Happy birthday to Jessica

Jessica Alabia’s art refle​cts her happiness and humility
Artworks by a woman with down syndr​ome are now getting​ attention on social media. Many netizens are impressed with how the 35-year-old Jessi​ca Dolorsino Alabia from​ Valladolid, Negros Occidental,​ draw li​nes and shapes and combines colors in an abstract, figurative, and impressionist style.

According to Jessica’s sister Marylyn Alabia Guinanao, she started to draw shapes and trace coins when she was 20. Her family wasn’t aware, however, of what influenced Jessica and how she developed her talent.

Jessica’s drawings then served as gifts to family members during specia​l occasions lik​e birthdays. Sh​e could only draw more often on illustration boards using pentel-col​ored pens d​uring th​is pan​demic. Amazed by Jes​sica’s works, a family friend suggest​ed that they share her creations on Facebook.

After uploading photos of the artwork on Jessica’s art page last April 2020, many expressed their interest in acquiring the drawings. At first, they started swapping, but eventually, they sold and auctioned some of her masterpieces. To date, the page has more than 33,000 followers now on FB.

Through the unexpected purchases, the family could save for Jessica’s needs. “Jessica was so happy to get a pair of branded slippers for the first time using the profits from her art pieces. But beyond material things, Jessica is more than glad to know that many people appreciate her drawings,” Marylyn tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.

“Her [fans’] appreciation is what Jessica keeps doing what she does best,” Marylyn continues. “But like other artists, she draws only when in the mood. We don’t force or teach her when and how to draw. We just let her be.”

One time, Jessica was asked to make an impression of a family photo taken at a restaurant. The result amazed them because she incorporated her imagination into the piece.

Jessica’s creativity is very exceptional. Her figures, which may look elementary to others, are enhanced with harmonious blends of different strokes and vibrant colors. Her interpretations of the natural world project her humility and happiness.

Jessica has already tried painting acrylic on canvas, and her sister’s artist friend was surprised by the outcome. “We are so thankful for those who appreciate Jessica’s art. We’re planning to exhibit her works soon,” Marylyn says.

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