Artists are known to have a fiery spirit and a rebellious mind— and Heart Evangelista (real name Love Marie Ongpauco-Escudero) is no exception. From being an actress to becoming a visual artist, Heart’s choice to become a creator was something that she had to fight for.
As the youngest child, Heart is expected to be doted on and rebellious. While Heart herself agrees that she is, her parents made sure that she does not grow up too spoiled.
“I’m a rebel with a cause. The more you say no, the more I want [to] just to prove my point,” Heart says in an interview with television host Mel Tiangco.
From a young age, Heart knew that being an actress was one of her goals in life. However, Heart becoming involved in the showbiz industry was out of the question due to her father, Chinese-Filipino restaurateur Reynaldo Evangelista Ongpauco, being heavily against it. Her dad warned her about the dangers of joining the industry. As expected, that did not stop Heart from making her dream a reality. Heart was strolling inside a mall with her sister when a talent scout asked her sister if Heart was interested in modeling for an advertisement, and this incident laid the foundation of Heart’s acting and modeling career.
Early in her acting career, Heart was paired with actor John Prats in numerous ABS-CBN TV shows like My First Romance, G-mik, and Trip. After a few years, Heart’s reel relationship with John Prats ended and she ended up being paired with actor Geoff Eigenmann for different ABS-CBN movies and TV shows. A year later, Heart now got paired with Jericho Rosales as his love interest for the fantasy TV series Panday, which was a remake of Fernando Poe Jr.’s Ang Panday film series that was famous back in the ‘80s.
In 2008, Heart decided to switch networks and signed with GMA Network. In her first show with the network, she was paired with Richard Gutierrez in the TV show Codename: Asero. She then starred in the fantasy series Luna Mystika, which was followed by the afternoon soap opera show Sine Novela: Ngayon at Kailanman. Then, she was paired with former U-KISS member Alexander Lee Eusebio in My Korean Jagiya. Heart’s most recent show that she starred in was in I Left My Heart in Sorsogon, which just concluded earlier this year.
Heart revealed herself as a visual artist in 2014 and had solo exhibitions in Ayala Museum and Galerie Joaquin. She uses her real name, Love Marie, in signing her pieces. Heart’s transition to a visual artist is something that is not surprising for her. From a young age, Heart has already dabbled in art by painting on the white walls of her family’s home. Heart remembers being scolded by her mom for vandalizing their walls with crayons, yet her father was purely supportive of her and was even encouraging her to paint on their walls. At some point, her father introduced her to painter Ivan Roxas, who taught her some painting techniques.
Just last year, Heart launched her NFT (non-fungible token) artworks in collaboration with Luis Buenaventura II (founder of Cryptopop) and Rodel Colmenar (composer of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra). As mentioned by Heart in her Instagram post, an NFT is “a new kind of digital art that is secured by blockchain technology and can take many digital forms including art, videos, and music.” These NFTs can be bought with cryptocurrency, which is basically digital currency that uses cryptography for secure transactions. Heart’s NFT art collection can only be bought using Ethereum (ETH), and the online bidders won Heart’s NFTs for a whopping amount of 17.35 ETH or P3.5 million!
She has also painted on luxury bags, with some famous celebrities and notable figures like Kim Chiu, Jinkee Pacquiao, and Sen. Cynthia Villar commissioning Heart to paint on their Hermès bags. If anything, Heart feels like becoming a virtual artist is her calling. She tells Mel Tiangco, “Sometimes, being in a soap opera to me is very taxing— iyak ka ng iyak; and there must be something more to it, ‘no?”
On August 28, Heart is set to exhibit her art toy collection called “SEASONS” which is in collaboration with Secret Fresh Gallery. Each figure is hand-painted, with the collection being released with a limited amount of 50 sets. According to Heart, buying a set will come with a personalized message from her.
The toy set is priced at P200,000 and will be displayed in Secret Fresh Gallery in San Juan, Metro Manila.