Who I am + what I do
Hi, lovely to meet you! I'm Mia, a queer Filipina artist who immigrated to Australia for True Love. I spend my days in regional Victoria, with its immensity of sky and space, and dream in Metro Manila, with all its terrible splendor, the jeweled chaos and grit of its streets.
I make art drawn from the stories I know, the tales I grew up with. Stories from my mother and grandmother of street protests, martial law, running from enemy soldiers, surviving war; tales that emerged out of balete and ilang-ilang, out of earthquakes and days-long power outages and terrible drought, out of the feathery flap of sparrows' wings and manananggal's flight. I make art as an heir to a history of colonization and disenfranchisement. I make art as a queer woman in a world that frequently seeks my annihilation. I make art because through it I survive, I live, I thrive.
And also -- not incidentally -- art is beautiful, it is powerful, it ignites hope and gives people strength. In a world full of darkness art can shed some light.
My art is done in watercolor, ink, and various other traditional media. I do a lot of painting, inking, and calligraphy. I enjoy vibrant, intense colors; ridiculous amounts of detail; and an excess of gold.
If you'd like a look at some of my art, I made a 2016 art sampler featuring some commissioned work and a personal piece.
I'm a 2016 Tiptree Fellow and wrote about my approach to gender in my creative work. This is what motivates me. I want to use art to celebrate the act of shattering the terrible injustices that bind us, to grow into a joyful strength. Survival and defiance. Song and glory.
Why support me?
Making a living as an artist is (hah!) not easy. I'm only able to try because of a confluence of various factors: because of illness I can't do a regular job anymore; I'm fortunate to have a partner and friends who believe in me; wonderful people commission me for their projects; this Patreon exists.
Patreon supporters keep me going with art and fund the personal pieces I make. All patrons get access to my patron-only blog, where I talk a great deal about making art, working as an artist through mental illness and difficult circumstances, and share a great deal of my process including behind-the-scenes process posts for my pieces. Also, all patrons get discounts on original commissions, my prints, and my original art, with higher-tier patrons getting a larger discount. I make patron-only pieces as well, and post downloads such as coloring sheets, wallpapers, and assorted colorful delights.
Patrons' support means immensely much to me, and thanks to patrons I can keep pushing forward and doing ever more, aiming ever higher.
Maraming salamat po!
My welcome message for new patrons has links and other details to access patron-only blog posts, discount codes and other goodies. If you have a question and don't see the answer there please email me!
Where else to find me: