Image: Reuters

What happened:

A Filipino seafarer named Jesstoni Garcia trims his hair using electric clippers every few months to create portraits of musicians and actors. The co-owner of a Manila hair salon scatters the collected hair strands and clips on a blank white canvas with a small brush and clear, sticky glue, taking two to five hours to arrange them into a beautiful artwork.


The 32-year-old’s work as a seaman involves spending up to eight months a year on cruise ships, and without suitable painting equipment like paint and sketchpads at sea. Garcia in 2021 turned to utilising his own hair to make images and began with self-portraits before moving on to portraying celebrities. He utilises just his own hair because he spends most of his time at sea rather than at his salon, shaving his sideburns when he needs more material.

Why it matters:

According to Garcia, long journeys take a toll on his physical and mental health, so making art helps him relax. “To deal with depression, we need a way to express ourselves. Making art was my escape for a long time,” he went on to say that he hopes to sell his work in the future.


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