People turn to art for different reasons. For some of us, it is a refuge from challenging situations and a guide for life-changing crossroads. For Nice So, God’s providential care manifested through art, and it helped her deal with lupus.
Unlike other painters whose art journey started in school competitions, Nice’s first paintings were made while confined in a hospital bed. The then 10-year old who was diagnosed with lupus has recognized that art brings joy and optimism. (Read: Meet the Pinay Who Never Lets ‘SLE’ Get in Her Way of Living)
“I wanted to decorate my hospital room with drawings, so that doctors and nurses won’t feel so lonely or pity me when they get inside my room,” she tells My Pope Philippines. “It started with drawing on pages of a simple sketchpad and painting on them using poster colors… I didn’t notice the number of paintings grew into 50 pieces.”
From then on, Nice has never stopped painting. Fifteen years after her ordeal, her passion for the arts has become her own personal way of celebrating God while making a living.
Painting to Help Others
Painting in her hospital bed opened up opportunities for Nice. She was lucky to have enough support for her artistic pursuit. But still, she was hesitant at first
“My doctors encouraged me to have [the paintings] exhibited and sell them, but at that time, I didn’t want to because I didn’t feel like selling it just for me to have money,” says the 25-year old painter. (Read: 28yo Cebuano Priest Shares Healing Journey From a Rare Disease)
She then decided to use art to help other people instead of just selling it for her financial gain. “My doctors told me about the children who were indigent and confined in the ward of the hospital. They told me I could make them my beneficiary instead and that became my first exhibit and I still continue this up to now.”
Inspired by God
Fifteen years after her Lupus ordeal, Nice is now a full-time painter. Her portfolio shows the optimism that has carried her through challenges and difficulties. She describes her art as something that “mostly represents life, faith, growth, and love.”
While she takes inspiration from everything around her— books, photos, movies, nature, fashion— she says she is most inspired by people’s stories and by God. (Read: Art Bolinas: Why He Quit Corporate Life to Paint Images of God)
“Hearing about fond memories of family and friends makes me happier in creating paintings because I always pray that when people see my paintings I hope it will make them smile and remind them of God’s love,” she shares.
Moving and Paying It Forward
Like many artists, Nice is blessed to be making a living out of her passion, but for her, it is God’s continued guidance and grace that sustains her art. (Read: 5 Pieces That Will Take Your Breath Away at the Musée du Louvre)
“I always tell this to people: yes I get money from painting. But the reason I stay is that I always pray to God to guide me if this path is where He wants me to be, and God always answers this prayer through the people who will message me or tell me that my painting made their day or it encouraged them in some way,” she says.
As a fervent believer, Nice also asks God’s help for her future plans. “I’m praying to have my own studio where I could share and teach people about painting, create other products that I could put my works on, collaborate with people or brands that I truly believe in,” she says.
“[I’m also praying to] have my own exhibits again where I could have beneficiaries and a cafe that could also act as a shop or gallery where we can help promote other young artists’ works,” she adds.