Bianca Ozaeta is a high school student that’s soon moving up and entering college. She has participated and included her work in a number of various zines and exhibits, particularly through the artist alleys at local conventions. She enjoys watching anime and Asian dramas, playing video games, swimming, spending the last of her money on delicious sweets, and, of course, drawing. You can find more of Bianca and her work on Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr.
Q: Everyone has an origin story. Could you share with us the exact moment (or moments) wherein you realized that you wanted to become an artist?
As childish as it was, I started drawing because of the different cartoons and anime I watched as a kid (Mirmo de Pon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Chalkzone particularly). I was really fond of copying their styles and creating fanart of them.
I was about 7 years old at the time and I only did it whenever I was completely bored and didn’t want to listen in class. It all changed, though, when people around me (like my classmates and family) started noticing my work and praising me. I felt really good about it and decided that this is something that I want to keep doing. After that I kept on drawing and drawing and drawing until it was the only thing I was capable of doing. It wasn’t for the sake of receiving compliments anymore. Drawing makes me happy. I became an artist, and I’ll still be an artist as I grow older.
Q: From that moment, and throughout your journey as an artist, what has been your biggest struggle?
My biggest struggle as an artist is not enjoying art anymore. The main reason I kept on drawing was because it makes me happy and “free” and I didn’t want anything to change that. It came to the point that the praises that I used to like receiving before only made me insecure and scared because of the high expectations people have for me. I started to hate being called someone’s “inspiration” or “idol” because that meant that I was forbidden to let them down by making mediocre work.
My greatest fear is to be pressured and not see art as fun anymore. This is the reason why I never joined art contests as a kid because I hated competition and the stress. This is also why it took me so long to decide to actually pursue art in the future.
Q: How have you been able to cope with (or overcome) this struggle?
I’m sorry for being a weeb for this but I came to terms with who I want to be after I watched the anime Free! Eternal Summer. I completely resonated with the character Haruka Nanase there because his problems with swimming, and my problems with art were exactly the same.
He was also someone who wanted to be “free”, didn’t want to think about dreams or the future, and just wanted to swim for himself and for his friends. Honestly If you want to get the full details about what I’ve been going through, you just need to watch the last 5 episodes of this anime.
Eventually he thought that joining matches and pursuing swimming in college were to broaden his horizons and enable him to keep doing what he loves. He didn’t see them as burdens anymore and saw them as opportunities. In the end he still swam for himself and his friends.
Watching him realize all that really hit home with me and sealed my fate in pursuing art in the future. Luckily I watched this in my 4th year of Highschool, before I went off to Senior High. Instead of taking the STEM strand and pursuing IT for college I went with an art strand and will hopefully take up Fine Arts too. Although the pressure I feel towards art is not completely gone, at least I’m not regretting my life choices.
Q: What would you consider is the ONE thing that REALLY helped you level up your skills?
I can say for sure that what really motivated me to be more productive was when I transferred to a new school for Senior High. Since I took an Arts and Design strand, my classes were also full of artists like me. They made me more comfortable in drawing a lot because I wasn’t the only one who drew during class anymore lmao.
And the fact that they are also really talented and amazing artists made me more determined to do better myself and keep up with them. I loved the fact that we give tips, help each other grow and also praise each other a lot. From hiding and secluding myself before, in my old school, I’m now confident enough to draw alongside them haha!
There’s also the fact that we have specialized art subjects. Not having to do math and science anymore is really helping me focus on art and art only.
Q: What is one thing you’d wish you’d known before you started your artistic career? Why?
I guess I wished I overcame my artist struggles earlier? I wish that I was able to put myself and my art out there. I regret not joining groups like the school publications or joining art contests when I was younger.
Like, I faintly remember joining a Creative Writing group in school instead of an art one. If I had my life sorted out before, I would’ve been a whole new person by now. But that’s all in the past lol! What matters is that I know my priorities and ambitions now.
Q: What drives or inspires you to continue making your art?
If you take a look at the vast majority of my works you’d see a lot of fanart. I can say that one of the things that drives me in making art are the different games, shows, and celebrities (more like K-Pop groups) that I obsess over.
A huge reason why I even get into a new show/game is because of a character whose design I really love and want to draw. I always make sure to create fanart to show how much I love and appreciate it.
I also follow a lot of amazing artists and every post they make fuels my drive. Lastly, seeing my friends/classmates improve a lot with their art inspires me and I’m doing my very best to not get left behind.
