THIS artist from UST will illustrate for you for free in exchange for your deepest, darkest secret.

Terence Eduarte started an online art project called “100 Days of Secrets,” where he created digital portraits of strangers. In return, his subjects must share with him a personal secret.

Eduarte, 24, earned his advertising arts degree from the College of Fine Arts and Design in 2013.

He is a freelance illustrator who previously worked at an international advertising agency. His works have appeared in foreign publications such as Telegraph, Wired UK and Newsweek.

Eduarte sought to make his portraits stand out from those of other portrait artists.

“Na-realize ko ‘pag ginawa ko ‘yon [100 Days of Strangers] maraming magpapa-drawing, so paano ko [sila] ifi-filter out? Naisip ko why not take their secrets,” Eduarte said in an interview.

“Medyo self-serving ‘yong reason ko, siyempre kung i-drawing kita, I [should] get something out of you so mayroong effort sa part mo,” he added.

His first subjects were his friends but he soon found his inbox flooded with other people’s secrets as the project gained popularity online.

‘Therapist’

As the project went on, Eduarte found himself taking on a role beyond illustrator.

“I suddenly became a therapist. Sometimes it gets hard because I’m not equipped to deal with those [situations],” he said.

He conversed with some of the strangers to help them deal with their secrets but some were just too heavy for him to respond to.

One stranger revealed that she was abused by her stepfather.

“There were a lot who were suicidal. Good thing I have a psychologist friend who I ask for advice,” he said.

All interactions between him and his subjects take place through his email account or in Instagram.

One stranger, whose secret Eduarte found poetic, wrote: “I’m acting in a play where this guy has to act like he’s secretly in love with me. But when the play ends, we go back to real life where I’m secretly in love with him.”

Eduarte’s portraits often depict his subject’s back side—a symbol for their secrets. He also deliberately excludes facial features and expressions for anonymity.

Eduarte specializes in digital art. His style is a play on vectors and the use of abstract shapes.

“100 Days of Secrets” concluded on July 30 and may be viewed on Eduarte’s website (http://trnz.co/100-days-of-secrets/) or personal Instagram account (@trnz.eduarte).

The illustrations will be exhibited at A SPACE Greenbelt in Makati on September 10.

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