Isabel Santos is more than simply “Malang Santos’ granddaughter,” or even John Lloyd Cruz’s reported new girlfriend. The 31-year-old artist is simply too diverse to be defined solely by the people who surround her.
We had the opportunity to speak with her about her craft three years ago, and we’re confident that it has only expanded and flourished alongside her since then.
Isabel’s work has gone global and received praise, proving that she is much more than simply another lady who paints and becomes an occasional showbiz hot topic. There’s a lot to learn about her, and we’ve compiled a list of ten of them below.
Isabel was born on June 11, 1990, into a family of renowned painters. Growing up in the same family as Soler, Mona, and famed cartoonist Malang Santos instilled in her a desire to one day pick up a brush or pen. Isabel describes her body of work as “extremely Gemini” when asked to define it.
However, her family history hampered her attempts to become a professional artist. When it came time for her to apply to universities, she was tired of being viewed as her grandfather’s legacy.
As a result, she chose European Studies at the Ateneo de Manila University at random. Despite the fact that she later concluded that producing art was her actual calling in life, she completed her degree and graduated in 2013.
Isabel swiftly altered gears after graduation, focusing on her profession in every manner she could. She held her first group show the same year she graduated from high school, and her first piece was done with a pen on paper. Since then, Isabel has dabbled with painting, silk-screening, hand-dying, and digital art.
It appears that the aspiring virtuoso wasted little time in developing and displaying her work after graduation. She began presenting her work at Art Fair Philippines right away and became a regular featured artist from 2014 to 2019.
Isabel has participated in residencies presented in New York, France, and Germany, allowing her creations to reach a broader audience.
Another medium that has grabbed the 31-year-old’s curiosity is the application of cosmetics to one’s face. In fact, her love of cosmetics assisted her fledgling painting career by teaching her how to paint faces better.
Fashion is, of course, right next to the cosmetics section. Isabel expresses her creative views via her clothing, and she has stated that her work occasionally takes inspiration from some of her favorite labels. These include worldwide brands like Jacquemus and Issey Miyake, as well as local favorites like Rod Malanao and HA.MU. We recommend reading through Isabel’s Instagram for some new style inspiration.
In terms of fashion, the artist recently won Uniqlo’s UT Grand Prix t-shirt design contest, which was one of her biggest breaks to date. Isabel earned P1.5 million for her design, A Fortune in Jewels Kept in Your Safe, which beat out over 10,000 other entrants. The winning entry was a retro-inspired collage of many comic book heroines with varying hairstyles.