Transforming pain into art

Artists often find solace in their craft, using art as a medium to express their emotions and navigate the challenges that life throws their way. One such artist, renowned for his photography, is Jayson Isaac, who has embarked on a remarkable journey of rediscovery through the world of painting during the pandemic. Now, he is set to captivate the art community about his story of love, loss and faith with his first-ever solo exhibit, Fidem: 1st Solo Art Exhibit by Jayson Isaac.

Jayson has always been passionate in visual arts, and he first found his voice through photography, where he caught the inner self of some of Philippine personalities. However, his artistic career had humble beginnings that were founded in poster-making and sketching competitions during his school years — long before he became famous.

‘Divine Mercy.’




‘St. Joseph.’


‘Sto. Niño.’


‘Our Lady of Lourdes.’


‘Padre Pio.’


‘Mother Theresa.’


‘Pedro Calungsod.’


‘Sacred Heart.’



When the pandemic happened, Jayson seized the opportunity to reignite his love for painting, a creative outlet that helped him fill his free time. This rekindling led to the birth of his first painting, provocatively titled Eat, Shit, and Die.

However, in 2021, tragedy struck when Jayson lost his beloved husband, Raymund Isaac, to the virus.

“I started the painting when he was still around (Eat, Shit, and Die) and I finished it after I came back from the States and he was no longer with us,” Jayson recalled.

Amidst the overwhelming grief, Jayson turned to painting as a means of coping and healing. His second acrylic painting, Nazareno, emerged from this period of pain and reflection, inspired by the image of the Black Nazarene that had left a profound impact on him during his husband’s 43-day hospitalization.

“All these memories (Nazarene) that I have here, I painted it. I finished it in eight months,” Jayson revealed.

His toughest times revealed a recently discovered facet of his identity — his faith. Jayson sought solace in his faith, resolved not to lose it, as he prayed for Raymund’s recovery at St. Patrick Church in San Francisco, California.

Jayson shared, “The only thing I’m afraid of now is losing my faith.”

This devotion led to a remarkable body of work, which would become his debut art exhibit called Fidem (latin for faith).

In his paintings, Jayson portrayed portions of the saints he earnestly prayed to during his darkest hours, paying meticulous attention to every detail and demonstrating his strong faith.

His art, primarily acrylic on canvas and wood, bears titles like Nazareno, Padre Pio, Guadalupe, Divine Mercy and St. Expedite, each named after the saints who became his sources of strength.

Jayson reflected on his journey, saying, “I found comfort in painting during those challenging times. It became a way for me to process my emotions and channel my grief in a healthy way. I believe that art has the power to heal and unite, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my journey through my work.”

This art exhibition serves as Jayson’s narrative of love, life and loss, culminating in a poignant tribute to his late husband, whose last words to him were: “You’re the best thing that happened to me.”
As a gesture of goodwill, several of Jayson’s works of art will be put up for sale with the revenues going to the Positive Action Foundation Philippines Incorporated, a group that strives to empower and aids Filipinos living with HIV/AIDS.

Jayson’s journey from the lens to the canvas is not only a personal transformation but also a testament to the resilience of creativity in the face of adversity.