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Isabel Sophia Weber

Isabel Sophia Weber

Meet Filipino illustrator and graphic designer, Isabel Sophia Weber.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Bel (ting-a-ling) and I am an illustrator and part-time graphic designer from the Philippines. I love bright colors and drawing absurd but honest everyday feelings and experiences. I’m obsessed with my two rescued cats and I love eating spicy food.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Manila is a very chaotic place to live in haha. It’s overrun by issues like crime, corruption, and the transportation crisis. People encounter these problems every single day, one way or another,  and you can’t help but feel angry about it all. You just know people aren’t supposed to live this way. One can tell it wasn’t always like this though. If you look hard enough, you can still see remnants of what it used to be, and glimpses of hope and beauty that hide in the mayhem of it all.

 

I love bright colors and drawing absurd but honest everyday feelings and experiences.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

Best thing might be the people. There are so many wonderfully compassionate and creative people who all have unique talents and genuinely care to use them to elevate the situation in their own ways. Worst thing might be the traffic and cost of living. It’s really bad haha.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Fun (for the most part)

Fulfilling (for the most part)

Frustrating (sometimes)

 

How did you start your career in art?

I’ve always been a visual kid. I would draw whatever I felt and it really helped me process things. Growing up and even until today, I would spend hours and on cartoons, children’s books, and zines/comics.

I guess a very pivotal moment for me was when I realized I wanted to focus on illustration. I never really thought it was possible as a career choice at that time and I had already implanted it into my mind that I wanted advertising (omg). Until one day, I attended a small talk by Raxene Maniquiz at my college and listened to her talk about design studios and the role and impact of beautiful and thoughtful illustration and it… pretty much shifted everything for me. After that, I applied for internships and organizations that would specifically give me opportunities to keep on drawing.

I also started posting my art online more frequently no matter how intimate or random it was. It was kinda hard to be that open with people on the internet at first, but I just wanted to think about it as a way to connect with people and to help others out. I just wanted to help people feel less alone.

 

I just wanted to help people feel less alone.

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Luckily, yes. I’ve been drawing since forever and it felt like it was almost expected of me? Haha. I liked other things but it was the one thing that remained constant all throughout my life. I was lucky to have a mom that always believed in me and kept encouraging me to draw. I kinda thought she blew me out of proportion, to be honest. But because of her, I got to keep doing what I like to do and keep growing in it. Along the way, I was able to get myself an amazing support group of talented, like-minded people as well as find my way into a community of creatives that constantly pushes each other to explore and do new things.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I really want to do more print work. I want to make children’s books about topics like emotion, self-awareness, body autonomy, those kinds of things. I want to continue doing honest work that can really help connect people and make them feel something.

 

I want to continue doing honest work that can really help connect people and make them feel something.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

This is a really hard question haha I wanna work with Lizzo or learn from Tara Booth. I love theeeeem @[email protected] I would also love to work with communities that specifically cater to women’s and children’s’ rights and care.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

The best human beings in the world. Goddesses. Humble yet blazing fire within every single one. Growing up surrounded by strong and passionate women was honestly the best foundation for me as a person and as a creative.

 

Growing up surrounded by strong and passionate women was honestly the best foundation for me as a person and as a creative.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

Growing up, I was never really aware of what I was doing, to be honest. I didn’t know what “art” was, the rules that go with it, “aesthetic”, nothing haha. I just knew I wanted to draw. I met a lot of people in my high school, all coming from different backgrounds and life situations, that loved to draw too and we all just kinda shared a bond (????? scary term) and mutual respect for each other. I think encountering those girls really reminded me of what I love to and to learn more about it. It’s amazing to see the the way we, along with our individual styles, matured over time.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

In my experience, luckily, none. People are generally respectful and will work with you based on your work above all else.

 

It’s always going to be scary and you never know where you’re going to end up with your work but I’d also like to think of it as the best part.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

It’s always going to be scary and you never know where you’re going to end up with your work but I’d also like to think of it as the best part. Be open. Express yourself honestly with the purest of intentions and let it go into the world. You will never get to dictate what people feel about your work, but there’s always a chance that it’ll help or inspire someone out there. That’s what makes it worth it.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Isabel Sophia Weber.

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