An art enthusiast based in Tayabas City, Quezon province, Meridean R. Eclavea-Oczon or known as De-an, is a licensed and registered nutritionist dietitian by profession and an artist by heart. De-an has been sharpening her artistic skills since she was young. She joined different art contests since elementary level and an editorial cartoonist during her secondary level. She took BS Nutrition at University of the Philippines Los Baños, not an art related course that is why she admitted that she had a hard time during the freshmen and sophomore years, yet, she graduated and passed the ND licensure examination. She worked as a clinical dietitian in a hospital, but a baby arrived and pandemic came, she set aside her work and focused on her family.
She joined an on-the-spot painting contest in Tayabas City and fortunately got a place, giving her confidence and inspiration to get back to painting and drawing. She was invited to join an art group named as Skilled, Innovative, Creative Artists of the Philippines, Inc. (SICAP). Illustrating portraits with graphite and charcoal is one of her interests and she also accepts portrait commissions. She is still exploring herself on hyperrealism art through wet media particularly acrylic paint, and detailing intricate details. The artist’s painting focuses more on the idea and symbolism of the strength of a woman through colors and blooms of flowers.
During her 6th grade, she was amazed about the beauty on putting art on skin. She started with henna tattooing, usually during summer or vacation. She decided to upgrade her skill in her college years, so from 2012 she did researches, watched videos and tutorials, interviewed some of tattoo artists, read journals about tattooing and attended seminars and workshops. 2017 marked her permanent tattooing professionally and established her own studio in Tayabas City: “DE-AN Tattoo”, and proving that even women can strive in this male-dominated profession. Being a part of the story of one’s expressions through their body by leaving permanent lines and shading on one’s skin is what keeps her more inspired.
Aside from painting and tattooing, the artist also incorporated art on food, applying part of what she learned on her degree. This art is specifically injecting colorful edible flowers inside a clear gelatin, making it as a “Jellidean” gelatin cake, hoping in the near future to have her own Jellidean store. She always loves exploring new and unique artsy things, reminding herself everyday to never stop learning.
Often underestimated herself of what she could still accomplish, she realized that there’s nothing she cannot do, if she puts her heart, mind and soul into it, especially putting God at the center at all times. Eventually, she found art on food, friends and organizations at UPLB that she considered as her extended family and an endless support all throughout from her family.