Ripley’s "Believe it or Not" featured Sunshine Plata’s unique idea of using coffee as a medium for her paintings. It is definitely another breakthrough. Now her paintings are being sold at prices reaching $2,500 and the market is worldwide. Soon it will even be higher.
So for this month’s donG hO’s online interview, let’s discover what's brewing in Sunshine Plata's coffee masterpiece.
the donG: Is there someone else in the family who is into art?
Sunshine: My parents are both into business...I have an uncle and aunt in
the donG: Who are your influences in painting?
Sunshine: I realized that with that style that I have, it’s my mom and my sister Kate who have influenced me. Because I’d see my mom drawing different shapes on scratch papers while talking on the phone and I liked the shapes so much because they create a pattern. Kate was showing me doodles on her school stuff and I found them interesting that it started my 'compulsive doodling" in class!!! (good thing I NEVER got caught!!!) Well, plus my constant drawing practice since i was a kid from browsing into picture books and my discovery of the coffee as medium from going to a Ripley's museum equals a "Sunshine Plata" painting! I like the works of Van Gogh, Munsch, James Jean, Yoshitaka Amano etc. but my works don't really look like their stuff! haha!
the donG: Was there a time when you experienced something like changing your career?
Sunshine: Back then on my 2nd year of BS Psychology I already wanted to shift to fine arts, I took a shifters exam but didn’t pass. I graduated from psychology worked for a tiny bit in a corporate set up then became a preschool teacher for 5 yrs. It’s just last summer when I started painting full time since I cannot take it anymore; I just had to quit my job to give way to my art.
the donG: The Pinoys are very proud of you, how does it feel when your love for painting inspires the whole nation?
Sunshine: With this in mind, I am inspired back. But in line with this, I am challenged to be strong and always get up in the midst of adversities since I know that i should continue to be that tiny spark of hope that the Filipino can do it. Also my desire to share my art to more people becomes a growing mission because NOT ONLY DO I WANT TO ACHIEVE BUT I ALSO WANT (if possible) THE WHOLE NATION TO BE ACHIEVERS LIKE ME! I am so sure that there are a lot more Filipino talents and artists out there who can do a lot better than I did; they just need to be given the opportunity, support and most of all the belief! Having people believing in you creates a whole new universe of possibilities within a person.
the donG: Which of your paintings do you consider the most valuable?
Sunshine: My most valuable painting is DIWATA**...she appeared to me soo vividly in a dream and after that I’ve been painting fairies and winged elvin creatures on my canvass. I find her so originally Pinoy that’s why I called her DIWATA. And for me, she would embody a typical Pinoy fairy that looks beautiful at the same time cool!!! haha!
the donG: I personally like the title of each painting that you've done like the "One Swan", "Henna Banana" and "Rastah Mahn". The rhyming words make your painting more interesting. Who gave you the idea of making it rhyme?
Sunshine: Thank you, I’m glad you like my titles! They just sound nice for me to hear so I adapted those titles, no particular reason why! haha!
the donG: How would your life be if you were no longer allowed to do art?
Sunshine: I’d feel like being dumped in a concentration camp ready for doomsday if I wasn’t allowed anymore to do art. haha! It’s my means of expressing my value and worth as a person and my way of communicating the wonderful visions I see vividly in my head. Because precisely the reason why I enjoyed teaching preschoolers in that five years was because somehow I get to do art in the day to day dealings with children, art is just inevitable there. But I guess if I was placed in that situation id still be finding new art mediums say like insects, dust etc. haha! Or else I’d go ballistic!!! Hey that’s a difficult question!
the donG: How do you spend your free time?
Sunshine: I spend my free time hangin’ out with friends, sight seeing, people watching, watching movies, drawing on my sketchpad, listening to music, eating ICE CREAM, CHOCOLATES, looking through pet shop windows and wishing i had a new pet, mixing nail polish colors and painting my nails, going to book shops and having a hearty laugh while reading some Dr. Seuss books (I love the illustrations by the way) etc.
the donG: How inclined are you with coffee even before you did these paintings?
Sunshine: How inclined? Not soo soo inclined!!! haha! You see, every time I sit down and paint is a new experience for me, there's always something new which I discover like do's and don’ts and new techniques and I take careful note of them so I can assure myself that I know what I’m doing more each day than I knew the day before that.
the donG: What else can we expect in your upcoming paintings? Like, are you planning to make paintings that depict a part of the Philippine history?
Sunshine: You may expect to see new ideas, new visions brewing in my mind, an improvement of myself from my day to day undertakings. more lovely diwatas, and slowly but surely some more works depicting the beauty of the Philippine culture!
the donG: What else do we don't know about Sunshine Plata?
Sunshine: hmmm... that Sunshine Plata's achievement was brought about majorly by the grace of God and by telling Him each day to help me in my artistic endeavors and promising Him that my works will be for His honor and glory... I dreamed to just have a mini solo show, but maybe God wanted it bigger, than everything just came pouring down on me! I’m just awestruck and grateful!
the donG: How would you encourage the Filipinos to achieve in their own field?
Sunshine: There's a book entitled "Dream and your dreams will fall short".... it just says if you include God in your day to day undertakings and do your damn best to glorify Him with your talents, you will reap more surprises than you aspired for. To all my fellow Filipinos out there... "dream and your dreams will fall short". I hope you believe that, it happened to me! Filipinos are known to be pious people and were not born Filipinos for nothing, so go ahead and do it! Remember Bamboo's song Pinoy Ako: "sabi nila may anting anting ako pero di nila alam na diyos ang dahilan ko".
the donG: That’s inspiring! Thank you very much for taking time for this online interview. It is my privilege to have you featured in my blog. We are looking forward to your next exhibit and for more of your coffee art. Check her artworks at her website d1wata.
Sunshine Plata indeed gives us another reason to dream big and to always make God the perfect reason for every achievement. Her love for art influences today’s generation by imparting great achievements through unique ideas.
You can see her coffee paintings and even get in touch with her through her website d1wata. watch out for her next exhibit.
The donG’s online interview is a monthly blog posts that features today’s Filipino achievers.
*lolo – grandfather
**diwata - fairy