Pangasinan Artist Crafts Hole-Punched Portrait for Parents’ Anniversary: A Loving Tribute Through Recycled Art

Jereka Ellen Bueno Decano  Hole-Punched Portrait
Jereka Ellen Decano gifted her parents Teody and Emma with a hole punch portrait to celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary on July 8, 2023. Photos from Jereka Ellen Decano.

Artist-Digital Creator Jereka Ellen Bueno Decano from San Quintin, Pangasinan, found a unique way to express her filial love – a hole-punched portrait of her parents, Teody and Emma, to celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary.

Decano’s eco-friendly mosaic art of her parents’ faces based on a photo of her mother and father wearing beautiful smiles was a two-week journey of a daughter’s meticulous labor of love. Her hands, guided by love and devotion, transformed discarded magazines and product packaging into a masterpiece hole punch art made of a puncher tool’s cuttings.

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The process of creating Jereka’s unique art required more than just recycled paper and boxes, double-sided tape, glue, and a punch. It demanded patience, creativity, and above all, an unbreakable connection to the two people who got married on July 8 more than 30 years ago, and who had nurtured her passion.

In an interview with Good News Pilipinas, Jereka shared how she created the astonishing recycled artwork of her parents’ portrait through the rainy days of July 2023.

“It’s a gift for my parents in which I fully put my time and effort. Since it was made from recycled materials, the process is really hard. I want every piece to be viewed with extra appreciation. It’s not the usual medium of art,” Jereka said.

When she finally revealed the portrait to her parents, their faces lit up with a priceless smile and their words expressed both gratitude and pride in their daughter’s artwork. The art piece was not merely a reflection of their faces but a symbol of their life’s journey, all captured in recycled material. It was love, immortalized in art. “As a daughter, I really want to express my love for them through art,” she added. Her mother’s and father’s reactions to the surprise wedding anniversary gift were recorded by Jereka in a video that showed her parents’ loving support for their daughter.

It was during the COVID-19 pandemic when the world came to a standstill that Jereka discovered this eco-friendly way to articulate her artistic voice, to create recycled works of art utilizing vibrantly colored paper.

“It was pandemic when I was inspired to use recycled materials since that was lockdown and I have no means to buy my materials for my art craft. Then that idea popped out: why not to try those old magazines and good packaging available in our house. Since less gastos sya (less costly) from the usual art materials and eco-friendly sya kaya I decided to focus my craft with recycled materials,” she told Good News Pilipinas.

Jereka’s artistic journey doesn’t stop here. Her passion for painting and recycled art, including an eco-friendly Mona Lisa mosaic that went viral last year, keeps her exploring new horizons. She says she noticed that her artworks made from recycled materials (paper mosaics and hole punch art) are much more appreciated. “Nafeel ko yung extra challenge at enjoyment ko sa tuwing gumagawa ako neto,” she added.

Her words to fellow artists resonate with the wisdom of someone who has found her purpose: “As an artist, I advise you to continue pursuing your passion in art, putting time and effort into it. You have to believe in yourself and as long as you enjoy your craft, keep on exploring kasi art is so beautiful.”

Indeed, Jereka’s story is a heart-warming testament to a daughter’s love, an artist’s passion, and the enduring support of her parents. It reminds us that art is not just about creating beautiful things; it’s about expressing the deepest emotions, breaking free from comfort zones, and celebrating the beauty of connections that make us human.

Aside from Jereka, other artists who found extraordinary ways to express themselves during the pandemic include Toym Imao who created flower beds garden art at the UP PGH, and ArtforMedPH artists who gave away artworks in exchange for donations to COVID-19 frontliners.

WATCH this video of the hole-punched art process here and SEND CHEERS to Jereka for creating a unique gift for her parents!

WATCH Jereka’s parents’ reaction to her hole-punched art wedding anniversary gift here:

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