For this article in this series we turn to the Philippines, featuring five illustrators and designers who create fantastic work from illustrative lettering to character design and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Abbey is an illustrator and letterer from Quezon City, Philippines. Her work is elegant, colorful, and downright masterful, and you can view more of it in her portfolio.
Type by ABC II
"Living in the Philippines (and being raised here) has influenced my work mostly because of the people I've met and the various creative backgrounds they have."
Joan & Klaire
"What I like about the Philippines is that the people are really cooperative and supportive which in turn helps sustain the creative community, no matter where we are in the Philippines."
Lettering Progress Keeper
"Being Chinese by blood and Filipino by nationality, I guess it's been a good balance in terms of creative influence. The diversity of both cultures has enabled me to explore a variety of styles and apply them to my work.
Paano Ba To?!
"I like to experiment a lot with colors & patterns that are resemblant to both cultures and I also practice calligraphy / lettering - and some of it was inspired from Chinese calligraphy."
Mario is an illustrator and animator from Las Piñas, Philippines. His work, which you can check out in his portfolio, is vibrant, cute and wonderfully expressive.
"The Philippines is a very festive and colorful country. Despite the corruption of the government, Filipinos still tend to smile and stay positive. I think my works portray the positive, fun and festive color of the Filipinos."
LINE Sticker Amin
Seahorse, Owl, Kitten Illustration
"The Philippines is a country that is rich in culture. Each and every Island has it's own myths and legends about places, creatures and many others which influenced my work as an artist."
Fun Pop Logo Designs
Craig is a freelance illustrator and designer from Marikina, Philippines. His work is fun and whimsical, and you can check out more in his portfolio.
The G-Boys—Team Illustration
"Design is everywhere in my country, not just the post-modern or contemporary. In terms of influence, I guess one of the biggest factors or challenges which we face here as designers is that although design is abundant in this country, it is a profession which most might take for granted.
"In that sense, as a designer living here, there is a greater need to better oneself and raise the awareness of what design can accomplish.
From the Ground Up—Key Visuals
"I think we shouldn’t do what we do just to promote our ourselves but to promote the idea of what good design can do for the country, and also in those hopes, that we can build a better future for our profession and for those who will come after us."
"One of the biggest influences my culture has instilled in my work is that we Filipinos love to create intricate designs and apply it on anything we can get our hands on. Culturally, Filipinos have been fans of intricate designs, as seen in our textiles, our national clothes, our jeepneys, and almost anywhere you might go.
"It is probably from this subliminal 'horror vacui' of our day to day routines that even I have integrated it into my designs as well. Although I do believe in the idea that “less is more”, I do find joy in adding in tiny details in each of my designs which people should carefully look to find, as I believe it adds to the overall identity of my work.
Art Within Transit | Adding Art into MRT
"I guess culturally, we Filipinos create design to engage the explorative nature of individuals, so they may look deeper into the thought and background of what we make, thus creating stronger connections to the symbolism we attach to our creations."
Risa is a designer, letterer, and illustrator from Manila, Philippines. Her work is incredibly fun and vibrant, and you can see more in her portfolio.
Back To The Future
"If I’m to describe my country’s culture, I would say it’s diverse, colorful, bright, and positive. Filipinos are generally known for our unwavering optimism amidst difficult times.
Inside Out: Typographic Emotions
"I grew up in a place where I was constantly surrounded with very happy people. This turned out to be the greatest influence I carried over into my designs.
Boys Don't Knit Book Cover
"My body of work mostly consists of positive quotations brought to life with bright colors, clearly mirroring the festive outlook of where I grew up."
Eleanor & Park | Redesigned Cover
Mark Dingo Francisco
Mark is a designer and illustrator from Manila, Philippines whose work is positively delightful. You can check out more in his portfolio.
"I'm Filipino, but I spent the majority of my life in Texas where I grew up and learned about the world around me. It wasn't until I graduated from college that I moved to the Philippines to learn about my ethnic culture.
Wes Anderson Postcards
"Naturally, in terms of pop-culture, I'm more aligned with and aware of American pop-culture. That isn't a problem however, since Filipinos are well-aware of American pop-culture as well. The Philippines is also a melting pot of sorts as well.
"Most of my work is inspired by American pop-culture, such as the Wes Anderson Postcards. However, the many colors found in the environment of the Philippines is inspiring in itself; from nature, to cuisine, to public transportation, and residential buildings. In fact, I made a series of posters based on that inspiration called "Colorful Manila".
"The most influential thing about being in the Philippines in terms of my art is being surrounded by and learning from like-minded individuals in the university I attended in Manila. Whether it's America or the Philippines, I'm truly grateful for all the things I've experienced that have shaped who I am as an illustrator and designer today"
Many thanks to the wonderful artists featured above. You can follow them further around the web at the social and blog links below: