SAN JOSE, Calif. – Kenneth Ronquillo was working in Los Angeles when his mom called him saying that she needed knee surgery and that meant someone will have to care of his lola (grandmother) Crescenciana.
Almost immediately Kenneth quit his job and came home to San Jose.
“There’s no question I knew it’s what I wanted to do,” said Kenneth. “I would come back – anything for my grandma.”
“I’m very happy my grandson is with me,” said Crescenciana. “He does all the cleaning, making me laugh, telling his stories, operating the TV for me.”
And so Kenneth became his lola’s primary caretaker. Then Kenneth quickly realized they had a lot of time on their hands.
“I was just thinking of ways we could appreciate our time together and make memories together and I thought it would be kind of cool if we made things,” said Kenneth. “So I thought we would paint together.”
With no formal artistic training between them, Kenneth and lola Cresenciana began to create art.
“She’ll start by mixing these watercolors,” said Kenneth. “She chooses her own colors and chooses what she paints. Once that’s all set we let it dry and then I go back and either through talking to her about what her vision was or by looking at the painting and seeing what I can make from it I’ll add illustrations.”
Kenneth never thought that by posting their artwork on his Facebook page that it would get such recognition. So he decided to turn their artwork into items to be sold like shirts, phone cases, and other accessories by creating the Lola x Kenneth Collaboration.
According to Kenneth, he says that the proceeds will go to ordering lola a chairlift.
“It’s really nice that people will send us messages about their grandmas and how this wish they have time to spend with their lolas so I think that’s why it resonates with people,” said Kenneth. “And my grandma is really cute so that’s why they like it.”
Even though these paintings have become clothing and accessories, Kenneth and his Lola Crescenciana say the creation process is the most cherished because of the personal time they share together.
“While we’re painting I ask my questions about her love life and stuff and so I’m learning a lot of secrets and she’s keeping some secrets but she’s giving me great dating advice,” said Kenneth.
“Wait for the next [one] if it’s not right [and] you’re not in the mood.”
Amidst all the fun and stories, Kenneth never grows tired of caring for his lola. He feels a sense of responsibility.
“I’m very indebted to my grandma because she raised me,” said Kenneth. “She raised all her grandchildren and so I feel like it’s just my turn to take care of her now.”
What started as a simple activity, quickly became a never-ending testimony of the love shared between a lola and her apo (grandson).
“I turn to these papers and make some drawings – that makes me happy because my mind is occupied with thinking of the world that will pass by and that’s why I ask my grandson to please stay here and we’ll have some nice drawings,” said lola.
“I think when I say “when my grandma makes the paintings and I promise to finish everything she starts” it’s just my way of saying I’ll never forget her,” said Kenneth.
For more information about Kenneth and Lola Crescenciana and to purchase their products, you can visit their website at www.lolaxkenneth.com.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.