A motion graphics artist aims to show “the unseen experiences we faced during the online learning setup” in an immersive illustration showcased as part of an online digital art exhibition.
Yo Homecillo’s “Mga ‘Di Nakikita ng Mata” is fueled by his observations while in quarantine. “We met people through our screens, Zoom meetings, chats, and emails yet failed to empathize with them. With this piece, I was hoping to spark a little empathy in the hearts of the audience,” he explained.
“The more they immerse themselves and explore the virtual world I created, the more they will empathize with the characters and their experiences. I hope that this empathy will translate to the people they meet, talk to, and interact with online,” the artist added.
Homecillo, who teaches motion graphics, virtual reality, and thesis, among others, as a full-time faculty at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Animation Department, revealed that working on the project allowed him to release what he felt inside.
“The transition to online learning amidst the pandemic was challenging for everyone. It came as a surprise and gave us the teachers a short amount of time to absorb and learn how to teach in the online mode. Students were expected to possess a conducive online learning environment even though having a decent internet connection was already a challenge. Everyone was exhausted, frustrated, and hurt.”
“Because of this, the idea of empathizing with others was overlooked. I always checked the social media feeds of my students, peers, and co-teachers and tried to understand what they felt,” Homecillo shared.
“During the early months of the pandemic, I saw posts that were full of hate, teachers hating on their students and students hating on their teachers. Everyone forgot to empathize with one another. We failed to realize that we were in the same storm but not in the same boat,” he observed.
When the DLS-CSB Center for Campus Art and the New Media Cluster collaborated again for “To Differ, Digitally 2: Love and Dissent in the Time of Pandemic” (https://www.benildecampusart.com/exhibit/to-differ-digitally), another digital art exhibit, it became a medium with which he can share it with people.
The motion graphics artist worked on the project using Oculus Quill VR rendered through 3D software and uploaded on an online 3D Viewer. “I used Sketchfab online 3D viewer so that the audience can freely explore the different angles of the artwork. Since my message revolves around empathy, I’ve decided that the audience be the ones to start empathizing with the characters. By using a 3D viewer, they can choose how to immerse themselves in the artwork, with the characters, and seeing the bigger picture. Sometimes to understand a person, you need to look at their background,” he expounded.
Homecillo, who uses motion graphics to tell stories from life, wishes “with a hopeful heart” to open the minds of the people with his art. He believes that art and animation are great tools for disseminating information, telling stories, and sharing experiences with people.
“It made everything lighter and more bearable. I was able to look back on my experiences and remind myself to empathize with the people around me. I learned a lot from this experience, and I hope that the audience, as they immerse themselves in the illustration, learn a lot from it as well,” he stressed.
Homecillo graduated with a degree in Multimedia Arts at Benilde and finished his MA in Fine Arts and Design at Philippine Women’s University.