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Paolo, Louis, Mina, and Drew on How Twitter Helps Empower Local Talents

Twitter has always been the go-to place for local artists to share their works and connect with their communities. It is where artists encourage each other to hone their craft, and where enthusiasts look for art to find a sense of normalcy, levity, and inspiration despite the tough times we are in.

Despite being locked in each other’s homes, artists continue to thrive on Twitter. It became their gallery or hangout place to meet their fans and followers. Before we cap off February as the National Arts Month, we gathered artists from various industries to share how Twitter became their virtual home.

Paolo Pangilinan (@PaoPangs), Actor – Connecting to fans and inspiring people

As fan meetings did not happen last year, Gaya Sa Pelikula actor Paolo Pangilinan went to Twitter to get in touch with his fans as well as to his friends and family. It is on the platform where he is able to bring conversations closer to home despite the actual physical distance.

“I love using Twitter to connect with people who are avid fans of the show, our shared advocacies, and the undertakings I have been doing before and after the show. Twitter has helped me reach out to friends, family, and supporters more easily due to the ease of communication Twitter brings and how it allows for each message to become amplified,” Pangilinan shared.

Seeing messages from fans on Twitter also became a source of inspiration for Paolo. He inspired many from his recent acting role that puts the spotlight into marginalized communities and hopes to continue creating a mark by giving and being an inspiration to his fans.

“Twitter has been a great source of inspiration and empowerment for me. From artworks made by Stan accounts of Gaya Sa Pelikula, to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. It has greatly helped me keep in touch with the world. I sincerely hope it goes the other way around too,” he shared

Louis Espinosa (@artbyouie), Artist and Painter – Strength in (art) community

Creativity thrives on the platform, thanks to the art community who Tweets their #WIP artworks, and by using #ArtPH to connect with more fellow artists. For Louis Espinosa, Twitter and the community he found in it helped him cope amid the lockdown.

“The art community on Twitter has been helping me heal and regain my fuel for passion especially during the 5-month long burnout I went through last year. Not only with the community but my art moots helped me get up on my feet and to start my engines as well,” Espinosa openly shared.

As he practices his skills, Louis believes that art is not just therapy. It is an expression of emotions and a great method to spread awareness to certain issues. Hence, he goes to Twitter to dive into different messages and forms of art as well as to learn from other equally amazing artists.

“I remain inspired not by just browsing art, supporting my art moots by retweeting and liking their artworks but also being able to sell my recent paintings at gallery shows as well. With that it regained a sense of hope that sparked my passion for the arts even more because I was really hopeless before especially during the course of my months-long burnout,” he shared.

Drew Borja (@HHFlashbacks), Artist (Webcomics) – Fresh inspiration and connections

Art is a shared experience. Enthusiasts and artists used to attend art conventions and celebrate each other’s art. Since this is halted in the pandemic, Drew of Hunghang Flashbacks believes in making the best out of the current situation by appreciating the power of online connections.

“Being an artist online is all about showcasing your creations. Twitter has not only helped me connect with new audiences but also new artist friends, people I look up to, and even the occasional oddballs,” Borja said.

Drew himself made friendships with fellow artists on Twitter. He just returned to the Philippines last August 2020, but he never felt let out as he participated in art prompts on Twitter and by interacting with other artists. In particular, he likes how it is more comfortable to join conversations on the platform.

“In Twitter, comments and feedback aren’t easily flooded or drowned with everything else. I guess that is why it’s more comfortable to build connections there. It gives the sense of familiarity,” he shared. “[My plan is] to release new titles or do more collabs with people. I want to nurture the relationships I have with both my readers and my co-artists.”

Mina V. Esguerra (@minavesguerra), Author – Building community and love for writing

As an accomplished author herself, Mina wanted to inspire other writers to continue their craft. One way is by using the platform to reach out and show actual support for her community.

“My writing community #RomanceClass started on Twitter, when I offered a free writing class via a tweet in January 2013. Since then, at any given time there are probably thirty or so authors in the community actively using Twitter to stay in touch as they write and promote their books, even before lockdown,” Esguerra shared. “During lockdown, we just…kept going. We do theme events and chats on Twitter, do reaction Tweets as we read a book, live tweet what we watch, have threads that update readers on our writing progress,” she added.

Mina admitted that despite being at home and with more spare time in her hands, the situation still made it difficult for her to write. Hence, she looked for ways such as short story challenges to encourage herself and fellow authors to Tweet their writing progress using #tropetastic2021.

“My community started a web series project in the middle of 2020, and 12 of us wrote epilogues for our books but set in quarantine, web series style, as an outlet for our fears and frustrations. We tweeted about the project, hashtag #HelloEverAfter, and received enough contributions from friends on Twitter to produce all the episodes,” she shared.

To further inspire artists on the platform, Mina and Drew will be having a Twitter Q&A session on February 26 and 27. This #OnlyOnTwitter event celebrates National Arts Month and encourages other local and aspiring artists to keep their passion in creating and sharing art.

Join the conversation and celebration on Twitter today!

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