THIS artist dared to leave the confines of his hometown to pursue his dreams.

Francisco Doplon, more known to some as Dopy Doplon, is one of the leading names in the field of graphic arts and the creator of the Quadricentennial logo.

But before venturing into the business aspect of the craft, Dopy said he was much involved in the arts growing up.

“The beautiful scenery I see outside when I look out the window really inspires me,” Dopy said. “I can see the hills, the long roads, and I always sketch those.”

Born in Marawi city, Dopy said enrolling in UST was a huge step for him.“I was born in Mindanao, a Muslim city, and I was one of the first in a Muslim community to study in a Catholic university.”

But despite not knowing what will welcome him in the University, Dopy was thankful that his parents supported him to continue pursuing arts and made the challenges as part of enthusiasm in acing in his career.

First stroke

A very eager and enthusiastic student at the time, the young Dopy became even more motivated in learning arts when his talent got noticed by his professor during his junior years.

The Advertising major also said that through becoming a working student, he was able to help his family and became exposed to the real world of art. He also got to work for two of the biggest names on print during those years.

“We were asked to draw for Liwayway and Bulaklak magazines—two of the most famous publications at that time. We illustrate stories for them.”

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After graduating from the College of Fine Arts and Design, he worked for prime graphic designs company such as The Advertising Philippines and Girl Friday Design.

He also served as the first art director of the Philippine Star with Max Soliven, its founder, after the Martial law era.

He also became the art director of Sunburst magazine, a Philippine-based magazine distributed internationally, and the Mabuhay magazine, the magazine of Philippine Airlines.

“All of the experiences that I have gathered served as a part of the honing of my skill,” Dopy said.

“Basically, you hone your skills by practicing and practicing. You have to do your illustration assignments and so you can perfect your craft.”

Keeping both feet on the ground

Year 2006 marked a very important milestone in Dopy’s life. It was the year his entry for the 2011 Quadricentennial logo-contest making was chosen by the University.

“I am proud to say that I designed UST’s quadricentennial logo and I believe that, that logo is my legacy,” shared Dopy.

Though many compliments were given to Dopy’s “Tongues of Fire,” negative comments were also thrown at him. “May nag-sabi sa ‘kin parang nasusunog daw ang Main Building sa design, pero ganoon talaga, you cannot please everybody.”

Dopy’s name is not just prominent in the University but also in international competitions.

He received accolades such as Best in Print award in Hewlett-Packard Indigo contest in Bangkok, Thailand for his book, “Ina and the Bikol People.” He also won two awards for designing the book covers of “Homage” by Jaime Zobel and “Silence” by Arturo Luz, awarded by Manila Critics Circle National Book awards.

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He is the founder of ArtOne, a graphics studio specializing in print communication which is now on its 23rd year.

“I got my inspiration for ArtOne, siyempre, from the number one,” Dopy said. “If you don’t aim your target for number one, you don’t aim for the best.”

In keeping a successful business, Dopy said it is also important to keep up with the modern trends.

“Know your clients. Know what they want and what they need. You research. You also have to explore different kind of technologies, and most of all, you have to adapt to the new age.”

With all the accomplishments that Dopy has made, he still keeps his feet on the ground and is humbled by the support of his family.

“My family, my wife, my children, they are my inspiration. They’re always with me and I’m really thankful for their unending love and support,” said Dopy, noting that his children were often the models of his artworks.

To aspiring artists, Dopy said: “Always target being number one because you’re only as good as your last work; just keep on developing your craft. Be good and create a resume for posterity. And lastly, focus on striving to become better and stay humble.” Mone Virma Ginry P. Gumapac

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