Dec 4, 2017

Art for all—one far-fetched concept in an art industry monopolized by bigwigs and certain groups, while smallfry fight for a way into the in crowd. Either that, or they beg for scraps on the sidelines.

Someone has to say it: The local art scene is ruled by cliques. And maybe that’s just how it is, but we need art and art appreciation that’s genuinely inclusive.

And if there’s one thing I love about social media, it’s how it addresses this need.

Online communities like DeviantArt and Behance have long provided creatives with a digital platform to independently showcase their work and expand their professional network.

In fact, I know someone who has been unknowingly corresponding with an editor of an international publication via Behance since his student years. Now, he’s a regular contributor of the magazine. Put out meaningful work that looks good and market yourself well, and I assure you, the possibilities are endless.

The same is very true for every Instagram user out there, especially for creatives signed up on the social media site. Artists now treat Instagram as an interactive online portfolio of sorts, which bridges the gap in many ways, and alters networking and marketing on levels unknown before the age of selfies and hashtags. The web of interaction is complex, but at the same time, it makes reaching a wider audience simpler.

And let’s face it—social media is probably the first and last thing you check every single day. We all know too well how easy it is to get sucked into that IG blackhole, double-tapping mindlessly and viewing a gazillion stories even if we don’t necessarily like what we’re seeing.

So do yourself a favor and show some love for local artists who showcase their work on social media by actually following them. It’s a win-win situation. You get to support them and appreciate their work, and you feed your soul (and IG feed) with awesome art. It’s also one way of assuring you’ll have something to look forward to every time you go online.

To get you started, or if you haven’t followed them already, here are some local artists you can check out on IG: 

Rian Gonzales

Rian Gonzales is definitely a household name to Comicon-goers. In 2016, she was one of the 25 artists chosen to make covers for the relaunch of the popular comic series, Archie. She illustrated cover art for the revamp of Betty and Veronica, which was well received here and abroad. In fact, the comic book was out of stock almost immediately after its launch. Follow Rian here.

Darling Kink

Now I think you can tell from her pen (or brush) name alone that illustrator and graphic designer Kay Aranzaso’s works aren’t for the frigid or fainthearted. Darling Kink’s digital home on IG is a webspace of artful raunch and raw sexual energy. But erotica isn’t her only specialty. The artist also produces beautiful portraits characterized by soft outlines and neon colors. Follow Darling Kink here.  

Terence Eduarte


Have a secret you’ve been itching to reveal but haven’t mustered the courage to own up to it yet? Illustrator Terence Eduarte is the person to tell. He’s the best confidant, and a talented one at that. His personal project, which gained popularity this year, had a poignant concept that offered participants liberating if not therapeutic release: He illustrated friends and strangers “in exchange for their secrets.” Follow Terence here.

John Ed De Vera

Paper art enthusiasts will love to get lost in the intricacy of John Ed De Vera’s multidimensional works. He introduces himself as a “multidisciplinary artist with a penchant for lettering, paper-cutting, and experimenting with different and new media.” De Vera’s works range from whimsical to pop, depending on the subject, and his aesthetic is effortlessly on pointfrom the paper’s cut to the piece’s palette. Follow John here

JP Pining

Double trouble!!!

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JP Pining’s art style melds classic and modern. His works may sometimes bring to mind the late National Artist Abdulmari Asia Imao’s colorful on-canvas Sarimanok and Naga series, but at the same time, Pining’s edgy line art and choice of bold, unapologetically opaque colors are distinctly his. Pair this with a modern repertoire of subject matter and it makes for relevant, versatile art that easily belongs to a wall as a mural or on any portable item as a sticker. Follow JP here.

Kookoo Ramos


The unmistakable aesthetic of Kookoo Ramos is where girl power meets graffiti. A veteran in the local street art scene, Ramos has been painting and spraying away on walls since she was an Advertising major at the University of Santo Tomas. If you’ve been captivated by close-up, cartoonish renditions of pretty females in the nooks and crannies of establishments in Manila and even in the provinces, chances are you’ve already come across one of Kookoo’s creations. Follow her here

Raxenne Maniquiz

A bunch of things for a thing 🦋 . . . #illustration #digitalillustration #visualgraphc #illustrationage

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Raxenne Maniquiz is a designer and illustrator whose eye-catching maximalist works transform any surface into art. Although most of her pieces are inspired by flora and fauna, she is also adept at patterns, and abstract and conceptual design. Part of the Hydra Design Group and Plus63 Design Co., she recently illustrated new wrappers of local chocolate brand Theo & Philo. Follow Raxenne here.

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TAGS: art artist Darling Kink Instagram John Ed De Vera JP Pining Kookoo Ramos local art nolisoliph Raxenne Maniquiz Rian Gonzales Terence Eduarte