Xander Calceta is one of the Philippines' critically acclaimed visual artists in this modern day. His humble beginnings will not only inspire you to keep on going with your dreams and passion, but will also keep you grounded when you have made it.
This man has travelled to different cities of the United States like New York and San Francisco just to name a few all in the name of art. Anyone who has seen his work were left astounded and with their jaws dropped twice.
Not only is he making the world a better place with his paintings, but he is also imparting his vision to the next generations, as he also teaches art. Get to know this man behind the brush and the canvas, as we guarantee that you'll be wanting to buy at least one of his works by the end of this article.
An Interview with Xander Calceta
APA: What is the root/birth/foundation of your creativity… how did you get started?
Xander: If being an artist is hereditary, then maybe I inherited it from my great grandfather who was a con artist back then during the world war 2. He used to make fake moneys while painting murals on the ceiling of churches in the province. When I was in grade school I used to do that too, making fake moneys using paper and colored ballpen, but just to make fun and not to con anyone. So when I discovered that I can draw and can mix colors, that started my interest in arts.
APA: Who do you admire artistically? Who has influenced your work? Who do you study?
Xander: I am a self taught artist. I didn’t go to any formal art school or the like but by just reading art books borrowed from the libraries, by exchanging emails with fellow artists whom I admire, I was able to develop my techniques and approach to art. I do admire all of the impressionists especially the post impressionists like Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin. I also like Anders Zorn, Joaquin Sorolla and John Singer Sargent. But my contemporaries, the one I admire most is Morgan Weistling.
APA: What do you want people to obtain when they look at your work?
Xander: I hope I could bring some message whether if it’s love, hope, faith, etc….something positive as much as possible. Let say I painted a scenery, a landscape with figures for example, I want the audience to create multiple possible scenarios in their mind that would make them at least transcend or somewhat give them inspiration.
APA: What is your workflow? What is your creative process from start to finish?
Xander: The usual pattern is to get inspired of an idea first, then rough sketch, then rethink, then if it’s okay start laying paints on the canvas. Take a mirror and view it there to find for some odd spot, correct it and add layer of paints, stand up and view it from a good angle and distance, continue to lay paints, drink some coffee and have a break, continue to layer it with paint until it is done, take a photo of it to see if it also looks good in a photo, if there is some odd things then adjust till is really done.
APA: What advice would you give to other inspiring artists?
Xander: Like in a free hand drawing class, I always advise my art students not to erase the rough lines as if it is a mistake line, because that line will be his guide to be able to calculate and draw the correct line. In the same way, it is better for an artist to stumble sometimes so that one would learn from it. Those mistakes from the past will be his guide to be able to go to the right path.
APA: What is one mistake every artist should avoid?
Xander: Artist should avoid adrenaline rush. It is bad for the health, they say it is cancerous. Sometimes the brain functions when everything is in a hurry like you have a deadline to finish or because of tough schedules. The result, not as good as one done in time.
APA: What most often inspires your work?
Xander: When I see great and beautiful artworks of other people, it inspires me always to do one also.
APA: If you could hang out with one artist, living or dead, who would that be?
Xander: I would love to hang out with the impressionists and be a certified member of their group. Each and every member of that group is very inspirational and motivating and I would love to be one like them giving inspiration to millions.