An artist from the Philippines Mary Mae makes leaf art as her source of income after she lost her factory job due to coronavirus.
The 23-year-old artist Mary Mae Dacanay is turning leaves into celebrity art. She began enjoying her favorite past time when she lost her job. However, she had difficulty gathering materials in a country in which strict lockdown measures are in effect.
Dacancy found an opportunity and picked some leaves from a jackfruit tree outside her home.
Mary Mae began cutting leaves to enhance popular celebrities. She had made images of Robert Downey Jr and Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, and others. Not only this, but the artist also created an image of the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte.
“Because of this pandemic, I wanted to try making artwork but purchasing art supplies in my town was very difficult because of the strict lockdown,” she said, speaking at her home in Laguna province, south of the capital Manila.
“The only way was to buy online but it was also difficult. I experimented using leaves as a makeshift canvas and it turned out really nice.”
The talented artist got thousands of followers on Facebook in days. She then sold hundreds of pieces of her “leaf art”, each for about 400 pesos ($8.24). The exact price varies according to the level of detail in each piece.
Dacancy said that she is now able to earn while enjoying her hobby, instead of working seven days a week at a factory, plus overtime.
“This leaf art has helped me so much financially during this pandemic,” she said.
“The money I use to pay bills, buy food for my family, and our other daily expenses are from my earnings from commissioned work.”