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In the world of visual art, there are those who create, and then there are those who immerse themselves in the creative process to such an extent that it becomes an integral part of their existence. Archie Geotina, the Filipino visual artist whose work resonates with both local culture and international influences, falls firmly into the latter category. In this exclusive interview, we dive into the mind of Archie Geotina as he shares his journey as an artist, his relationship with the picturesque island of Siargao, and the influences that shape his unique brand of art.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a visual artist? What drew you to Siargao as a place to create your art?

Ever since I was a young kid, the first thing I really noticed about myself was the urge to make things. I would always be drawing , or picking up clay to shape or crayons to draw on walls. When I grew up , I would just always be drawing stuff on paper, stuff I see in my head. When I got into College me and my friends got into graffiti and from there i got heavily into street art. From there , it took a lot of years of teaching myself skills and techniques to create my own style. I was very much a product of the internet as well just being barraged with so much information , I took up all that information and slowly learned to sift through it and use it to work for inspiration. The move to Siargao wasn't really to find a place to create art. On the contrary it actually started as a place for me to step back from the noise and chaos and pressure it takes to be an artist. Although when I'm in Siargao , I always have ideas or projects in the back of my head, when i'm here, I really just want to surf and be at peace.

How do you translate the feeling of living on an island into your visual creations?

I don't think there is an active and conscious effort for me to translate the feeling of living on an island into my works. If anything I think the isolation, the sense of freedom and power in some of my works come from my subconscious and if the works ever translate some island vibrations I guess it's the influence of being here for such a long time.But it was never intentional to show or say that "i'm creating from an island".

Could you describe the mediums and techniques you prefer to work with, and why they best convey your artistic vision? Siargao has a close-knit creative community. How has being a part of this community impacted your artistic growth and development?

I work mainly now with photography although I don't consider myself as a photographer per se, using wheat pasting techniques I learned as a street - artist. It's just my ADHD works with and against me sometimes, so the faster I can create the image and artworks that have been in my head for months or years at a time , they will come into fruition with these techniques more consistently. I have done paintings before and other mediums but this is what I'm most comfortable with.

In terms of the Siargao creative community , it's been pretty great. Most people are supportive of each other's endeavors. It's also a lot about the Surf community. The surf community in the Philippines is young but very strong and committed to uplifting each other in some way shape or form.

Your art often features a blend of local culture and modern influences. Can you share some examples of how Siargao's traditional elements find their way into your artwork?

Tradition is heavily respected and celebrated in Siargao, respecting the ones that came before you is a virtue in Surf culture, Siargao and in Philippine culture. Supporting locals and being proud of being local is a sense of pride shared in the island. So being surrounded with all of these, I've always wanted to show our culture albeit sometimes lost in translation, gentrified and mistranslated in a new way mixed with certain nuances.

How do you navigate creating art that resonates with both this local community and a broader, international audience?

When I make things now, I don't make it about myself anymore. It's not to prove something or my skills to anyone.

It's about others. It's about a message. Taking myself out of the equation has allowed me to be more honest about my work and what I want to make resulting in a more fluid creative flow. To be given this platform and audience, that's a gift, a gift to take care of. So it's my responsibility to be aware of it and not take it for granted.

For all the attention it's been getting I go with humility and gratefulness. It's not about you. I always remind myself that there was once a time when all I wanted was to be seen or heard. I think most artists will have that yearning right? Unless you want to just create for yourself which is also fine.

Technology has changed the art world dramatically, from digital creative tools to Internet lenses. How do you incorporate technology into your art?

I use it mainly to edit photos. But I've learned to use its power too, especially to show it to a broader audience. I guess it comes from having my roots in street art, why wait for a year to get your turn in a gallery , when you can instantly use public domain and have it presented the way you want it and get your message across.

Are there new directions you'd like to explore or messages you hope to convey through your art?

There are a few things im cooking up and a few solo shows next year :)

Where can we contact you?

you can contact me via instagram @chichimonsta


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