Meet Gina Tyquiengco, a 31-year old artist who was born in Fort Lewis, Wash. Growing up, she was taught to always believe in herself, in goodness, in people, and in learning. Tyquiengco attended Indiana University, earned her bachelor’s degree in media arts and science in 2012, and soon after moved to Orlando.
Our featured artist describes herself as open-minded, independent and passionate, sensual, genuine and complex, and yet deeply rooted and loyal to family and friends. She categorizes herself as a “wanderer at heart,” and you can see how that transmits to her art.
“Music is a major part of my life, as is connecting with people from all walks of life. I am driven by my dreams, on which I meditate often, and I am fueled by boundlessness and positivity.”
Let’s get to know Gina’s story, as it’s filled with art and individuality … a story as unique as the paintings she creates.
Nonahood News: What drove you to become an artist? When did you realize creating art was your passion?
Gina Tyquiengco: I rediscovered my love and talent for art after leaving the corporate world. I didn’t have any specific artistic goals. There wasn’t a specific style that I was trying to develop. In the beginning, it was just a hobby, but the more I created, the more I saw myself as a real artist. Now, art has become something I need to do on a daily basis.
NHN: How long have you been an artist?
GT: I’ve been creating all my life, but only in the past three years have I begun to take myself seriously as an artist.
NHN: How often do you find yourself creating art?
GT: Every day. If I’m not painting, then I’m drawing or doodling or taking photos. It’s important that I practice creativity every day.
NHN: How did you come across your signature look (the three colors) and what would you call that look? How long did it take you to discover yourself as an artist?
GT: My use of black and white honors who I am as a multi-racial artist, growing up half black and half Guamanian, while raised in a Pacific Islander culture. Who I am is a culmination of all the people who have been in my life – all races, religions and ethnicities. My work reflects this. My use of black and white represents the dual worlds I live in and how they blend together. I identify as the gold between them, awakening to my identity as a woman and an artist. I don’t think that I’ve truly discovered myself as an artist yet – I am still becoming.
NHN: Which of your pieces would you consider to be your favorites? (Pick a top three.)
1. Her: 16″ H x 20″ W, acrylic, ink, and gold leaf foil on canvas, 2016. This was one of my earlier works that inspired me to take my art more seriously.
2. Glow: Each canvas 24″ H x 18″ W, acrylic, ink, and gold leaf foil on canvas (diptych), 2018.
3. Strike the Root: 18″ W x 24″ H, acrylic, ink, and gold leaf foil on paper, 2018.
NHN: Which of your projects was the most time-consuming or challenging and why?
GT: The most time-consuming and challenging project was the second commission that I ever did. The work is titled Keep Going, and it is 60″ W x 48″ H. It was challenging because it was the largest canvas I had worked with at the time, and I was working in a very small space. It was hard to move around and be as expressive as I wanted, simply because of the size. It was also challenging because I blended my white and black paint to display more grey hues instead of my usual bold black and white combo. I doubted myself so many times during this process, which caused me to push back the completion date, but the client was understanding. I’m usually confident in everything that I do, so it was a humbling experience. But the work turned out great, and the client was happy in the end.
NHN: What are some of your dream projects?
GT: I have so many dream projects. I would love to paint a mural using my signature style that I use with my lettering work. I’d also like to develop a creative retreat with friends, host creative workshops, and work with textiles.
NHN: What serves as your inspiration on a day-to-day basis?
GT: I’m inspired by everything around me. Something as simple as the texture on the wall or the way light hits an object inspires me. People inspire me. Music inspires me. I listen to music to set the mood when I paint, and my paintings reflect how I feel when the music flows through me. If a song brings back a memory that transports me to another time and place, that emotion inevitably appears in my work.
NHN: What are your future goals and plans?
GT: I will turn my dream projects into goals that will be accomplished with passion. Also, I just want to do more of what I am doing now – more art, more travel, and more collaborations with people that I love and respect.
On the Cover: Gina Tyquiengco’s “Her”
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We are looking for interesting artists who live in the Nonahood to be featured. If you or someone you know should be nominated to be a Nonahood News Featured Artist, send your nomination to http://nonahood.to/artist.