THE STORY OF A STORY TELLER
"Illustrator of memories" as he is called by his collectors , Lawton Ladao, a Bulaceno artist tell the stories from his "Ala-ala" using his creatively disoriented signature figures depicted in old Filipino attire and gestures. He painted the games he used to play with his "kalaro", the customs and traditions he grew up with, the myths his lola used to tell when they were young, the nursery rhymes they sang and the stories from his childhood that everybody can relate to.
His advocacy as an educator in a local public school in Bulacan makes him decide to teach using his art works and tell stories of good Filipino culture and beliefs to his students. He draw illustrations of "Pagmamano", "Pakikipagkaibigan" and "Panliligaw". He was first known for his "Suyuan Series" where he painted the traditional way of courting a "Dalagang Pilipina" which includes, "Harana", "Paninilbihan", "Pag-akyat ng ligaw", and the "torpe" way of "Ligaw Tingin" and "Pagsintang Purorot". He is also popular in his renditions of "Mamang Sorbetero", "Saranggola ni Pepe", "Leron leron sinta", "Ibong Pipit" and several songs from our colorful past that molds our childhood. He also draw the "Sungka", "Luksong baka", "Luksong tinik","Habulan", "Saranggola", "Karoling", "Komiks" and other pass times we used to enjoy before the social media was invented.
Through his colorful distinctive pallet, he brings this stories back from "Baul ni Lola" and refreshes it again to the memories of people and brings back the smiles of their youth.
In 2014, Lawton became involved in environmental issues through groups like "Earthday Networks Philippines" and "Mga Anak ni Inang Daigdig". There, he started to release a new series he called "Diwata". It tells a story of Maria Makiling and Maria Sinukuan and their call to protect "Inang Kalikasan".
Because of this cause he became very involved in several art talks and workshops nationwide regarding the environment. He used his paintings to fund projects like the reforestation of Marikina Watershed. He also became part of several civic activities like the "Sining Buhay" of PLDT were he mentored 85 unfortunate children from the Smokey Mountain and Cribs Foundation to create collage out of recyclable materials. Lawton is the artist of Agos Ram Pump Project of Coca-Cola Foundation Philipppines, where he brings the message of protecting our watersheds through his paintings in every Agos tank in sites nationwide.
Recently, he founded the Guhit:Artists for the Environment and sign a Covenant together with DENR, Climate Change Commission and different company partners to protect the nature using his God given talent. Until now, together with his artists friends in Guhit, Lawton continue to make projects, fund causes and aware people about the protection of Mother Earth using his paintings.
As he always say, he wants his Obra Maestras not just be hanged in walls and be appreciated by enthusiasts. He wants a much broader meaning for his pieces. He believed that his obras can grow trees in unforested mountains, bring unfortunate children to schools, can inspire people to be good and do good, can change perspective and can move the nation to greatness.
By his joyful colors and graceful figures, Lawton tells a story from our past and tell a story to our future. For him, paintings could not only consume spaces in our walls but should also consume spaces in our thoughts and hearts.
Now, he wants to tell another story of his life. He wants to tell the stories of his travels and the stories of people he meet along the way. He will be telling this to his new series "BIYAHENG LAWTON". A rendition of people in the "Kalye" and how they affect us in some ways. Like a barker calling for passengers to ride a jeepney along the streets of Manila, Lawton invites us to discover the world in the streets as he says, "Sakay na Po, Lalakad na ang Biyaheng Lawton".