Friday, June 14, 2024

Forging Networks in Artistry

By Kristia Niña Daymiel | April 26, 2024

In the realm of artistic souls, passion serves as the cornerstone that spans the chasm between imagination and reality — whether it be through the intricate stitches in handicraft, the rhythmic pulse of a beat, or the eloquence of a word. But for Silliman University (SU) special interest guild founders Jeyah Culanag of SU Producing and Songwriting Artists (SUPASA) and Matthew Yasi of SU Writers’ Bloc (SWB), there needs to be more than just passion when it comes to cultivating wins in the world of art. For them, while interest frontlines an artist’s pursuit, belongingness likewise fosters creative excellence.

And if the search for a community of artists is obscure, perhaps the quest is not about stumbling upon an existing organization but building the groundwork for a new one.

Immersed in music and literature, respectively, Jeyah and Matthew share similar sentiments in starting an organization: They aim to write stories unique to their pursuit.

Matthew: Find the concept, the mindset, the people

Once a high-schooler on the lookout for an oasis of literature in SU, Matthew — now a senior political science student — instead forged his path by creating a writing guild after his search yielded none.

“I thought, ‘No it’s not gonna happen,’ so I might as well make it for myself by myself,” he explained.

Engraved with the courage to start a writing guild, Matthew made a concept that provides for creative writers a place of solace — allowing them to express and nurture their talents among like-minded people. As for Matthew, he found this dwelling place in SWB.

Crafting an organization, especially from a blank slate, sure stands apart from the experience of joining one. This is a point Matthew clearly emphasized in the account of his journey. That’s why he believes that, if there’s any trait he credits his drive in starting a bloc, it would be “impatience and tenacity.” Perhaps, Matthew could just delve into an established writing guild after graduation; but for him, he would better yet already take his shot at what he longs to seize — building a network among SU’s creative writers.

Despite having a laid out concept for the guild he planned to grow, it seems to Matthew that launching his agenda in full tilt wouldn’t have been possible if not for the help of other fellow literary enthusiasts. Behind his personal initiative, Matthew believes that the Bloc has better thrived from “finding the right people,” helping him pave the way for SWB to flourish.

“The first thing we did was create a core of officers,a core team would help us in organizing everything,” he added.

Asked about what he would like to share with anyone who is planning to venture into starting an organization, Matthew emphasized three key points: concept, mindset, and people.

While an action plan and mentality help kickstart a society, he also believes that working with proper allies allows the work to prosper.

“At least, in my case, it’s more of trying to find that mindset and trying to find the right people, and just…convincing yourself if you’re really committed to doing this,” he asserted.

Through Matthew’s willpower, SWB indeed gathered literary minds. And as a new story unfolds with every pen stroke, the bloc likewise grows — along another uprising guild in SU, which pursues a more-or-less similar endeavor pioneered by another artistic soul.

Jeyah: Find the people, the idea, and the support

Behind the beats and tunes, SUPASA echoes here and there. From it stems the passion, determination, and support that its president and founder, third-year foreign affairs student Jeyah Culanag, considers as the catalyst to her pursuit.

It all started when Jeyah, as a songwriter, sought a platform to publish her songs. However, she was still uncertain about how it should be done. Ignited with the fire to push through her with her aspiration, she shared this sentiment with a friend, with whom she later on worked hand-in-hand in witb to bring forth SUPASA.

Thus, for her, everything first started with people. Consulting one friend after another, she realized along the way how many other individuals were seeking a place where their art aligns and grows. It was then that she came up with the idea to create a space for music enthusiasts in SU, with the hope to weave in fellowship and extend potential.

“If they want to do music seriously, this could be their stepping stone,” Jeyah said.

Designing SUPASA to be artist-centric, she assured that her scheme for the organization is also diverse and, at the same time, bears a collective identity among those who find interest in bringing SUPASA into reality. She went online encouraging people to put out suggestions through an online form. From there onwards, she built SUPASA without leaving the perspectives of other creatives behind.

While Jeyah finds pride in launching such a community out of a blank canvas, she believes that the support from uprising talents who long for SUPASA to become possible made a significant impact on makinb the organization the fortress of singers it has become today.

“First and foremost, we started with an idea, and then we gathered support for the idea to make sure it actually works. We did this through a Google form,” Jeyah added.

Perhaps, whether it be a poem or a song, art further thrives in spaces that suit its pursuit — likely how artists find solace in a community of shared passion. As for Matthew and Jeyah, however, finding the networks that serve as fortresses for their talents doesn’t necessarily have to be sought, but fought for against all odds. Not only would this fight be for themselves, but also for other artists — despite it having to be painted from an empty canvas.


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