BIOGRAPHY

  • Name: RONALD GEBILAGUIN
  • Age: 32
  • Country: PHILIPPINES

This Filipino native just might be the most enthusiastic and endearing competitor the BWFC has ever seen! But don’t let his demeanor fool you – Ronald most definitely has the sculpting talent to back up his love of the subject matter.

INTERVIEW

How do you feel about participating in the BANPRESTO WORLD FIGURE COLOSSEUM 2018?

Honored and immensely grateful. There are thousands other artists around the world who are way better than me. Being chosen to participate was unbelievable and I couldn’t be any happier. One Piece is a big part of me being an anime fan. I started watching it roughly 10 years ago. BWFC is giving me the opportunity to give the best tribute to the best anime show on earth. Thank you. I also think it’s awesome that the competition is now open for sculptors outside Japan! Anime is pretty much a worldwide phenomenon and it’s great to know that we can participate in official events like this. I really hope that I can join again in the future! :)

Of all the art forms, why did you pick sculpting or become a sculptor?

To be honest, I wanted to be an animator, but it was a hard career to pursue in the Philippines. I needed a job so I took one in 3d modeling and I liked it. Always lived with the philosophy -- “Do the thing that you love or love the thing that you do”. Either way works. Now that I think about it, sculpting makes ideas tangible and available for all your senses to enjoy. It feels great when you start sketching the pose and designing the overall composition. It flexes your imagination muscles. But when you begin sculpting, you start committing to your design. You start seeing what works and what needs to be changed. You start thinking of the space and form. You start seeing your imagination come to life. It feels good. Really good.

How do you feel about the franchise for which you selected?

Hands down the best anime, ever. I’m older now which means less time for anime, which means One Piece mainly. I don’t know how this show keeps me excited even after watching it for more than 10 years now. In One Piece, cool characters come in all shapes and sizes and shine in the most unexpected ways. Oda sensei breaks common visual design rules so you never know what you’re going to get. I thought Senor Pink looked hilarious and ridiculous until I learned about his heart wrenching back story. In One Piece, story is king. But the art does a good job of diverting your attention so when the story kicks in, you are always caught off guard, amazed and speechless. I just hope it ends before I die. Hahaha!

Tell us the reason why you chose the character you did. (And why did you pose it that way?)

Jinbe is the father member that the Straw Hat Crew is missing at the moment. For a long time I felt that he would eventually join the crew. Picking him is more of a celebration for me. I love his character. He has a strong sense of commitment and honor. Like Luffy, he can act as a compass for the team and always point them to the ultimate goal. Also, he deserves more love and attention from One Piece fans! :) I posed him that way because it is usually the stance for his one-hit-kill punches like the Gosenmai-gawara Seiken. So that is pretty much the last pose Opera saw before he got knocked out.

What makes your style of sculpting unique?

I am not really sure. Whenever I do fan art sculpts, I just want to find a good balance between my personal taste and the original design. I may not always succeed but I always want to try. I usually add new design elements when I can. For this competition, I added ridges to Jinbe’s body to give more of a fishman look amongst others. I just can’t seem to make something that is like a straight up copy of the source material. I have to add something onto it somehow. I feel like, as an artist, adding a personal touch to designs I admire is how I show respect. It’s like saying that the design really resonated with me and inspired me to take a spin on it. I think that’s a good tribute.

If you were a One Piece character who would you be? And why?

Going Merry. Being one of the Straw Hat Crew would be awesome. But I love how the Going Merry felt like a true character that watches over them, pushed them as far as it could, and supported them with everything it has. Yeah, it’s a ship. But One Piece fans know that it was a member of the Straw Hat Crew also. And well, we all cried in the episode saying goodbye to the Going Merry.

How do you feel about the other contestants?

I feel grateful to just be considered competing with them! Like I mentioned earlier, there are thousands of other artists that are way better than me and deserves this spot. In One Piece, we have previous champions Yamaguchi-san and Takahashi-san whom I started following since last year when I heard about BWFC for the first time. I love their works. Their attention to detail and ability to make appealing composition is truly top notch. Then there are also the other sculptors who all have their own unique styles. Everyone is just on a different skill level above me. I am honored and thankful beyond words to get a chance to compete with them as equals through BWFC.

Is there anything you like to say to your fans?

I probably only have one fan, my mom. I love you mom! Hahaha.

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