10 Questions with John Magne Lisondra - prominent Youtube tutor and self taught artist from the Phillipines.

John Magne Lisondra


G’day again folks, it’s Frankie here.  Today I’ve had the privilege of interviewing prolific painter and popular Youtuber John Magne Lisondra.  Being from the Phillipines, John has grown up very differently from you and me, in that he has not had easy access to quality paint supplies, or even quality instruction at times!  So sit back and take in a little bit of John’s world :)




Q:  Your Youtube channel is very popular - what kind of artistic opportunities have you had as a result of your online presence?

Because of my presence on Youtube, I gather clients from different parts of the world, which helps me grow more in my art. 

Q:  Do you have a favourite subject matter to paint and why?

I've been painting landscapes for 18 years and still love this subject.  It calms my mind and it's very rewarding after I finish one.  I love to put more time into it - the more time I give, the better it will become - unlike most of my landscape paintings on Youtube which I needed to finish in an hour, and put myself into lots of pressure to do so.

Landscape by John Magne Lisondra
Landscape by John Magne Lisondra

Q:  Are there other artists you have learnt from that you’d like to give a shout out to?

I've been a self-taught artist for 18 years so far, and during those years I had no internet - I was born in an isolated place in the Philippines.  I could only find Da Vinci, Caravaggio, and some other renaissance artists on books that my Aunt gave me.

We had a local artist in Guihulngan called Boy Velara, who gave me inspiration to start painting, when my father brought some of his works home.

Q:  What do you know now, that you wish you knew 5 years ago?

I wish I knew Youtube 5 years ago. This video sharing website gives lots of exposure to my work. I've reached people I never knew I could!

Q:  What has been the most challenging situation you’ve found yourself in since starting your creative journey?

The challenging part was that I started with nothing.   No art materials, no store to buy from, no art groups and lack of mentors. I am glad that I have a father that has supported me all the way from the start. I was from a poor family, but still my father bought materials I needed to start painting.  I used household latex paint before, like Boysen, Triton and Davies because acrylic paints were too expensive for me - even the student grades.  And I used flour sacks as my canvas, it's made of cloth but still nothing could stop me from my desire to paint.

One other situation was when I suffered from a high level of anxiety and panic attacks 4 years ago.  I didn't paint for months because of heavy headaches, dizziness, sleep disorder and I was broke.

I needed to stop working, and went home.  I worked in a company as graphic designer.  After a few months, my anxiety subsided and I started to paint, and that was the time I started to upload my first video on my Youtube channel.  But still anxiety was lurking like a lion and attacked me almost everyday. Making videos on youtube was just my escape.  It helps me to meet other people and talk.  I suffered for almost 3 years and I felt that God healed me in just 3 days... Now I am free from anxiety and panic attacks. 

Q:  I notice you use a lot of different brands of acrylics, do you have a favourite brand?

Most of the acrylics I use now, were good compared to the household paints I used before, it's way better now. But on the brands and type, I prefer the opaque Pebeo, but it's expensive compared to Liquitex Basics and Reeves, which I use mostly for Youtube tutorials.  They are also good brands for me.  I tried Liquitex Heavy Body and for me it's the best. 

I love the thick and heavy pigments in this paint and I can add good texture.  Today, I'm still experimenting with different brands that will deliver the best for me. 

Q:  For anyone who hasn’t seen your YT tutorials, which one do you suggest they start with.

I suggest to start with the basics, like painting single objects like trees, bushes, grasses and even just using the brushes.  This is for very beginners.  Anyway my Youtube tutorial videos are for beginners and amateur artists.  Advanced artists don't need these tutorials.

Q:  Do you find people, places or animals more challenging to paint?

Yes, indeed! I've been a portrait artist for years but still portraits of people still a challenge to paint. I need to focus on the likeness to achieved good result.  I am more confident with places and animals.

John Magne Lisondra's people
John Magne Lisondra's portrait

Q:  Being a self taught artist, do you find you are still constantly learning?  Or do you feel confident with every subject now?

I've been painting for 18 years, but I still consider myself an amateur.  For me, painting is a never ending journey, and we are learning every step of the way. We gain confidence in every experienced we have.

I am a realist, but love to challenge myself to paint other styles like surrealism and modernism.

Q:  What are your favourite things to do apart from painting?

I was a dancer in college for 4 years.  I also love computer programming since I graduated from computer science, in fact I designed and coded my own website.  I also enjoy graphic design and photography, and I shoot weddings and other events locally.

Q:  Tell us something no one knows about you.

I eat chocolate oatmeal with banana and egg for my breakfast.  I eat lots of rice for lunch (which is bad), and veggies for dinner.  My sister gave me a dog named Boki, a cross-breed between Shi Tzu and Dachshund.

I love watching movies and I stay at home most of the time.  I go to church every Sunday.  I have never been outside my country and I'm planning to travel further.  I have two sisters, and one is now living in Canada.

John Magne Lisondra's Breakfast.

Thanks so much to John for taking the time to answer my questions!  You can follow John's journey at:

www.jmlisondra.com

Email: magnean18@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jmlisondraArts

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/artjomalis

Twitter: https://twitter.com/artjoma

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jmlisondra

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artjomalis/




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