When we first met Ayra Galanza at one of her workshops in Canto, what first caught our attention about her was her stunning outfit and her rocking hairstyle. But more than that, she’s got a bubbly personality and the talent to match.
Ayra’s love for art can be traced back to when she was little, where she would usually join art contests for school. She said watercolor is her medium of choice, and just two years ago, she picked up the pen and started teaching herself the art of calligraphy.
Ayra draws her inspiration from many sources – cartoons, children’s books, instagram, and even eccentric Hollywood directors like Tim Burton and Wes Anderson – all of which contribute to her whimsical art style.
Her life as an up-and-coming Baguio artist all began when she received her first commission from a friend to create watercolor postcards of ten different destinations in the Philippines. But this was no easy task, Ayra narrates, as she had her fair share of difficulties trying to get each postcard scene perfect.
But all that time spent was worth it, and we ourselves could say that each postcard came out beautifully. Among her creations, Ayra says that her favorite painting is that of Mt. Pulag.
As for Ayra’s knack for calligraphy, her next big break came when she was asked to hold a workshop on calligraphy at Baguio’s first ever Craft Fair.In her workshops, she meticulously hand-picks the materials for her students. She even goes through the lengths of ordering supplies all the way from Manila. Ayra even gave us a little teaser by teaching us some calligraphy basics like how the calligraphy pen works and what should be practiced in order to create beautiful strokes.
Just like many young adults today, Ayra is perseverant on doing what she loves, and even making a living out of it. She and her friend, Leanne Narvasa, have started their own little online business called Project Fund Our Future or PFOF. They sell prints and merchandise that they personally design, as well as supplies for calligraphy.
Despite also having opportunities outside Baguio, Ayra continually expresses her love for the city. “Baguio is a place where people just do things,” she says. She hopes to get her work out there and to even become more active in the Baguio art community.
You can check out PFOF by visiting their online shop at www.tackthis.ph/shop/projectfundourfuture. Their merchandise is also available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop.