Posted Apr 30th 2012 by

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An interview with
Designers of Asiawords by , April 2012

There’s been lots of noise coming from Asia during the past month. Maybe you can hear it all the way in the West..about the fresh new collective, ‘Designers of Asia’. A group of illustrators / designers / artists / animators out to inspire, with their individual style and Asian flair, here to give your senses a taste of the East. I ask some of the members a few questions to find out more about their plans of world domination…

Welcome Designers of Asia collective…please tell us about yourselves?

Anjo Bolardo: Doa is a collective of great designers and artist around Asia..its either you are an Asian or somehow who contribute to the art scene of Asia. The goal of the group is promote the artists and be recognized as Asian designer…its a thing that connect as all regardless if you are Thai, Malay, Jap, Indonesian, Pinoy etc…also our goal is to promote each other and gain exposure and refine our own countries culture through collaboration with brands around the globe and put up exhibition around Asia and lastly serve as inspiration to young emerging artist and art students in Asia

Natsuki Otani: Enthusiastic Asian creatives which rock!

Sokkuan Tye: DoA collective is an online hub which enables illustrators from different countries to share their passion and exchange thoughts.

Kristy Anne Ligones: a collective of Designers and Illustrators, from different parts of Asia, joining forces and exposing what we can contribute to the world of creativity.

Mark Paje: DoA is a group of young Asian individuals across the world that loves art.

Tell us a little about yourself and your work and feelings of the collective?

Natsuki Otani: I’m a Tokyo born illustrator who works in England, my hope is that my illustration can make people happy even if it is for a moment. I think DoA is a passionate collective and has a bright future ahead of it.

Vincent Rhafael Aseo: My main specialty are vector portraitures and illustrations, DoA gives the cool beans factor.

Sokkuan Tye: I’m Sokkuan Tye. I’m a Malaysian who is based in Singapore, working as a commercial illustrator. I like to challenge different illustration styles. feeling of the collective?…It seems to me DoA collective is a good stimulating platform with good vibes for the members to create even better work.

Kristy Anne Ligones: I’m a Filipino expat working as an illustrator in Dubai. I feel comfy in this collective, it seems like i belong here =)

Tof Zapanta: a painter/illustrator/designer based in the Philippines, my work revolves mostly around science fiction, vintage and retro imagery, and a combination of both, presented in a figurative abstract composition. I always feel proud to be part of something that entails representing my country, or Asia. :)

Clarissa Gonzalez: I’m a graphic designer, illustrator, and motion designer from the Philippines. My style is minimalist, abstract, and concept-driven. As a motion designer, I also try to incorporate elements that are meant to be animated in my illustrations. I love DOA, the people here are extremely talented and extremely fun to be around, haha. Everyone should join. (That means you, awesome person reading this.)

Mark Paje: Im Mark Joseph Paje or mostly known as huMAC in some gfx sites and forums. My works mostly consist of colorful shapes thats well compose that makes it very eye catchy. I always experiment on stuffs, not limiting myself so I can improve more.


Tell us a little of what you want to achieve / plans for the future?

Natsuki Otani: I’ve done product design for small plates recently and I thoroughly enjoyed it so I’m hoping to do something like that again soon!

Vincent Rhafael Aseo: A studio maybe.

Sokkuan Tye: To be honest, in term of work, I don’t have any particular plan for the future as I believe in doing my best in every opportunity (not only illustration but also design or craft) that comes my way will naturally lead me to somewhere even more interesting.

Kristy Anne Ligones: I’ve always dream of publishing a book to share some of my stuff to inspire others to achieve their goals as an artist.

Jay Lim: Trying to improve the design scene of the industry and the future plan is shaping our city to become creative city.

Clarissa Gonzalez: Well, my short-term plan is to write a short story and animate it. As for the long-term, be the best designer/illustrator/motion designer I can be? Haha

Mark Paje: My goal is to inspire other artist and also seeing my works in magazines, shirts and billboards. :)


What is the current design / illustration scene like in your country?

Natsuki Otani: In England I think the community feeling and DIY seems quite important in the creative scene. Not entirely sure about Japan as I’m a little bit away but many creatives want to break out and work with global clients.

Vincent Rhafael Aseo: Right now the the Philippine Design/Illustration scene is still evolving in a more mature manner, going globally competitive.

Kristy Anne Ligones: I’m always back and forth, from my own country (Philippines) to UAE, but before I went to work here in Dubai, the art scene in the Philippines was booming, and now it embraces more and accepting different types of creativeness, compared here in Dubai, my own country is more open and you can go wildly with your creation, and Filipinos are known for being resourceful, so there’s no limit for us to create whatever we can, as long as we’re having fun.

Jay Lim: Current design trend in the industry is more towards to one style – which is Information-graphic.

Tof Zapanta: Design and illustration in the Philippines is on the rise still, and I think that it’s good that people are now more open to it as made evident by the different applications design has now been introduced to. The only thing left that I would really like to change is the value that they give to art and design, cause being under-payed is still a problem for designers / illustrators here, and I see the big discrepancy because most of my clients are from other countries.

Clarissa Gonzalez: Well, there’s a lot of talented people in the Philippines. *cough* DOA members *cough* haha. But at the moment it’s still on the rise, which is exciting I think because people are getting better and better everyday. We have a new design council and an annual design week, but those are all in its early stages. As a whole however, the scene is vibrant and more and more people are seeing the value of design.

Whose your current favourite artist & website that you visit the most?

Natsuki Otani: If I can be shameless, I’d say my favourite website is my blog Illustration Rally! I love the fact there are so many artists contributing from all over the world, from Israel to South Africa. My actual favourite blog is probably Poppytalk, they have so many fantastic things, it’s so nice and it makes me feel like I live in a shack.

Vincent Rhafael Aseo: Marumiyan

Sokkuan Tye: There are many but I’ll just name one here: Junko Terashima. She does amazing bentou (lunch box) art. Should I say she has taken illustration to another level or should I say she has taken bentou to a new level? Haha… she’s a humble housewife so she doesn’t have a website. If you wonder what kind of wonders she does, you can google image her name.

Kristy Anne Ligones: There’s too many to mention, I don’t limit myself to one inspiring artist, so I always go visit sites like Juxtapoz to know more about the artists that i admire and the up and coming ones.

Jay Lim: Stephen Chan, he is the inspiring and emerging artist now. and Behance

Mark Paje: Too many to mention but I mostly get inspiration in Behance

If you missed their recent exhibition in Kyoto don’t worry, plans of another Kyoto and Toyko show are being mentioned. But, for now.. to view more of Designers of Asia’s work, go to the Facebook page.. You can also get to know DoA even better by following on Twitter.


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