#artPH x DLSU-D

Art is not dead—and definitely not in DLSU-D. Unbeknownst to most, our campus is home to a treasure trove of homegrown artists keeping the local art scene alive and kicking. From illustrators to painters using everything from watercolor to digital media, the resident art collective thrives under the radar, so it’s about time that we put the spotlight on some of the local artists to be proud of.

Chad Villar

BGM34 | Facebook: @chaduart

Medium: Digital art, vector illustrations

Art is BANG!

Inspired by his older brother, Chad was only 10 years old when he found himself immersed in art. “All I did was watch him for hours,” says Chad. “It felt natural to me as I drew.” From traditional portraits to digital art, the young artist’s style has evolved over the years as he describes his current style as “vibrant, lineless, and geometric representations” of how he sees things in life.

Chad explains that his art is unique simply “because it’s mine.” Enough said. In his work, he adds life to his artworks by experimenting with colors, giving a 3-D feel by omitting line art, and portraying edgy imperfection through geometric shapes. Setting himself apart from others, Chad illustrates his subjects with “God-like glowing eyes which represent power, authority, and control.”

Just as his brother and favorite artist, Stanley “Artgerm” Lau influenced him, he also hopes to inspire a younger generation of artists through his work. “I make art not only for myself, but to other people who can relate to it. I want to connect with people through my art, even without the use of words or voice.”


Pauline Oderon

BGM41 | Facebook: @artsforaqueen

Medium: Digital illustrations, photo manipulation, vector illustrations

Art is a language that manifests, interprets, and manipulates your creative and sensual imagination.

Peculiar. That’s one accurate way to describe Pauline’s art style. Daring to combine elements that most usually wouldn’t, the young artist finds her identity in the world of the surreal. As she describes it, her experimental approach is “a product of epiphany and creativity,” which combines non-realistic elements “that often scares my audiences.” But still, Pauline says that some of them appreciate her unique conceptualizations.

Driving Pauline’s unparalleled brand of thinking is pure whim and spontaneity. “I am a type of artist na kumbaga: ‘Okey, gusto ko ng model na babae and I want it nude. I want it with [a] dinosaur’s head, tapos nakaupo siya sa bed full of anthuriums and red gingers.’” Whether that’s an elephant, plant pot, or a chaise, she’ll find a way to manifest her imagination and she won’t stop until she’s satisfied with what her mind has conjured.

Starting at the tender age of five, Pauline’s passion for art has only grown since then. Nowadays, she’s inspired by avant-garde artists, surreal designers, and contemporary illustrators, like Leeory New, the Filipino mastermind behind the Aliens of Manila project, and Lady Gaga, conceptual artist and designer. But even with their influence over Pauline’s art, there’s no denying that her ideas and concepts are solely her own.


Kim Darlene Paras

COM42 | Behance: /kaedparas

Medium: Digital media

Art is so powerful it can heal all the things time cannot.

Like many artists, Kim finds escape and solace in the multilayered dimension that is art—a place that led her to the path of self-healing and discovery. “I found myself in euphoria whenever I created something out of nothing,” she shares. Remaining her support system to release her suppressed emotion and struggles, art has become her avenue to slowly regain herself in the process.

Raw and intimate, Kim’s art is composed of drafts and rough sketches—a style that left her with a profound impression unlike any other style she experimented with. “Probably because it still leaves me in awe how such things can resonate all the things I try hard to express,” she explains on the mood that sketches can evoke.

Inspired by those who are also in the midst of personal struggles, “I feel like I have this responsibility to remind them that they are not alone,” Kim shares. With that in mind, her art promotes self-love and self-discovery, but also dares to dive into socio-political themes—mirroring the reality of the struggles in an individual and in society.


Chris Saldon

BGM44 | ArtStation: /saldonchris

Medium: Traditional (Graphite, Colored Pencil, Watercolor, Ink) and Digital Painting

Art is a road without an end. It’s up to us to dream of reaching the end with the best of our abilities.

It’s hard to believe that straight from our campus hails a young digital artist with the out-of-this-world (literally) imagination of Chris Saldon. With an approach he describes as “dark and stylish,” his fantasysci-fi-esque work is heavily influenced by Japanese Manga and western comic book artists.

Clear from his artwork, each piece has a multilayered story as Chris focuses “more on character design and creating original characters” inspired by pop culture references and mythological creatures. Among his favorite artists include all (yes, all) local comic book artists and digital painters like Ruan Jia, King Jung Gi, Guanjian Huang, and too many more to mention.

As to what introduced Chris into the world of art, he shares that at a young age, it was tracing illustrations in K-Zone magazine and being exposed to editorial cartooning in grade school that pushed his passion for art. While he dedicates his work to his family and friends, he mentions that it’s also to “my determination to exceed my limits.”


John Chesleigh Nofiel

BGM44 | Instagram: @alagadngsining

Medium: Tradigital medium

Art is literally painfully enjoyable.

“According to the law of attraction, if you want something, you can get it; but you have to work hard for it,” says Chesleigh. Doubtlessly, the self-taught artist has worked hard for it: “My dad who’s also an artist didn’t teach me how to do the basics because according to him, it’s something you discover within you.”

And within Chesleigh is a passion for plants, fashion, and people—which are all recurring themes in his art. As he describes it, his style isn’t just a style—“It’s basically my way of life: how I paint, how I gossip with my plants, how I choose the clothes I wear from thrift shops, or how I eat my favorite Chooks-to-Go.” With that philosophy comes the need to make people contemplate over the country’s contemporary culture and social issues through his work.

