Heights held its first Creative Talk, “Art in the Age of Social Media,” to address the question of how art and artists must operate in the information age. The talk was held on October 17, 2016, Monday. The talk featured Harvey Tolibao, a renowned comic book artist who has done works for several known names in the international comic book industry such as DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse Comics. He spoke of his trials to become a recognized comic book artist and how social media played a big factor as a platform for his artworks.
“Never stop building your portfolio,” stressed Tolibao. He pointed out the importance of making use of social media platforms like he had, especially because digital is now a dominant medium. Tolibao’s first big break happened when he was discovered by Dark Horse Comics on DeviantArt. This would begin his career in the comic industry, marked by his stint for the Star Wars comics to his work for Marvel. Tolibao has illustrated for the Iron Man and Psylocke series, among others.
Among the life-changing experiences he spoke of was going to a comic book seminar in the hopes of showing his work to a comic industry executive. With his portfolio in hand, Tolibao sought David Campiti, CEO of Glass House Graphics, an international animation and illustration studio. This was Tolibao’s way of highlighting the merits of leaps of faith while also grounding one’s aspirations in actual creative output.
In the same seminar, he met Stephen Segovia, a Filipino artist for DC Comics, Marvel, Dynamite and other comic book names. This first interaction led the two to become friends and together grow in their art, in the same industry.
Tolibao claimed that this current generation, with the presence of social media, is the luckiest generation in terms of the proliferation of art. “Facebook is really powerful. You can put your artwork there and people will notice you no matter what, especially [when your work is great]. Instagram is the land of the artists now. Just don’t stop [creating and posting]. Show the world what you love to do.”
He advised those present to support fellow artists online, even through acts as simple as commenting on their works. He said that it is also important to give criticism to help each other grow. “You guys should help each other, and that’s the best thing to do [as artists],” Tolibao said.
One of Tolibao’s philosophies is to teach what he knows about art. He claimed that the danger of doing such is training a new generation of artists who will one day become your competitors in the industry. Even so, he takes after the philosophy of his father, also an artist— that all art one makes must be shared.
Report by Corinne Garcia
Photos by Neil Vildad