Still wracking your brain for what to give those important people in your life? Here’s a cool idea for a truly memorable gift: personalized art. From pop-art portraits, to '80s-style celebrity notebooks, to toy figures of your family, there’s something unique to be had from online collective Pandemic Pop-Up.
What is the Pandemic Pop-up?
Pandemic Pop-up is a transcontinental initiative for creatives founded by musician-designer Kate Torralba. Since the Pop-up’s August launch, the evolving digital platform has hosted for an interesting array of events: Virtual Vernissages, sold-out portrait festivals, artist tributes and more.
“At a time when art is considered non-essential, we want to remind artists of how valuable their work is and celebrate them. Through the platform, we connect and give each other mutual support, collaborate and promote our projects,” Kate shares.
"Thoughtful is The New Sexy" is the community’s catchy holiday campaign. And just when you thought you’ve run out of time to shop for something special, the Pop-up has curated this list of clever last-minute virtual presents. All you’ll need to do is hop on over to the Pandemic Pop-Up Instagram (@pandemic.popup), select an artist’s style that you like, and place an order via direct message or email at email@example.com.
The works of these 7 artists of the Pandemic Pop-Up would make wonderful gifts
1. A Coveted Slot for One of Ronald Caringal Influencer 2021 oil portraits
Price: Available upon request
“The elusive Ronald is one of my favorite portraitists ever,” Kate enthuses. “I was so thrilled that he agreed to do an exclusive commission series for us—I honestly want one too!” Caringal’s pop art oil paintings are so flawlessly done, you’d be fooled into thinking that it’s digital art. Perfect portraits for ladies who rule.
2. Wiji Lacsamana “Pick Your Favorite Tita Essential” Artwork
Price: P3,000 for 7 x 5 inches, P6,000 for A4 size
Your favorite person receives a Tita Certificate and she gets to choose from the menu of the popular tattoo and graphic artist’s adorable “Tita Essentials.” The selected artwork will be done in gouache and colored pencil by the petite creative with Big Tita Energy. We particularly love Wiji’s homages to old-school staples White Flower, Vicks Vaporub, “Sebo ng Macho” and her latest, Ma Ling Luncheon Meat.
3. #ArtistaNotebookPortraits: Guaranteed to Spark Nostalgic Joy
Price: P650 per commission. We couldn’t help but giggle at these portraits reminiscent of those artista notebooks of the '80s and '90s. A collab between the Pop-up and student content creator Maine Glorioso who recently went viral with her ‘90s-inspired content, it’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. Send the Pop-up photos of your best friend or barkada and they’ll send you theportrait back virtually. Or, the giftee can be emailed a commission certificate so they can choose the photo themselves. Bonus: For an additional fee, the Pop-up can produce the actual physical notebooks upon request come January.
4. Kenny Tai Stylized Black-and-White Portraits
Price: P2,500 for solo, P5,000 and up for a couple or family photos
Illustrator/animator Kenny Tai is known for her striking black-and-white portraits of iconic personalities such as the late Carlos Celdran, Lourd de Veyra and more. Revolutionary artist Ai Wei Wei himself reacted to one she posted of him on Twitter. Gift your beloved with a January 2021 slot in advance.
5. La Filippine Nolwenn Purse
The sleek Nolwenn purse is fuss-free and beautifully crafted. This one most likely falls into the “Gift for Myself” category. The La Filippine line is designed by the trés chic Julia Barba-Baudlot and has stockists in the South of France, London and Singapore. Now’s your chance to be among the first in Manila to carry one. Limited pieces available.
6. Happy Garaje Toy Portrait Commissions
Price: Starts at P5,000 per piece
There is nothing cuter than being captured in wooden toy form by this talented group of artists. These are modern heirloom pieces hand-carved and hand-painted with TLC. Order for the ones you love and we’ll send them a commission certificate with your personal message. P.S. We’re obsessed with the couple and family portraits.
7. Long-Distance Sweet Certificates featuring Earnest Bakes
Price: Starts at P1000
Happen to be overseas with loved-ones in Metro Manila? Send them a virtual Long-Distance Sweet Certificate from the Pop-up for Christmas so they can claim their treat when they please. The Pop-up launches this concept with writer/activist/former band manager Earnest Zabala’s classic home-baked goods. Highly recommended: The Calamansi Pie and the Indulgence Choco Ganache Cake with Malagos 65% Dark Chocolate.