Seventeen-year-old Edgian James Calapardo Florida has been sketching since his elementary years but the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic gave him more time to polish his skills in fashion art and made a small business out of his various works.

His interest in fashion art started when he was in Grade 10.

Currently, he is an incoming Grade 12 senior high school student at the Janiuay National Comprehensive High School in Janiuay, Iloilo.

Top photo: FASHION ART. These fashion arts made by Edgian James Calapardo Florida were designed using weeds. The young designer said on Wednesday (Aug. 26, 2020) his creations were inspired by what he saw on Pinterest. (PNA photo by Edgian James Calapardo Florida)

Florida first made fashion design sketches and then decorated the designs using materials such as grass, flowers, vegetables, weeds, and anything he can find from his surroundings.

“I tried using flowers first. This quarantine, I tried looking for plants that I can design as flowers,” he said.

Little did he know, that this August while being stuck at home, his passion for sketching embellished through the use of nature’s wonders created a lot of buzz among the people.

He turned his sketches into whimsical fashion designs by dressing up his artwork with flowers, leaves, grass, seeds, and anything nature can offer.

“This artwork sparked a lot of interest. They wondered how I came up with those meticulous designs, especially when I made use of seeds or legumes,” he added.

After putting together a design, he will take a photo of his creation and set them aside.

He even recycles some of his materials, as the flowers and grass wilt easily but the seeds and legumes, he keeps for future designs.

This quarantine period, he was able to come up with more than 50 sketches.

“Later on I am planning (to go) into the fashion industry. Through this I want to develop my skills, especially I am planning to pursue fashion design in college,” Florida told Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Florida said his creations were inspired by what he saw on Pinterest, particularly the Edgar Artis creation.

“Hope my art can able to spread positivity and inspiration (during) this pandemic,” he said.

Apart from the fashion art, he also came up with what he calls “minimalist sketch vector art” that he sold to help his family cope with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

He came up with a sort of photo gallery with free minimalist painting, he said. He sold them to neighboring Janiuay and Cabatuan towns.

Sadly, due to difficulty in transportation, he temporarily stopped.

“Hopefully when it opens in December, I will go into arts and crafts,” said this 17-year old designer from Brgy. Calansanan, Badiangan, Iloilo.

The young designer, who is turning 18 this end of August, admitted that he has no formal training.

The only time that he had a coach was when he represented their school in a poster-making contest.

He was in Grade IV when he discovered his skills in sketching.

His talent was developed with him joining various contests, poster-making, doing editorial cartoons, and campus journalism.

“I’ve been into sketching since elementary. I serve as fashion designer every time there is a camp,” he said.

As the younger of the two siblings, he said that his parents are always proud each time they see his works featured in various media forums. (Perla Lena, PNA)