Pinay Loses Job, Turns to Leaf Art for a Source of Income

A great number of people, not only Filipinos, lost their job because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the human spirit’s resilience surfaced, and a lot of those who lost their jobs turned to their talents and passion for helping them survive the crisis. Among them is the Filipina leaf artist, Mary Mae Dacanay.

She only started doing leaf art last February. For her masterpieces, Mary Mae prefers to use jackfruit and avocado leaves because they are thicker and sturdier than the others.

So when she lost her job as a factory worker in Laguna, she turned to this hobby to fulfill her financial needs.

leaf art

Image: Facebook/M M Aguilo Dacanay

“During the pandemic, I was thinking of something that will support our financial problems because I was jobless; that’s where I discovered my talent on leaves,” she shares.

“Ngayon po wala akong work dahil nawalan po ako ng trabaho dahil sa COVID-19, pinagkakaabalahan ko po ngayon ay ang pagle-leaf art,” the leaf artist adds.

Among her leaf art creations were based on the images of celebrities and popular sports figures such as Robert Downey, Michael Jackson, Alden Richards, Jose Mari Chan, Emman Nemidez, Lloyd Cadena, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant.

Better life through leaf art

Mary Mae said that her life improved because she earned more by sketching leaves, unlike when she earned a standard salary rate.

She became viral on social media and had been receiving a lot of inquiries and orders from netizens. Most of her clients ask her to create personalized leaf art as gifts for the upcoming Holiday season.

A piece of leaf art sells for as much as P400, depending on the intricacy of details.

leaf art

Image: Facebook/M M Aguilo Dacanay

“Nakakatuwa, marami po nag-iinquire at may ilan din pong nagpapagawa at malaki po ang aking pasasalamat dahil nakakatulong po sa akin, at thank you din sa mga nagtitiwala sa akin,” Mary Mae said.