What inspires @kwentobynica ?

Hello, my friend.

@kwentobynica started as an instagram page where I tell stories about my day and thoughts to friends. It was and still is simply that. My day and thoughts are consumed by a few central themes which I manifest through either a simple drawing, writing, photograph, or most recently, food.

On instagram I was asked to share what inspires @kwentobynica. If you want to know for yourself, continue reading. 

The themes that compose my inner world is not a mystery. I will list them down for you. 

First: My Home.

Home is a big word. For me it refers to a multitude of things which includes a literal house and the things that go inside of it. If you scroll through my drawings you will discover that I frequently draw houses; it's a common motif for me. Home (of course) also refers to a feeling. A feeling of sadness, displacement, joy, abundance, love, and abandonment. If you follow me on instagram stories, you know that simple things like plates, jars, books and other objects are constant fixtures that inspire me. My home is a mini museum of my inner world. Every object has a lengthy story to it. Even the trash bin.

Second: My Country.

My country is also my home and like it, it inspires me. If I could personify the Philippines she to me is an older sister that gives and gives even if she has nothing left to provide. A sister that was once praised and loved but now in rags living on a dirty street to survive on her own. When I look into her eyes I see many people. I see faces who are waiting to be redeemed and rescued. I am a child of my country and through @kwentobynica I hope to paint a beautiful portrait of her so she can remember her real self. Beautiful, worthy, lush and most importantly – revolutionary.

Third: The People I Love.

In the opening of Vol. 6 Deep deep love I wrote, “the people I love most are the ones who have hurt me the most. That’s how I know I love them unconditionally.” Sometimes I think I’m not alone in that thought. The people I love inspire me because I am the sum of their love and lack of it. Somewhere on a separate piece of paper I have rewritten that statement. Its rewriting is so much better. One day you will read it. For now it's resting quietly on a manuscript I am nursing. 

One thing I learned about my creative process is that @kwentobynica is not limited to one feeling. My stories are home to a wave of emotions, thoughts, and landscapes that are meant to make your inner world become brighter and fuller too.  

Now you know what inspires Kwento by Nica ;)

Can you tell me what inspires you?

Nica C.T.



  • Hirobutt

    This is such a wonderfully written blog post. Everything about it is so real. Your work makes me realize, appreciate, and think about the many stories that surround me everyday that I might just walk past otherwise. I look forward to reading the rewritten statement!

  • Tina

    I love your writing style & your art. Much of what you write is very relatable for me. Thank you for sharing yourself so generously!

  • Nica

    To Merril, Ipis, Josue, Christina, Carolina, and Michelle:
    Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment! I don’t feel like I’m alone in an empty room with your company :)

    @Ipis – one of the things we have visible at home is a post card from you! You are a part of our home, ips!

    @Josue – I agree! Everything around us was simply an idea manifested. We can move mountains!

    @Carolina – The more I share, the more I feel like I’m not alone in my sentiments. Thank you identifying our similarities. Sometimes I feel like I am just a vehicle for people to articulate how they feel ;)

  • Merril Seidl

    beautiful reflection Nica, you have a way with words – thanks for sharing :)

  • Ipis

    Omg my soul felt that too @Cristina :((( (whoever you are, high five!) How beautifully, soulfully written, Nica! Loved every single thing on your list. Including how the trash can has a story of its own. Your presence is felt in every word you’ve written. It’s really special. It’s as if I heard you read out loud. I want you to know that it’s this “aliveness”, this “nearness” of you – your thoughtful cards, your little bitch pillow for our lil bitch tears, the memories you cook into being, the lazy cat morning/afternoon photos you post, your writings on the window, your bike rides and picnics, hanging laundry on days at the beach – that keeps me smiling on both rainy and sunny days!

  • Cristina

    Love reading these thoughts! Thanks for passing on the inspiration :)

  • Josue

    Beautifully written as always Nica. What inspires me is the idea that we hold brains with an unfathomable potential for imagination and creativity. The idea of being able to manifests those thoughts keeps me motivated every day.

  • Carolina

    “I am the sum of their love and lack of it.” I feel this in my soul. So many things about myself that I celebrate and so many things about myself I fight to overcome can be traced back to the same people and their impact on me. Thank you for sharing this post!

  • Michelle

    Love this Nica! Your description of the Philippines as an “older sister” is beautiful. :)

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