How doodling landed this artist a possible spot in Red Bull’s Global Virtual Gallery

Etch-a-sketch: Rojan Elmo Barcelon moves on to the Global Finals of the Red Bull Doodle Art competition.

Doodling is one of those phases we all go through growing up, regardless of whether or not we’re artistically inclined. We started with our trusty crayons, drawing everything from stick people to houses using basic lines and shapes like triangles, rectangles and circles. Later on, it became a way to escape reality — I mean, can you honestly say you never spaced out during a lecture in class and started mindlessly doodling in the margins of your notebook?

Everyone was busting out their doodling skills once again last May 6 for the National Finals of this year’s Red Bull Doodle Art. Held at Kapwa Studio in Makati, the event served as a way to display all 133 entries and 20 finalists for the Philippines leg of this year’s competition, which were submitted online and in drop boxes placed in different university campuses. 

Taking inspiration from the entries displayed around the gallery, guests unleashed their own creativity by drawing on a wall-sized mirror using multi-colored chalk markers. It was amazing to see how everyone was sipping on Red Bull and snacking on tacos while collaborating and adding on to each other’s work. 

Finalists incorporated a lot of social and nationalistic elements in their pieces, like the Filipino family, politics and the class struggle. In the end, University of the Philippines student Rojan Elmo Barcelon got the opportunity to advance to the finals with his piece, “Maynila King.” Barcelon mentioned that he aimed to show that lower class Filipinos could rise up and become the kings of Manila. 

Barcelon will represent the Philippines in the Global Finals of the competition that will be held in a still undisclosed location later this year. For now, he’ll be coached to create a work of art in 3D that’ll end up on Red Bull’s Global Virtual Gallery. How’s that for a prize?

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