June 11, 2021

Mabuhay! Filipino Artist Recommendations


I'm so excited to bring you this year's posts for Mabuhay! My best friend Rachel and I have done this feature almost every year since 2014, both as a celebration of Filipinos in literature and to share a little bit about Filipino culture just in time for Philippine Independence Day on June 12th. (Click here if you're interested in checking out past posts we've done!) Yesterday, we kicked things off with our reviews for Arsenic and Adobo (including a mini Q&A with author Mia Manansala). Today, I'll be sharing a list of Filipino artists whose work I love while Rachel shares some Filipino brands to keep on your radar.

artwork credits: "Halo-Halo" by Alex Cabal / "Filipina Warrior I" by Illi Ferandez / Naruto & Sasuke fan art by Jhoanne Castro / Sagala, Vol. 1 cover by Tori Tadiar / "in passing" by Caleb Hosalla / "Yukito & Touya" by Nicko Tumamak / Kiki fan art by Margaret Morales / "Lady Filipino" sticker by Janus Zate / "Books and Flowers" by Danica Cristine / Cold Snap Imminent art by Kahlil Santiago

Alex Cabal
| It was actually Rachel who brought Alex onto my radar a while back! (She also mentions Alex in her post, and for good reason. I love her use of bright, vibrant colors in her work, the way she draws people, as well as all the details that combine tradition and modernity. Alex has actually also designed a few book covers, including A Pho Love Story, I Wanna Be Where You Are, A Song Below Water and Felix Ever After. You can find her on Instagram, Patreon, Inprnt and her online portfolio.

Illi Ferandez | Illi is actually another artist that Rachel introduced me to as well! She also uses a lot of color in her work, and I really like her illustration style. I'm especially fond of the pieces where she touches on Filipino lore and terms, and her current series of Filipina Warriors is my favorite. You can find her on Instagram. You can find her on Instagram and her online shop.

Jhoanne Castro | I initially discovered Jhoanne because of friends sharing her work to their stories, including pieces where she drew the characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Naruto. I'm obsessed with how she illustrates characters! I love her fan art a lot, but I must admit to being very intrigued by her original character art (and hoping there's a story to come there too). You can find her on Instagram, Ko-fiher online shop and her online portfolio.

Tori Tadiar | I'm pretty sure Tori came onto my radar because of her indie comic Sagala (that I so badly want to read)! Her story concept, as well as the style in which she illustrates her characters and covers, well, it's all just right up my alley and I could see it being very appealing to a bigger audience as well. You can find her on Twitter and her online portfolio.

Caleb Hosalla | Caleb is an artist that my Twitter feed brought onto my radar! Their art style is really cool, as there is a lot of detail poured into each and every one of their pieces. I love the sense of place you get when you're looking at one of their works! Caleb also has an ongoing webcomic ("Eerie Crests"). You can find them on Twitter, Inprnt, Ko-fi and their online portfolio.

Nicko Tumamak | Nicko is another artist that Twitter put on my radar. His style feels a little different than the rest since it definitely leans towards being more modern and with simpler, clean lines. He shares a lot of fan art, including Avatar: The Last Airbender and and Cardcaptor Sakura (Yukito and Touya!). You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, Inprnt and Ko-fi.

Margaret Morales | Margaret was 100% someone that I discovered through Instagram! I'm obsessed with her style, especially with her latest series of illustrations with mermaids and her works inspired by Studio Ghibli films. The way she blends colors makes all her work look so whimsical and magical, and that's an aesthetic I can definitely get behind. You can find her on InstagramInprntPatreon and her website.

Janus Zate | I can 100% tell you that Janus hit my radar because of my friend Chachic! Janus has such a lovely aesthetic, both when it comes to the art and stationery she sells in her shop and when it comes to her own journaling and planners. I'm hoarding the remaining stickers and postcards that I've ordered from her in the past, but you can bet I'll order again when I run out. You can find her on Instagram, YouTube, and her blog/online shop.

A note before we get to the last two people on this list - I have personal relationships with both artists, which will be disclosed in my descriptions. But I genuinely think they're both very talented folks! I love how passionate they are about their work, how much time and effort they put into leveling up their skills, and I'm very proud of all that they've accomplished so far.

Danica Cristine | If you recognize Danica's name, you might recall that she hand-lettered parts of my blog design (including a previous header and feature titles) in the past. She's also one of my closest friends, and we have a mutual love for many things (including books!). I've always loved her hand-lettered work, and I like the way she illustrates objects, places and people! I'm fortunate enough to own lots of her work (some I bought and some were gifts). You can find her on Instagram, Society6, RedBubble, YouTube and her website. She also has a separate Instagram account for journaling and books!

Kahlil Santiago | Kahl's name might also be a bit familiar to you, as he's my brother-in-law. He's talented in so many ways (seriously, I'm not even kidding about that), and one of the things he's been working hardest on is leveling up his art skills. He not only designed the banner of this blog and the channel art we have on YouTube, but he also designed the characters and cover for Cold Snap! He's definitely someone to watch out for in the future (and not just for BlueRoom Projects). You can find him on Instagram, Etsy and BlueRoom Projects.

Who are some of your favorite Filipino artists?


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