The pandemic has not been easy for us. Aside from coronavirus threat, we also grapple with the distractions of our usual routines. For Hannah Castalone, the pandemic has challenges, but it also comes with a silver lining: the rediscovery of her passion for the arts.
Hannah has always enjoyed creating art and making something out of her imagination. “Ever since I was little, I have always been drawn to the arts. I’m always amazed at how I can turn something from my imagination into an actual tangible object,” she tells My Pope Philippines.
In school, art brought her joy. “As I grew older, I would always look forward to school projects where I could apply my love for art… I remember my parents would often scold me because half of my school notebooks were filled with random drawings instead of schoolwork,” Hannah joyfully recalls.
However, just like many artists, Hannah opted for a degree that would lead to a more “lucrative” career for her. “After graduating from high school, I took a course that was deemed ‘in-demand’ instead. I put aside my passion for the arts and focused on my studies and personal life. This continued even after college, ” she says.
While Hannah’s artistic journey seemed to be over, she unexpectedly rekindled her love for painting in 2020, when the pandemic happened. (Read: Five ways to do soul-searching while in quarantine)
“I thought my passion for the arts was gone, but last year in the midst of the pandemic, I came back to my first love: art,” she says. “I’ve realized that my passion was never gone. It’s always been there waiting for me to return. I’ve not stopped painting since then.”
Whimsical, Dreamlike, Surreal Art
For someone who rediscovered her passion for the arts during this pandemic, developing her technique and style remains challenging. But thanks to artists like Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Dominic Rubio, and Ivan de Jesus, Hannah is slowly finding her niche.
“These artists influenced the development of my art style… I am leaning more towards surrealism and the lowbrow art movement,” she says. (Read: A Look Into the Pope’s Most Favorite Painting)
Today, Hannah makes art that she describes as “mostly whimsical, dreamlike and surreal.” She combines her artist-inspirations with her childhood experiences in developing her own style.
“My main subjects are usually children and women in a fantasy setting. I grew up watching fantasy films and playing video games which heavily inspired my art today,” Hanna shares.
Challenges, New Directions
Aside from continuously working on finding her niche, Hannah is also candid about the challenges of making a living out of her passion. (Read: A Prayer for Artists and Creatives Around the World)
“One of the biggest challenges I have faced is marketing my paintings. Finding potential buyers who would take an interest in my artworks can be exhausting and often disheartening,” she says. “That is why I’m thankful for Art Show PH for helping new artists like myself in showcasing our artworks to a greater audience.”
Hannah also credits her family, friends, and God as her motivators. “What keeps me going are the people who believe in me, my family and friends who’ve never stopped supporting me,” she says.
“Most importantly, it’s my faith in God that gives me the strength not to give up on my dreams. He’s given me this talent, and I will not put it to waste.”