Kristine Caguiat is a 27-year old illustrator and graphic designer based in Manila whose work has graced many notable print publications. Her talents and skills in painting, sketching and digital art led her to discover her own delightfully peculiar style, often making use of modern geometric elements fused with vintage melancholy undertones which take you away to where she wants you to go. Kristine’s art is a result of her personal approach which she describes as “Intuitive”.
Kristine tells us more about her approach to art and finding inspiration in music.
Where did you learn how to do graphic arts?
In highschool I used to mess around a lot with Photoshop, which back then was only on version 6 or 7. Sketching and painting was also a favorite past time, which I taught myself how to do since I never had the opportunity to take any formal art classes.
Experimenting taught me most, if not all of what I know about graphic design and traditional drawing and painting. Formally, I took up Information Design at Ateneo, but even then, the course syllabus was mainly theory-based and did not involve hands-on interaction with programs. It did, however, provide a necessary context for the creation of not just art, but of design. This made me realize that although anyone can create art, it would be a meaningless endeavor without having explored the world of theory and movement behind it that is almost as old as language itself.
I find that going head on into any creative act (be it digital or traditional art) is really the best way to learn, because of the ability to personally gauge what works out for you as an artist in terms of aesthetic, medium, and most especially technique. Just try everything on for size, until you find something that is worth your time and effort to master.
How would you describe your approach to design?
My approach to design can best be described as intuitive and at the same time, naive. Intuition plays a big part in composing anything from artwork to a magazine layout, and sometimes you're caught in between going with what your gut tells you, versus what you've been taught or told to do. In this argument, my gut wins 99% of the time- it may not produce the best results, but at least I can sleep well at night knowing I didn't "peg" it off of something I saw online. Naive because there's still so much to learn and discover about art and design. Whether it be the medium, the approach, or the execution, you can never help but feel that there's an entire iceberg of unexplored possibilities that could better your process as an artist or a designer.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your art?
Music. Without a doubt, music. It's something that will always take me back to a time or place, a feeling, a retrospection of something you once thought was insignificant. It's romantic, angry, impish- basically, unpredictable. Lately I've been listening to a lot of Shigeto and Tokimonsta mixes because the weather calls for it and It's also good ambient working music. As of late, I find myself bumping a range of older stuff like Xiu Xiu, The Smiths, Sneaker Pimps and Tricky because nostalgia is a wonderful thing. There's also Toxe, an amazing 19 year old producer from Sweden who does a lot of really heady (and heavy) club beats.
Besides doing graphics and illustrations, you paint. Who are your favorite artists?
This is tough, but maybe Farid Rasulov for his attention to detail, Ellsworth Kelly for his minimalism and elegance, and R Kikuo Johnson for his sentimental illustrations.
What are you currently fascinated with?
Social media never ceases to fascinate me. I'm not even on it that often, but I've made a vow with myself to quit the mindless browsing during the day or at work. I suck at Snapchat, and I'm pretty much just a lurker on Twitter and Instagram so I don't think I’m missing out on much, and a hiatus would probably give me the time to finish all the ebooks on my phone. What fascinates me though is how it's given everyone a voice to tell the world how unique and interesting they are, but it also makes you wonder if any of it is genuine. Is it for real? Are you actually like this? Hahaha it's amazing! You can make up your own persona with each new social media account you open.
If you were to collaborate with someone who would that be and why?
Definitely Ken Matsubara, the video installation artist. His work has the tendency to defy logic, especially if you're seeing it for the first time. I was able to catch his exhibition in Singapore last year, and it was out of this world. He had pieces called Storm in a Glass and Round Chair which formed part of a larger installation. His work is really experiential, and there's this certain level of restraint and complexity behind something which is at first glance, simple.
Check out more of Kristine's awesome art:
Photos property of Kristine Caguiat