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ARTIST INTERVIEW: Carlo V. Pagunaling
Published December 13, 2020

Translated by Kirby Vicente


Carlo: Hi! A pleasant good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to everyone. I’m Carlo V. Pagunaling. Right  now I’m in UP Diliman, Quezon City. It’s now 4:53 in the afternoon. I would like to introduce myself and I will share  my slide. I want like to start first in introducing myself, first we’ll take a look on Walt Disney’s quotation saying: First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare. So think, dream, believe and dare became the main  ingredients for me to become a designer. First I always think what’s the best for me. I’m always thinking on how I can  process things. As a designer I always think on what I need to ponder on, on where I can start, what can be my  inspiration, my reference, and what is the concept that I want to learn. From inside and outside, I’m always thinking  about what’s in the conservative side, the liberated side. On the idea of being conservative versus being liberated, it  always means that I’m always thinking outside of the box with regards to the history. Like what I said, before we  deconstruct, we need to go back to our history and it’s important to find the center because that’s where the  foundation comes from. Next, looking forward and backward. It’s the same as looking forward to what designs I want  to do and what concepts I’m making but before I move forward, I always look in my history like if there’s something  for me to ponder or to review. This is important for my process so I can move forward to my next idea. Next dream.  It’s very important for me to have goals. I have an ambition. What are my ambitions? What are my short term and  long term goals for myself as a designer? I always look forward on things I want to do. It’s important for me to  determine which to prioritize and which I can continue. Aside from being a designer, I’m also an arts manager. So  while I was still a student in UP Diliman, I was practicing as a production manager and I was handling events. That’s  how I apply my managerial skills to design. The two are contradicting but when you balance them both, you get good  results. In my ambition and dream, I always think on which to imagine and which to prioritize. In those dreams,  patterns emerge. For me as a designer, these patterns are important because they tell the story. This is where the  narrative starts. Even if it’s a dot, it still grows to a different figures. Multiples, like what I say, these dots multiply. While they increase in numbers, you need to control them. Like what most people say, it’s better to have an excess  rather than a lack. So my point is that dreaming is free. You can dream all you want until you reach them. I always  look at things positively. Of course the world’s not perfect but there needs to be a balance on how you see the dark  and lighter sides. You need to have balanced perspective in creating a concept, or an idea for a design. On what you  want to focus on your dreams for your long term and short term goals. Alongside these plans and ambitions and  dreams, you need to believe. I believe that it will happen because once you start creating it or planning it, this  imagination should be translated to a 2d or 3d design. This how you can determine if the concept you’ve thought of is  effective. And next, dare yourself. There’s nothing wrong if you push it. It’s okay to make mistakes at least you’ve  proven that the design you’ve created is effective or not. Design or Arts is like Science, you need to test a concept for  you to try it. Like in theatre, we rehearse to see the different approaches on stages and different blocking to see if  they work. It doesn’t need to stay as a concept. We need to apply and we need to challenge ourselves. Right now,  aside from doing set design and costume design, I also teach in UP Diliman. Like what I did in the past before I  started teaching from events, theatre productions from different theatre companies, different regions, and different  countries, I was able to apply all of them to my teachings. Because when you teach art, you need to apply your  practice. Theories and terminologies are not enough and you need to prove what you’re doing based on your  practice. Right now I’m a theatre practitioner and educator.

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