Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kuris Talk # 8: Janelyn Minerva

Zyra is as mystical, sentimental and emotional as her creator who always believe in her friends and their dreams... nice digital artwork girl!

Girl Power shot # 3: Anybody wants a soda after she gave free meals to all the Kurisans around?... that's who they call... the most generous girl in the group!
Girl Power shot # 2: Toto is considered the Kuris Spice for her colorful personality and sentimental nature.

Girl Power shot # 1: She sings the Kuris line... the race is on to get out of the bottom, the top is high so your roots are forgotten!

Janelyn Minerva
Kuris Animator’s real girl power
By Ronelo Ladiao

She’s not a Spice Girl at all. She doesn’t even wish to be part of pop culture fanatics. But Janelyn Minerva, the girl with the impressive artistic passion for animation surely has some spicy attitude that can bring down the Kuris boys back to their knees and begging for her flamboyant presence to stay. Her positive perspective in life and kindhearted nature has become a strong element for the group’s staying power to stick together through tough times. Kuris has never been this great without their resident girl power hanging around to inspire them and dream big.
Though her artistic passion has never been Janelyn’s top priority aside from her studies, the talented lady who hails from Alegre, Oton, Iloilo was destined to use her God-given gifts to take part in making an impact to the Ilonggo community as a member of Kuris Animation Unlimited, Inc. Her parents, Vicente Minerva, Sr. and Candelaria Caballero-Minerva loved their third child of five siblings so much. When Janelyn was a little girl, she showed interest in arts and animation by watching Japanese anime and lots of cartoons on television. She finished her elementary and high school education at Oton Central Elementary School and Oton National High School, respectively where she gained several awards by joining lots of art-related competitions. Having the star sign of Aquarius, she has the personality of a true artist, deep thinker and sentimental nature to people around her. She has always been surrounded by loving friends because she posses a big heart for them. When she gave something, she doesn’t expect any return.
Right now, she’s entering her third year at Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) with the course BS Information Technology. In the same school, she took and completed her scholarship for Professional 2D Assistant Animator’s Training last year. The course is a significant project of PGMA- Training for Work Program implemented Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to discover and provide employment opportunity for new breed of Filipino animators. She was a part of the second batch of 2D animation trainees wherein they heavily trained and pushed their talents further. When their group project “The Adventures of TASI” was started last July, she was one of those struggling amateur animators who sacrifice a lot to finish it. Amid the pressure and hardship, she became the group’s apple of the eye for her friendly and caring attitude towards her groupmates. She doesn’t mind any hindrance as long as she can take care of her newfound friends whom she shared the same artistic passion. When TASI was finished and finally shown to the public for the first time at Marymart Mall in September in time for IT Week, students from around the city was impressed with the group’s output. TASI was even selected to become WVCST’s official school mascot for its 102nd Foundation Day. Their graduation was another joy for Janelyn when they graduated on October 19 at SM City Iloilo. They named their group as “Kuris”, an Ilonggo term which means scribbled line to emphasize its Ilonggo origin.
But her spirit and the whole group’s determination was tested further when The BEQUEST, an animated short film project that retold the historical legacy of Dinagyang Festival through animation was started right after their Museo Iloilo “Kinarton” animator’s exhibit in the last week of November. Catching up with the two months target schedule, Janelyn continue to support her groupmates without hesitation. There was even a time when they felt they can’t go on anymore but she remained calm and patient. Carrying the pressure of her studies and task as the elected Secretary of Kuris Animation Unlimited was indeed a challenging responsibility for her. But every seed of hope and determination would bear fruits of success. The BEQUEST was shown at SM Cinema 7 on January 25 together with their well-attended “Dinagyamation” animation exhibit at SM City Iloilo from January 14-20 that undeniably captured the interest of many Ilonggos, a historical event refuted as the biggest animation event in Iloilo. Moving on to the next phase of challenge as an amateur animator, Janelyn prepares herself to take part in the making of another historical project—“Lapis: Epic of the Lost Key” this year.

Now let’s get to know the amiable, talented and responsible Kuris gal in this spicy interview…

Ronelo Ladiao (RL): Let’s start this chat with this question—what makes you happy?
Janelyn Minerva (JM): Kon upod ko mga friends ko especially ang mga Kuris animators. Gusto ko makabulig sa ila kutob sa masarangaon ko kag wish ko tani good health para sa ila para malab-ot namon ang amon handum (if I am with my friends especially the Kuris animators. I want to help them in every way I can and I wish them all good health so that we can reach our dream).
RL: What side of your personality that people don’t often see?
JM: Wala ko gapanapak kon medyo akig ako. Pero madali lang ako malipat kag magpatawad sa mga friends nga wala ga-care sa akon feelings tapos indi ko gusto ginacomfort kon gahibi ko kay gadugang pa na, hehe (I don’t talk to anybody when I’m upset. But I can easily forget and forgive those friends who don’t care for my feelings and I don’t want to be comforted when I’m crying coz’ it would becomes worse (laughs).
RL: Your fellow Kuris Animators is fond of calling you “Toto” which is a usual Ilonggo nickname for a boy, what do you think is the reason behind this?
JM: I don’t know. It all started when we were still training last year. It was Nong Reno (an inactive member of the second batch) started to call me that way until everybody get used to it. I think it’s an endearment coz I’m close to almost everybody in the group.
RL: When did you started to draw?
JM: I started to draw when I was in kindergarten just to ease my boredom. When I was in elementary, I joined various poster-making contests until I was in high school. Win or lose, I felt happy in what I do.
RL: Can you reveal to us your favorite cartoon characters that influenced your drawing style?
JM: I like Japanese anime such as Fushigi Yogi, Ghostfighter and Flame of Recca. But when I was a little girl, I used to watch Walt Disney’s Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid and Aladin.
RL: Aside from those anime and animated films you watched before, where do you get you inspiration to draw?
JM: Mostly, I get the inspiration to draw from my feelings especially when I’m lonely, alone and having my vacant time from school work. When I’m in good mood to draw, that’s the time I pick up the pencil and start doodling something.
RL: Aside from you, is there anybody in your family who like to draw and what kind of medium in drawing do you like to use?
JM: Well, my brother used to draw a lot especially superheroes and comics stuff. He draws very well. When it comes to drawing mediums, I like to use watercolor and pencil but now I prefer using Photoshop in the computer.
RL: How did you know about 2D Animation course that TESDA is offering for potential animators?
JM: One time, my teacher in Laboratory, Sir Badoles saw one of my drawings after our class. He suggested that I might be able to use my talent and develop it further by taking the admission test for 2D Animation course in TESDA since it will be offered here at WVCST. So I tried my luck and the rest is history.
RL: What's the toughest part of your training in 2D Animation?

JM: Siguro, tama gid kakulang sang facilities kay kis-a nagahulatanay kami sa pagamit sang computers kag scanner. Kon training lang medyo kaya ko man ang ginapdrawing sa amon nga clean-ups kag in-betweens. (Maybe, it’s the lack of facilities because sometimes we wait each other to have our turn with the use of computers and scanner. When it comes to the training, maybe I can manage doing the clean-ups and in-between drawings).
RL: Your original animated character for Kuris Universe as your individual project is “Zyra”, tell us about her?
JM: Si Zyra isa ka dalaga nga diwata nga naluyang sa mortal nga lalaki. Pero ang ila reyna nga nanay ni Zyra indi gusto magdayunay sila sang mortal nga lalaki. Gani nalagyo siya pakadto sa kalibutan sang mga mortal kag nagwish nga mangin tunay nga tawo. Sang nag-istar si Zyra sa kalibutan sang mga mortal nagapangbulig siya sa mga tawo gamit ang iya nga gahum. Sang ulihi naintindihan man sang iya nanay nga diri siya malipayon upod sa mortal nga ginaluyagan niya… kag happy ending eh! (Zyra isa a teenage fairy who fell in love with a mortal man. But the queen, her mother doesn’t want her to fall in love with a mortal man. So she escape into the world of the mortals and wished she would become a real mortal. When Zyra lived in the mortal world, she helped people using her powers. Later, her mother understood that being a mortal makes her happy… and it is happy ending).
RL: As a member of Kuris, what do you think is the most important and most valuable project you did?
JM: Ang BEQUEST siyempre ang pinakaimportante nga amon nahimo nga project subong kay ginadala namon ang ngalan sang bilog nga Iloilo kag sang mga Ilonggo. Isa pa ang TASI kay ini ang una nga school mascot nga naobra sa animation diri sa Iloilo kag dungog man sang WVCST (of course, The BEQUEST is the most important project that we did right now because we carry the name of the whole Iloilo and the Ilonggos. Another one is TASI because it is the first school mascot that was made into animation here in Iloilo and the pride of WVCST).
RL: If ever you’ll become a successful IT specialist someday, would you still want to be a part of Kuris and make animation?
JM: Yes, why not. I don’t want Kuris to disappear and be forgotten because for a short period of time we already made a mark in Ilonggo history. I want to continue our dream and support the group in any way I can.
RL: But what makes you really happy-- being an animator or an IT specialist?
JM: Well it’s really hard to decide. But I think animation makes me happy because this is my childhood dream and passion. Although my career is also very important for me and my family in order to become stable in life. But if I would become stable with animation someday then why not.
RL: Parting shot time--If you’re going to tell your child someday about Kuris Animators, what would you say?
JM: Baskog na sila nga mga Ilonggo animators…grabi katalented! (They are great Ilonggo animators…very talented).

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