Aside from socially engaging artists like Lana Del Rey and Frida Kahlo, “Nature has always been my favorite artist,” says Chesleigh. Growing up surrounded by plants, they soon became his greatest muse. “I get inspiration from the smallest detail of a Waling-Waling up to the big root networks of a Balete tree,” shares Chesleigh.


Karl Corpuz

BGM45 | Behance: /karlcorpuz

Medium: Digital painting

Art is escape.

When a young Karl lived inside a university with a community of artists nearby, he was exploring a manmade pond and happened upon tall walls covered in colorful graffiti. That sighting marked the beginning of his pursuits in art.

Describing his style as a mix of traditional and digital, Karl finds inspiration from the likes of classic painters Claud Monet and Rembrandt. “I just can’t get enough of colors, textures and brush strokes on their works,” he shares. Influenced by this, his work reflects his efforts to depict rough textures through visible strokes, as if painted on canvas rather than digital.

Faced with the reality of the industry, Karl recognizes the dilemma of artists nowadays: “As an artist in the digital age, it’s hard to be unique because design inspirations are posted everywhere, people are copying each other hoping to find identity.” That’s why it’s no surprise to him if he comes across artists with a style similar to his own. Despite this, nothing deters him from making art simply “because that’s what I like to do.”


Zuriel Alaba

BGM44 | Instagram: @zurinone

Medium: Paper and pen

Art is a poem, but without words.

Vibrant, playful, witty—Zuriel’s freeform art is a testament to the mind of an artist in all its mad glory. As he describes it, “My art is like water. There’s no specific style or anything—just a free-flowing ink in paper.” Freedom seems to be a common theme in his work—the freedom to pursue, explore, experiment, and most of all, seize the day.

With a YOLO philosophy in life, Zuriel shares that “If it’s your last day, do everything to make it memorable.” He carries this carpe diem mentality to his art, “So when I create every artwork, it has to be from what I feel for that day.”

Spurred on by impulse and willfulness, his art also reflects how he got started in the field. “Basta kumuha lang ako ng paper at pen,” and the rest, as they say, is history. Formed from intricate doodles and details with symbolism deeper than you could imagine, this young artist’s work is definitely high on life.


Paul Cedric Cruz

ARC 41 | Instagram: @paulcedriccruz

Medium: Watercolor, oil paint, acrylic paint

Art is about self-expression and communication through brush and papers.

“Arki is life,” laments Cedric, but he doesn’t let that stop him from finding “adventure with my palette, knife, and paint.” Inspired by nature and influenced by Van Gogh and Vin Quilop, Cedric is still finding his style, practicing and experimenting in any way he can. Recently, he’s dabbled in spray paint and making art on canvases and iPhone cases for friends who grew to appreciate the effort behind each piece.

Pero `yon siguro`yong unique sa art, `yongflaws or weaknesses mo,`yun `yong nags-standout,” he notes. And beyond everything else, what stands out in art the most for Cedric is the expression behind the beauty and talent. “Walang pangit na art. Kasi it is your self-expression.”

From the child addicted to crayons who found his happy place in the art supplies section of the toy store to the Arki student dreaming of vineyards in Tuscany, a lot has changed since then, but his constant love for the craft has remained.


John Edrick Alcontado

COM 31 | Instagram: @mredrickalcontado

Medium: Mixed media, acrylic

Art is the greatest gift of the creator to the world. Art is creation. Art is contribution. Art is storytelling. Well, contributing a story by creating an art is the greatest gift of a creation to the world.

Comprised of intricate details and colorful patterns, Edrick’s art is simply another form of “abstract storytelling” as each piece is held together by Philippine mythology. While some take inspiration from the present, Edrick digs back into the past to revive the Filipino deities and myths of days long gone. Driven by a cultural advocacy, Edrick explains, “We Filipinos should be informed, should be appreciative, and most all of should be knowledgeable about the existence of the Philippine Mythology.”

He shares that viewers “won’t easily get the storytelling behind [the] artwork unless of course they try to ask me about it” as each piece begins as visions in his mind—his dreams. Case in point is his piece titled “Tapayan,” a story of an ancient babaylan buried in a jar only to be awoken to discover a world outside the jar as a diwata.

Edrick shares that the piece “Ang Sanggol ni Magwayan” is a tribute to a miscarried younger sibling and his family’s sadness, mirroring the grief of the Visayan deity Magwayan whose daughter Lidagat died in Philippine mythology. Through it all, art gives Edrick solace from his struggles in the past and present. As he puts it, “Art never fails to give me a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble, doubt and despair.”


Samantha Alarva

ARC 41 | Instagram: @samanthakirstina

Medium: Watercolor, marker, pencil, acrylic paint

Art is freedom.

Samantha hasn’t discovered her style yet, but with her openness to experiment with art, she’s well on her way, thanks especially to her course in architecture that exposed her to use watercolor, markers, pencil, and acrylic paint. “I watch my style change almost everyday,” she says. “Bit by bit, a few details (themes, forms, colors) became more and more recurrent in my drawings.”

With roots in art starting from grade school, Samantha used to paint on the walls of her home and help her father finish his paintings. Eventually, she grew to adopt the saying, “Art could say things with color and shapes that couldn’t say any other way, things that had no words for. It is a creative way to express feelings and emotions.”

With expression comes inspiration, and for Samantha, that inspiration is limitless. “It’s all around us and you’ll realize that it’s within us,” she notes. According to Samantha, it’s only upon getting in tune with your mood, situation, strengths, and weaknesses that you’ll discover the direction you need to take with your craft.

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