Street Art Davao: Paw-Paw Licayan

Paw-Paw  Licayan (PAW)  is one of the most prolific new comers in the Davao Street Art Scene.  For someone who just started making street art in August 2013, he was able to make a lot of legal walls look way better than their previous sad and boring state.  One of the walls that Paw-Paw saved was that humongous slab of concrete on Sales Bar’s roof top.  Back then, that wall was nothing but dead and grey, and a little bit depressing to look at. But because of Paw-Paw’s creative brain and his set of magical spray cans, the wall was turned into a pleasing piece of art. He actually has both the knack to find the walls that “clearly needs to come alive” and to paint those walls with designs that are so bold and so unique that it is impossible not to spot them.  

One thing that is really impressive about this artist is that he is so into street art right now that he just doesn't want to stop.  I actually saw him working on a wall on an afternoon during the Sembreak 2013 party weekend at Dahican.  Everybody got their eyes glued on the beach that time because there was some sort of skim boarding on dwarf-like waves that was happening that time and I was looking for a place where I could pee without paying Php 5.  I saw this lone wall that stood upright inside a wrecked building. It seemed to be the perfect spot. However, when I was on my way to give that wall a shower, I saw Paw-Paw and one of his mates already showering it with colors. The piece that they made there was probably the first decent street art in Dahican. Watching that scene can actually give you a really good feeling even if you are about to pay Php 5  just to pee.  It’s because that was passion right there in front of you. And that was also Davao leaving a mark in Mati city. 

Paw-Paw now works as a graphic designer. He is a disciple of minimalism and his favorite elements are simple shapes. You can also know that what you are looking at is a PAW artwork if you see a "single eye with an eye bag" which somewhat became this artist's signature. 

We  asked Paw-Paw a  few questions. He answered. You can read the exchange below. 

Davaoist: When did you get interested in street art?

Paw: I was interested in street art since I was young but I don’t have any friends who are in to it so I wasn't able to do the actual thing until my friend, Philip Orilla, introduced me to the scene last August.

Davaoist: Tell us something about your style?

Paw: I really like doing cubism art which is an abstract form of art and also I like to place eye bags to my drawings since I was young. I was inspired by Alien Workshop skateboards with designs of Don Pendleton which had these simple lines creating one nice art piece. Since then I was experimenting with shapes and lines then in years I came up with my own style and the eye bags are still there. lol

Davaoist: When and where did you paint your first graffiti?  How did you feel after that?

Paw: I made my first wall art in my house. I bought some spray cans and did it in our wall. My mom and dad didn’t know this until they got home. Thankfully they liked it and didn't scold me for that. Both my parents are very supportive : )  . It was very fun and I enjoyed doing it. It takes the stress out of my body haha.

Davaoist: Who are your favorite street artists?

Paw: Don Pendleton (I don’t know if he is a street artist but I like his artworks), Blic, Beastman, Phibs, Insa, Sano WPC, Reka, Yok, Matt W. Moore and lots more 😊

Davaoist: What is the main thing that inspires you when you make street art? 

Paw: To be able to let my children see my artworks in the streets when I become old. lol. I really like meeting new people in the process of learning new different styles in street art.

Here are some of Paw's art pieces. You can see more by visiting his Facebook page (click this to reach his Paw on Facebook)