It would be amiss to tag Isabel Santos as just "Malang Santos' granddaughter," or even as John Lloyd Cruz's rumored new flame. The 31-year-old artist is simply too multifaceted to only be a name attached to the personalities surrounding her. Three years ago, we got to chat with her about her craft, and we're certain that it's only evolved and flourished alongside her since then.
With her work going global and receiving accolades, Isabel proves that she's way more than just another girl who paints and becomes an occasional show biz hot topic. There are a lot of interesting things to learn about her, and we've rounded up ten of them below.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Isabel Santos:
1. She's a Gemini
Isabel was born into a family of renowned artists on June 11, 1990. Coming of age in the same household as Soler, Mona, and legendary cartoonist Malang Santos certainly instilled in her young mind to also pick up a brush or pen one day. When asked to describe her body of work, Isabel simply characterizes it as "very Gemini."
2. She didn't study fine arts in college
That said, her family history did kind of impede her foray into formally becoming an artist. When the time came for her to apply to colleges, she grew tired of people always viewing her as her grandfather's legacy.
So, she ended up taking European Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University as a random choice. Even if she eventually realized that making art was her true calling in life, she still finished her course and graduated in 2013.
3. She's tried her hand at various mediums and methods
Post-college, Isabel quickly shifted gears and focused on her craft in whatever way possible. She had her first group show in the same year she finished school, in which her first work was done via pen on paper. Since then, Isabel's dabbled into painting, silk-screening, hand-dying and digital art.
4. She's been part of Art Fair Philippines six times
It seems the budding virtuoso didn't waste any more time when it came to developing and showcasing her work after college. Right off the bat, she began exhibiting her pieces at Art Fair Phillipines and became a regular featured artist from 2014 to 2019.
5. She's gone international with her work
Branching out to the global scene and giving her creations an even wider audience, Isabel has delved into residencies hosted in New York, France, and Germany.
6. She's a makeup enthusiast
Another medium that's piqued the 31-year-old's interest is that of the makeup brush on one's face. In fact, her love for makeup actually helped her budding art career, in that she learned how to paint faces better.
7. She also draws inspiration from fashion
Right beside the beauty department is, of course, fashion. Isabel also manifests her artistic sensibilities through her outfits, and she's expressed that her works sometimes take cues from some of her favorite labels. These include the international houses of Jacquemus and Issey Miyake, as well as homegrown names such as Rod Malanao and HA.MU.. If you want to glean some fresh style inspo, we recommend scrolling through Isabel's Instagram.
8. She won a global t-shirt design contest held by Uniqlo.
Speaking of fashion, one of the artist's biggest breaks to date was when she won Uniqlo's UT Grand Prix t-shirt design contest just last year. Her design, titled A Fortune In Jewels Kept In Your Safe, bested around 10,000 other entries, and won Isabel a hefty check of P1.5 million! The winning piece featured a retro-inspired collage of differently-haired women from various comic books.
9. She can also play tennis
When she's not busy putting together her next big artwork, Isabel destresses by hitting up the tennis court and going on a couple of rounds with her family and friends.
10. She's a dog mom
The last we heard from Isabel, she told Preview that she would gladly hold another exhibit abroad, but only if she gains the strength leave her two dogs, Noah and Benny, again. Well, by the looks of it, her two pups have stayed right beside her as she continues to make a name for herself. How cute!
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