Q: What does your average day look like? (And when do you fit in the time to create art?)
I am a very lazy person with very simple hobbies. If I’m not at school I’m usually at home sleeping, playing a video game, or watching YouTube videos/shows. I get to squeeze in art whenever I have time to draw for the zines I signed up for or if I have to do a plate for school. There’s also when I finish a show/game and feel very hyped to make fanart of it. The sad part of this is that I finish them after days or even weeks. I have to re-learn drawing every time because I forget haha!
Q: How do you deal with distractions or challenges that you encounter while you’re working on your art?
As you can see, my hobbies are also my distractions. I physically have to drag and force myself to draw so I that won’t completely disconnect with art. It doesn’t have to be something that is noteworthy or retweet-worthy and can just be doodles that I make for myself. There are a lot of unpublished works stored in my computer that’s basically me trying to be comfortable holding my tablet pen again and trying to catch up after a long time of not drawing.
Q: What do you do when you feel just completely uninspired or burnt out? How do you motivate yourself to start working again?
I motivate myself by just drawing and drawing. Not thinking about the retweets or the likes I’m gonna get, but just drawing because I want to. Draw because I love drawing. Also, I play music to fire me up. Music meaning sports anime openings, Disney songs and K-pop.
Q: What would you say has been your most EPIC win so far?
TBH getting through a con is always a big win for me. Surviving an artists alley and getting money is something I always have to pat myself in the back for. I also feel really accomplished whenever the zines I’m in get published and sold. Seeing my art reach a lot of people makes me happy.
Q: What would you say has been your biggest failure?
My biggest failure is only taking up art opportunities like zines/cons now and not when I was younger.
Q: What, for you, has been the best way to promote yourself and your work to potential fans, clients, or publishers?
Since I grew up, making a lot of fanart. I use that as a way to get more exposure. I sell my works through joining artist alleys and joining zines. I also make sure to publish my art on every social media platform. Basically, I promote myself by just doing what I love and letting the whole world know about it.
Q What has been your game plan throughout your journey? What’s the BIG picture here? The ultimate dream? The end game?
My biggest dream is to create concepts and character designs for a video game/cartoon for sure. Video games and cartoons are a huge part of my life, and so I feel like I should offer myself to them and hopefully make a lot of people enjoy them too.
I’m also open to creating illustrations for children’s storybooks and comics. Just getting into one of them would make me contented with my life.
Q: What, for you personally, has been the source of your ideas, creativity and talent?
Video games, cartoons/anime, K-Pop MVS (I swear their aesthetic and concepts are always good), and my friends’ art.
Q: What is your big “WHY”? Why do you feel the need to make art? Who are you doing it for? What’s the hidden reason behind your big dream?
I continue to make art simply because I love art. I’d be scared If I ended up not enjoying what I do in the long run so I keep everything about my future aligned with what makes me happy and comfortable. I may not be the most inspirational person ever, but I also want to make people realize that loving what you do is the first and most important step to success.
Q: What 3 stories (comics, movies, documentaries, novels, etc.) would you say influenced and inspired your work the most?
Sailor Moon, Persona Games, My Hero Academia
Q: What are the top books, art books, blogs, podcasts, or workshops you’d recommend that helped you level up your skills?
I don’t really have money to buy art books even if I wanted them but I’d recommend the Ghibli ones because the art is always really nice and superb. Honestly, I just love looking at concept art from animated movies.
Q: If you could work remotely, from anywhere in the world, where would your office be? Why?
I can’t really think of anything because I kinda just want to work in the Philippines more than anywhere else. I hope I can be one of the people behind great tv shows/storybooks/comics/video games here and making my country famous for it hehe. There was one company that I went to for my school’s exposure trip called Synergy 88 that I’m interested to work for in the future and I hope that I find a lot of other companies just like it.
Q: Name ONE artist/writer that, if you could, you would pick their brain and find out all the hidden secrets behind their amazing work?
Hayao Miyazaki. Just how do you do what you do.
Q: Who do you consider your biggest mentor that helped you improve your skills?
(Doesn’t have to be someone you’ve met personally. Can be someone you look up to, or someone whose art has inspired you to get better, over the years.)
An artist that I followed ever since I started posting my art online is Yuumei or Yuumeiart. I’ve looked up to them for almost a decade. I follow a lot of other artists but seeing their art never fails to make me emotional woo.