The kindest hearted teacher you've ever met. I'm not only referring to his big smile but the truly unique way in which he dedicates himself to his students. The learning process is different in every being and finding someone who is willing to understand each of his student's universe is magical. It does not matter how skillful you are in the topic, Eduardo has the power to bring out the best in you. What amazes me about this man is how unbelievably passionate he is about his work, not only as a teacher but also as an artist.
I had the opportunity to interview him in his latest workshop. It is always a pleasure to talk about art and fashion with someone who happily lives in both worlds.
How did you get into the illustration world?
I got into this world when I was a kid. I was very motivated by my parents and that was very important because it allowed me to cultivate the art I had in my veins. I grew up with all that support and when it was time, I joined a visual arts school called 'Joe de Leon y Asociados' that was well known in the city during those times. They helped me improve myself professionally and let me achieve a quality work. Of course, I keep improving throughout the years and IÂ´m even named as one of the best illustrators in Peru.
- ..And in the teaching world?*
I got into teaching after showcasing my work in an exhibition. An article about this event was written in a fashion magazine, therefore, a year after my graduation, my work began to be recognized more and more. My art achieved a higher level and many people that had dreams like me wanted to be guided by my work, knowledge and experience. So I began as a teacher and now I can tell that IÂ´m a good one. I say this because through the years, life teaches you many things. I have 25 years of teaching experience and I feel very proud and happy sharing my talent, the gift that God gave me. I share my talent with my whole heart and passion. I'm happy to be recognized as a good teacher and also as one of the best illustrators in Peru. I always tell my students that perseverance, constancy, passion and anything made with love can be achieved.
You are someone very loved and respected by your students. What characteristics do you thing are key to being a good teacher?
I feel very satisfied because IÂ´m a very charismatic teacher. I think that not only talent but also my personality has helped me a lot. I think this complement helps to make people feel loved and guided with a lot of passion, organization, care and advise. Dedicating enough time to students that have different learning styles is important so that the guidance they have is suited for them. A teacher must leave a mark of knowledge and light in his students. I have to mention again that IÂ´m very happy about all these years in which I spent cultivating art in many people. Even though some of them didn't have a lot of skills, with my patience and time dedicated, they achieved their dreams and goals. It is hard, nothing is easy in life but who perseveres, achieves.
(Photo: Fernando Fossa)
(Photo: Fernando Fossa)
You are in charge of training the future designers of Peru. What advice would you give to those who are interested in pursuing this major?
That's true. As a teacher you train the future of your country and I think every teacher of the world is a lamp that guides their students. Advice I always tell my students is to be very patient and never give up. You can't feel overwhelmed before trying enough. The fight is constant and there are many hours of work, dedication and passion. We should think that everything we want to build has a cost. There are no excuses. I tell my kids that someone with excuses is someone who doesn't want to work because I think that people who want to fulfill their goals and be on the top of the mountain fight a lot. Always keep trying; every mistake is part of the learning process. If you fall down, get up again but never lose your faith either in God or in yourself. Moreover it's important to trust in yourself as well as your teacher and to feel that what you have inside can be cultivated every day and transformed into something awesome.
I believe that talent is shown when there is a lot of hard work. However, nowadays young people prefer to live an easier life. On the other hand, IÂ´ve seen the unbelievable improvements in your students. What do you think is essential to keep young students motivated?
Life isn't easy for anyone, everything has a cost. The human being has to love himself and keep moving forward. The human being that wants to get ahead has to sweat, work and avoid mediocrity. If you fall down, get up the necessary amount of times. If you want to be the number one you have to break parameters and never let anything limit yourself. That way, you will be able to achieve your goals. Something I always tell my students is 'if the way is hard, you are in a good direction'. Everything light and simple ends in a bad and fast way. But if you follow the rough path, the one in which you get dirty and cry, that's the real path because your satisfaction lasts forever. We should never minimize ourselves, especially when we are envied and criticized because this is going to happen. When there are people around you that want to stop you from growing, never let that will to fight go away. Every beautiful dream will be only achieved with hard work.
After working almost 20 years in the same institute, you've chosen to keep your successful career independent. What type of courses will you teach now?
Indeed, IÂ´ve worked 25 years in the fashion industry. I began teaching when I was 23 years old and IÂ´m satisfied by my work, but IÂ´m even more satisfied by all the love provided by the people who find my work and the ones who meet me personally. ItÂ´s so beautiful to be corresponded with because everything I give comes from my heart. Money is not my main purpose of working. My real purpose is to enlighten the way of people with my talent, otherwise my work would be meaningless. Therefore, IÂ´m so happy to be independent now and to provide all the people my knowledge through the workshops and independent classes I teach. I want to give my 'grain of sand' to all the people that want to succeed in the fashion world. Drawing is a language, a type of communication but the fashion sketch is especially important because it is the first talk with the client. Let's develop your skills, and if you think you don't have them, let's practice until you became a master of fashion illustration.
Working in fashion means getting into a world in which the unexpected is part of every day. Can you share with us a special memory that you save with love?
I have a lot of anecdotes, I should write a bestseller (laughs). But something I think I should mention about my 25 years experience is the love shared by my disciples and me. It is so important for a teacher to leave a mark. When you see that your students are getting close to you, sharing their laughter and tears and writing you very sweet things, it is something that makes your heart want to explode out of your body with happiness. It's amazing that when you are teaching a class everyone is with you, collaborating and working to give excellent work. Sometimes I am amazed by that chemistry and beautiful feeling. It is very nice. ItÂ´s important to not only be there for teaching a class, drawing and giving the students an assignment but also to get into their hearts and minds. ItÂ´s relevant to have that connection, that way the student will feel comfortable. We are human beings, not machines, therefore joining together and never breaking that bond is crucial. I have my students on Facebook, when they find me on the street they hug me or they are giving me great compliments, telling me that they love me and asking me to go back because they miss me. These were the reasons why my motor was able to keep going in this fashion world. Thanks to them I kept my passion for sharing my illustrations; not all the people can achieve this because they havenÂ´t enough patience. That's what characterizes me, that patience of supporting my students to improve themselves until they can walk alone. I send them a lot of blessings. I love and always remember them. Even though I don't see some of them now, I feel satisfied to have worked with them through those 25 years. Moreover, I was always awarded with diplomas and recognitions for having the most acceptances within the students. I finish telling them to never give up, and that they will always have a teacher or a friend in me, that is always willing to guide them in anything they need. A lot of hugs, kisses and big thanks to each one of you.
Florencia Luna is a Visual Artist and Art Director that loves writing. She is a full time Instagrammer and social media fan. Creating new things and discovering new spots are part of her everyday life. Now, she is focusing on her latest project: SALAVERRY 700, her own clothing brand that focuses on designing artistic pieces with a street fashion feeling.
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