BY CHRIS ALEX
Philip Bero’s artistic journey is a story of resilience and ingenuity in the face of challenges that are a common occurrence in urban areas. As a talented artist from Malaita and part Western Province, Philip has been honing his drawing skills since a very young age, with the help of his grandfather.
Despite his talent, Philip’s dreams of becoming a doctor and was lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship to study medicine in the Philippines but his study was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and financial difficulties.
Philip returned to the Solomon Islands – he did not give up and turned to his passion for art, which helped him support his family, especially his mother, who had suffered from a stroke and was unable to work.
“In 2009 my father separated from my mum and re-married and shortly after, my mother suffered from a stroke so she hardly move anymore, so it was me who bear everything for survival. So I started to paint for a little income for my mother’s medication and my family’s daily needs.
“Then In 2017 I attained a scholarship to study medicine (MBBS) in the Philippines but unfortunately, I was unable to complete my study due to COVID-19 and some other financial difficulties, I finally come home and continue with my pencil sketch designs and drawings.
Through hard work and determination, Philip started building a client base by creating customized portraits and designs using both pencil and paints. He faced challenges with clients and self-doubt but persevered, driven by his love for his family and his passion for art.
“I started with minimal designs and portraits.
“I work according to what my clients demanded or ordered, and with some of the random sketch orders, I started to learn a lot and also I use to go down to Art Gallery in search of other new tips with other likeminded artists to improve my artworks,”
Philip is now more captivated and motivated in his carrier as an artist and has linked up with men and women as his main clients. He dedicates his art to his clients by preparing his best artwork through minimal designs like bible verses, house decorations, and some other picture portraits for family souvenirs.
“I enjoy doing what am passionate about, even though at times I am faced with challenges which sometimes get the better of me, making me want to give up, nevertheless, this little voice inside my head keeps pushing me, telling me to be strong, to move on to secure a little income through my talent to support my mother’s medication and my family to survive the harsh demands of living in urban centres such as Honiara City.
Philip’s story is a reminder that everyone has unique talents and abilities that can be used to overcome the difficulties of urban life. With a little bit of creativity and perseverance, anyone can create opportunities to improve their situation and make a difference in the world. As Philip himself said, “We have seven spheres in our society, one of those is your calling, grab it and move forward to achieve it, make it as a chance to turn over”.