy gave his 100 percent to every project, until people started noticing his work, clients started inquiring, and soon enough, began hiring him.
Street art in the Philippines doesn’t get as much acknowledgment as other more traditional mediums, and is even frowned upon by some. But the lack of support for his chosen craft never stopped Jappy from realizing his dream.
“Street art teaches you things you don’t normally learn in school, because, as a career choice, there’s no path to follow. There’s no guidebook on how to make it out there,” he points out.
One’s dream can go a different direction. Jappy’s story tells us that your aspirations today may still change, and that’s perfectly okay—it might lead you to something even more fulfilling.
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