Moms and Dads

Sarah de Veyra-Buyco and Hamill Buyco: Untethered in Art and Parenting

While showcasing their art in Galeria Paloma’s latest exhibit Un|Tethered, artists Sarah de Veyra-Buyco and Hamill Buyco share how their creativity and love for their daughter keep them untethered from the minor things.

When life evolves, so do art and parenting. This reality is one that artists Sarah de Veyra-Buyco and Hamill Buyco navigate with their toddler, Adi, who plays around their studio while watching their creative processes.

From shaping their medium to displaying it in the exhibit, bringing her along to the exhibit has become their way of explaining to her that art is what makes them the daddy and mommy she knows. “It’s what makes us who we are,” emphasizes Hamill. “We want her to rather think that work is part of our lives beyond just tasks to accomplish, it is a gift that ennobles us.”

“We also want her to realize the importance of hard work and the dignity that comes with doing your work well,” Sarah adds.

Proud parents Hamill, Sarah, with their daughter Adriana Mira “Adi” Buyco

The art of balance

But not all days are as picturesque as the artistic parents’ works. They admit that parenting, especially as first-time parents, can make life feel a bit unbearable—especially when they’re juggling its demands alongside the deliverables for full-time work and calls from the arts.

Despite its many challenges, being a mom and dad to their curious and bubbly girl has been a reward in itself. For both Sarah de Veyra-Buyco and Hamill Buyco, there were many realities that they learned to embrace as parents.

“Now I know why pain and joy really go hand-in-hand with parenting,” Sarah realizes. “When I see Adi and realize that her life is entrusted to us [Hamil and I], it’s a moment that just fills our hearts with gratitude each day. The love we feel for her comes so naturally that it’s almost overwhelming!”

But that overwhelming love felt during the early parenting stage also poses a fair set of challenges. And it is during those challenges that all the more, one shouldn’t neglect the other. This is why giving each other space and fixing their relationship as husband and wife has always been a priority for Sarah and Hamill.

With no household help, raising their daughter as artists meant taking turns, scheduling things, and spending time with their toddler. Otherwise, the only time they can work their creative gears is during the wee hours when their daughter is sleeping. But when there’s a need to work, the family steps in which both of them are deeply thankful for.

“Teamwork is really important,” points out Hamill. “Especially when figuring out parenting duties and sharing tasks.”

Sarah de Veyra-Buyco, Nebula 2, graphite on canvas

Untethered in expression, rooted in life

If there’s one thing parents and artists have in common, it’s that bouts of sudden inspiration come in the wee hours of the morning or the most bizarre of times. While working on their masterpieces in the studio during those ungodly hours, they each find the muses to their art.

As a father and husband, Hamill sees art as an extension of himself. It celebrates the life, the emotions, and the experiences that he’s culminated with his family. “My creations revolve around my faith, my wife, and my daughter,” Hamill admits. “They inspire me every day, infusing my creations with depth, meaning, and passion.”

Sarah echoes the same sentiments, acknowledging the authenticity while paying tribute to her mentors. “Roberto ‘Sir Bob’ Feleo and Leo Abaya—Sir Bob has always pushed us to think and to take our craft seriously, to look into ourselves and create with authenticity,” she explains. “Sir Abaya has always challenged me to think with clarity and to ponder how an idea can best be filtered and executed.”

Although their mediums and styles often differ, they see how it compliments just like how they work together as parents. With their artistic passions flowing untethered and unfiltered, Sarah and Hamill let the authenticity and love from their journey as parents direct their creative freedom.

Sarah and Adi

On molding their masterpieces

Every artist has a preferred medium. Hamill Buyco breathes life into the animation scene by paying tribute to the days he learned how to draw via copying comic book characters, while Sarah de Veyra-Buyco embraces the simplicity and accessibility of graphite since her first step into motherhood.

But there’s no limit to how many mediums one can master. Hamill still dips his toes into the traditional and digital art scene, while Sarah is still exploring other ways to showcase her art. Although Hamill advocates for the understanding of the foundations, Sarah also adds that one’s medium of choice should be empowering.

“Joy in creating over technique—technique and medium mastery will catch up if your heart and commitment are there,” Sarah adds. “But your choice of medium should be something you really like. It shouldn’t be limiting but rather empowering.”

Especially after being part of the team that successfully brought the Big Hero 6 TV Series to life, knowledge of the fundamentals had helped Hamill cope. “I believe that any artist would benefit from studying the fundamental techniques of art and design. The knowledge and skill would eventually translate to traditional, digital, and animation.”

Hamill Buyco, The Treachery of Technology (The Treachery of Images), Digital (3D Animation), 2023

Art in the modern-day

With art executions now evolving, modern parents Sarah de Veyra-Buyco and Hamill Buyco encountered the many ups and downs of technology creating tools to streamline the creation of art. The ubiquity of digital art, most especially because of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate these pieces, Sarah feels is what restored the unique appeal found in “traditional handmade pieces.”

Knowing that this technology will further evolve, Hamill aims to research and dive deeper into the limits and capabilities of the technology. “I do not think there is a possibility of closing this particular pandora’s box since this technology is already out in the ecosystem and is now being used in the industry. Right now, because there’s no regulation, it poses a lot of concerns,” he admits.

That’s another thing that art and parenting have in common: every new tip, trick, or even execution will have its own set of concerns. But so long as parents remain untethered to their fears and doubts, they’ll truly enjoy the grand canvas of Life.

More parents and their talks about art?

Crypto Art: Transforming Perspectives and Art Appreciation in Families
Jewelle Yeung and Olivia d’Aboville: The Canvas of Life
How a Children’s Illustrator Draws Out Creativity From Parenthood

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