Primer: Bullet Dematera

Bullet joined art competitions when he was younger, during his elementary school days. Though he showed promise at a young age, financial setbacks forced him to stop school and to work to help provide for his family. He could not take up formal art education and nearly abandoned his dream of pursuing a career in the arts. However, the desire flickered like an ember against the harsh winds. Meeting with distinguished realist painters reignited this passion and nourished it into a flame.

At the age of 20, Bullet got the opportunity to work as a studio assistant. It was a pivotal moment for him who, without knowing it, had embarked on a painting apprenticeship. After 3 years, Bullet was sent to Ronald Ventura, where he was an apprentice for almost 10 years. The opportunity to work in a conducive environment surrounded by art inspired Bullet to hone his artistic skills and to learn through observation. The training allowed the artist to enhance his drafting skills and to learn the fundamentals, such as shading, combining colour, and using graphites, oil and acrylic.

Bullet’s artworks are a mix of realism to hyperrealism elements intermingled with pop art that creates a hint of surrealism into the blend. No matter the style, these elements are consistent in his art concepts: nature, florals, human, and especially animals. Dematera’s earnest love for nature is not only borne from his deep appreciation for God’s creations. It is also a never-ending source of inspiration for the painter.

Indeed, Dematera’s spirit, imagination and unparalleled work ethic create an inspiring formula that drives him to overcome personal, professional, and artistic hurdles. His enthusiasm is infectious, as he fights for his fundamental right to create.

What inspired you to become an artist?

What really inspired me to become an artist is the happiness I felt whenever I made an art piece. I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands; even as a little kid I always draw. Trying to do things as perfect as possible. I’m also attracted to all sorts of colours. The beauty of the natural world and the fascinating variety of shapes and colours.

What was your first exhibit like?

My first solo exhibit was so meaningful for me. I spent a lot of effort doing it. Getting your art for the first time in front of many people can be a much more meaningful experience. At first I was hesitant to enter art exhibitions because of the lack of confidence. But thanks to my family and friends who supported me I was able to rebuild my self-esteem. It is daunting seeing your art hanging there in front of so many people, completely vulnerable to all sorts of critiques. So you need to enter with confidence and also have thick skin to criticism. You cannot please everybody. That is a part of the game. Some people will like your art, some will love it, some will be inspired and some will hate it. If that is the response you get from your art. Then you have done your job. I just want to thank our Almighty God for the success of my first solo exhibit.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently preparing for my upcoming 6th solo exhibition  @  Nuzen Art Gallery in Tagaytay this coming September 5, 2020.

What is your process like?

My process in creating an artwork starts through sketches. I make sketches of the ideas I have in mind. After that I do a lot of reference work and gather a lot of source material. And from there I try to create a sort of creative flow. Painting for me is an intuitive process, and so I let the canvas tell me where to go.

What was the most valuable thing you learned doing your art?

For me, Art should be an act of giving, not taking. When we are free to celebrate the work of others instead of competing with it, we are free to learn, free to create and free to struggle towards the mastery without the burden of ego and weight of comparison.

What is your favorite piece you’ve created?

My favourite piece is the 6×6 ft painting titled: “The Sanctuary of Bliss” (Exhibited in Manila House in BGC). It features a beautiful lady surrounded by different leaves, flowers and birds. This painting showed everlasting beauty of nature and generosity of the Creator, and thus, it reminded us of the impermanence of earthly life.

What is your favorite piece by another artist?

“Everybody wants to be number one “ by Jon Jaylo

Why do you work in the medium that you do?

I enjoy painting using graphite, oil and acrylic. For me graphite is such a forgiving medium. It’s addictive and subtractive. Make a mistake just erase it, keep working until things are just how you want them. On the other hand acrylics gives varieties of colours plus it dries faster. I also loves using oil , I like the effect of combining it

What is your favorite place to create in?

My favourite place to create in is at camp John Hay Baguio City. Sometimes when I get bored with what I do I go up to Baguio with my wife and my son. I bring small canvas with me so that I can still paint while I’m enjoying a short weekend with my family .

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