Racso Jugarap, a wire artist, may be an ordinary Filipino who arrived in Belgium several years ago. But his dreams and passion are exceptional. Learn how his success story inspires not only his fellow Filipinos but other start-ups in the artistic industry of Europe.
Things seem to happen instantaneously for this young talented man just like someone wins a jackpot in a lottery. As the saying goes by, “What is meant to happen, will happen.” so luck falls perfectly right in the palm of his hands. This may sound too good to be true but what if it is a reality? How can challenges turn into instant success?
Filipino wire artist
We Filipinos tend to like anything that's quick and easy such as instant noodles, Google, Uber, etc. While this has almost now been the norm of thinking in our society. In a world that's changing at a fast pace so enormously, this interview with Filipino wire artist is rooted in inner passion and determination.
The term overnight success has become a cliché that many successful personalities would remove the phrase in the dictionary if they could. On the contrary, this flash of a lightning kind of success may be considered if we look at a duck floating peacefully on the water as an example. The duck seems calm and well rested on top of the water, but underneath are the struggles and challenges those hard-working feet have to endure. Apparently, this is what exactly every start-up or even a successful player has to go through every single time.
Introducing the Filipino wire artist Racso Jugarap, a proud native Filipino born who came to Europe in 2009 to work as a chef in a famous hotel chain across the continent. To cope up with a high level of stress from his job, he started creating figures out of scrapped wires using his pliers and hand gloves. Although, this type of craftsmanship is nothing new to him as he grew up in a family who runs a jewelry store. He still considered it as a hobby and a way of coping things up.
After finishing one work after another, he would then take a nice photo of each piece and post them on Instagram. Little did he know that someone on the other side of the world would not only “heart” the photo but would be more than interested to buy not only one piece but hundreds of the same kind; to be showcased in one of the interior galleries in New York. The rest was history.
Filipino wire art
The discovery of his unique creations on social media recently happened in 2015 quickly after he moved and got a permanent residence in Belgium. From there on, doors of opportunities opened up for him when he began delivering promises to his first several clients. While talking about his artistry and success might sound cool, getting to know the heart and the passion of the artist is a whole new level.
As might be expected, his famous pieces which he named Felomina, Marc Francois, Icarus, Cymera, Sofia, and the ostrich eggs not only pop up in chic galleries of Brussels, Paris and New York without the real work behind closed doors.
Like every artist-entrepreneur, there are countless of difficulties and pressures to handle. Racso may not have acquired any formal art studies but his will and creativity are stronger than any certificates that when an idea runs through his mind, he has to act upon and create it immediately. His painstaking hands and eyes are what brought some of his intricate crafts to Tomorrowland 2017 (a world's famous music festival yearly held in Boom, Belgium) and a spot to feature his works this 2018 in Elle magazine Italy.
With his down to earth character and consistent approach, he is well competent to make settlements with gallerists and atelierista. One of his special artworks was sold out within two hours upon the installation in a gallery in Sablon area Brussels. Sold like hot cakes, as they say, it would not have been possible without his discipline to wake up early and sleep late in order to meet deadlines. Working day and night in his humble basement, Racso is determined to keep the standard and uniqueness of his well-made pieces and explore the world of design. In a little while, he is venturing into the design industry with his upcoming Rattan Bow-Tie Project which is due for launch before the end of the winter season this year.
Selling art in Brussels from the Filipino wire artist Racso Jugarap
An in-depth interview with the Filipino wire artist
Name: Racso Jugarap
Origin: General Santos City, Philippines
City: Brussels, Belgium
KS: Tell me a little about yourself.
Racso: I was born and raised in the South of the Philippines, General Santos City, South Cotabato. I am the youngest son of a Jewelry Designer and a Businesswoman. I was already exposed to people creating something artisan related things at a very young age. In my case, Jewelries. But I followed my other passion which is cooking and had traveled around the world.
When I decided to settle in Belgium. I had experienced firsthand how design and arts have been part of most of the people's lives, this inspired me to share my art with the public that I have kept hidden for so long.
Filipino wire artist from South Cotabato, read more about the Philippine Festivals
KS: Why did you decide to become a wire artist?
Racso: Me being a Wire artist was just a happenstance. It was only supposed to be a hobby that I do in my basement when I’m not working. Something that I do to distress with my mind from my very hectic work. But when I finally decided to share my pieces with the world (Instagram) things changed for me. One buyer led to another until it got so busy that I decided to quit my job and became a full-time artist.
KS: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Racso: Well, I would say my father. He was the first artist that I know.
KS: How do you generate new ideas?
Racso: I don’t really have a fixed formula on how I generate new ideas. Sometimes it would just come out while having dinner with my friends, or when I’m listening to music. But one thing is I don’t know how to draw, So a wire sculpture needs to be done right away, I let my hands work or else I would lose it forever in my mind.
KS: What's your favorite artwork?
Racso: I guess my Sofia number 2. She has this grace that I couldn’t remake anymore, no matter how I try.
KS: Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit?
Racso: Of course my mother.
KS: What three pieces of advice would you give to young people who want to become entrepreneurs or artists?
Racso: Just keep creating – You need to find your own identity through your art and be proud of it. You need to learn to promote yourself and promote others as well. Don’t be afraid to dream big, even if other people might think it’s crazy. Do it anyway.
KS: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Racso: Patience, Learning from personal and other failures, Seeing the bigger picture of what your aspirations
KS: What projects are you working on now?
Racso: At the moment, I am in the process of launching my other social passion project. A new adventure for me. Because It is a different industry (Fashion). But I am loving it.
You can follow and participate in the latest project of the Filipino wire artist https://www.Racsoj.com/
KS: How do you envision your company 5 years from now?
Racso: More big projects. Collaborations. And my promise to myself to help uplift other starting artists and designers like me to bring up their games.
KS: Top 3 places on the globe that you haven’t conquered yet but would love to?
Racso: Iceland, Peru, and Italy
KS: Top 3 mobile apps that you can't live without? Give your reasons.
Racso: Facebook – I use it to connect with everyone especially with my family back home.
Instagram – I love how visual it is. To keep in touch as well with my supporters around the world.
Google Maps – Makes my life easier.
KS: Top 3 Filipino foods you always want to cook abroad?
Racso: My father’s kinilaw recipe, the best!, kare-kare, Filipino style BBQ!
KS: Top 3 best Belgian foods?
Racso: Waterzooi De Poulet, Moule Marinieres, Boulet de Liege
KS: Top 3 places you love to visit in the Philippines and Belgium?
Racso: Belgium (Brugge, Ostend & Liege) Philippines (EL Nido Palawan, Siargao & Mati, Davao)
Ultimately, as coach Lou Holtz said “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – For the Filipino wire artist, there is no limit to what humans can achieve with a pleasant character and right attitude alongside our talents and skills. In the same way, Racso exemplified a true testimony that it is certainly possible for Filipinos to infiltrate in the western market in the world of art and design regardless of limited resources.
You can see more of Racso's art and design at his website or Instagram. Meanwhile, if you find this article inspiring, feel free to share your view on the comment section or write success stories for Belgian Filipino Lovers.