“At that time, as cliche as it sounds, it became an escape; a way to rant and express all of the ugly I felt inside.”
We found 22-year-old artist Isabel Weber after a co-editor gifted us her stickers for Christmas. Isabel’s illustrations depict absurd scenarios, often starring contorted, naked characters that would look creepy if they weren’t colored with her signature bright hues.
A closer look at the characters and their varying expressions will make you wonder what her pieces are really about. Over email, Isabel tells us about her beginnings, inspirations, and future plans.
Describe your art style.
I like drawing unrealistic, partially nude people. I also like solid shapes and using really bright colors that I’ve been told don’t really go together but work anyway.
Why did you decide to adopt that particular style?
I’ve gone through so many styles throughout the years and this one just feels the most me at moment. Although I’ve gotten comments from people saying that it’s not my best or it doesn’t show my technical skills enough, it’s still the style I’ve chosen to convey my thoughts and feelings in the most personal and honest way. I’d like to think it’s still changing though, in the same way I’m still changing too!
Have you always been interested in illustration? How did your passion start?
I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil! Most of my childhood was spent going through reams and reams of paper, just drawing anything that came to mind. Eventually, due to the circumstances at home, I realized how freeing drawing could be. At that time, as cliché as it sounds, it became an escape; a way to rant and express all of the ugly I felt inside. Guess you could say the seeds were planted as early as then. It was in high school though that I became aware of what I was doing. I became aware that it was a passion. I drew as much as I could under any circumstance; for group projects, on the back of test papers, on the side of my notes, [everywhere]. It never really stopped since.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere really. People at the food court, memes on the internet, how the clouds look a certain day, you name it! Inspiration could even come in the way you feel, what you’ve dreamt, or how you’ve processed a personal experience. It’s just a matter of observing and catching it at that moment. For me, as soon as these things register, no matter where or when, I need to whip my phone out and take it down. Whether through writing down whole running thoughts, scribbling sketches, or sneaking photos, it’s so important to just capture [the moment], as raw as it can be.
How did you get involved with the zine and sticker scene?
I only became actually aware of the community when a friend of mine was selling at Local Loca in Cubao Expo. I was intrigued. I was like “Huwuuuut a place here in Manila where people from all over come together to show off and sell their art huwut ang cool!!” so my cousin and I journeyed from Alabang to Cubao just to see what it was like… and it blew my mind hahaha. The vibe was just amazing ‘cause you could feel the passion buzzing in the air. Everyone was so talented yet still so open and in no way snooty. It was easy to ask questions, gush over other artists’ work, and just talk to people because of how connected everyone is to this passion.
It lit a drive in me to keep creating. It pushed me to draw more and to post as much as I could. Eventually I got an email that told me I was invited to show at Local Loca! I felt like I came full circle. I got to show my art to and alongside the very artists who’ve inspired me since the start. Just felt really good c:
Can you share with us your top 3 favorite illustrations?
Done in literally two hours after not sleeping a whole night. Don’t drink coffee before bed folks, it’ll take your brain on a trip.
A full spread that’s seen in Flamingmeow’s first zine, Tomorrow is Today’s Yesterday. The prompt was “future” and/or “chaos” so this was what came out of that. It’s up for interpretation.
This one has no particular meaning other than “Hey! I feel really good today and I hope you do too!”
What are you up to at the moment?
Right now, I am focused on taking care of Bad Blood (my Ultimate Frisbee team), getting a job, and making more lasting work. I really want to go bigger with what I make and push my boundaries. I have a couple of personal projects I’m working on right now and I’m really excited. 🙂
What’s next for you?
I don’t know, hard to tell. Good things hopefully! Just wanna keep pushing myself to keep drawing, make honest work, and be excited for what’s to come! I’ve spent so much of my 22 years of existence overthinking, anxious, and afraid, and I feel it’s time to combat that.