Makiling, 2014. Ink and watercolor.

Makiling has many stories, many faces. She is an enchantress, a forest, a mountain, a guardian. She is love devoted, love all-powerful, love betrayed. She is rippling water and whispering trees and the sigh of the wind, so sweet it knifes through you.

All experiences of Makiling must be fleeting (must be indelible). Like grasping the elusive wind (like putting down deep, deep roots).

practice for an upcoming makiling (??? maybe?) piece. tiny pointed nib, acrylic ink — definitely harder than fineliners but so worth it.

#scribble #doodle #ink #detail #miahatesherhands

Like Drowning

A one-page comic for an April milestone goal. Content notes: mental health, depression. For my Patreon: (has the full-size image as an attachment)


My depression is like drowning at sea for as long as I can remember.

People talk about this thing called “land”. I can’t imagine what it must be like to just… stand.
To not be treading water, or struggling against the next huge wave.

These days I’ve begun to learn about floating. Finding bits of wood, odd flotsam that I can hold onto.

And for a moment, I don’t have to struggle so hard. I don’t have to kick desperately for fear of drowning.

I wonder if one day I’ll understand what land is.

For now I’m just trying not to drown, holding on to what I can, these moments of peace — little things: a kindness, a chance to rest… and imagine, maybe,
a world that isn’t just storm and furious water.

A little study in baybayin calligraphy: pangako (promise).

Testing out the folded pen. I really like the ragged edges one can get with it — although it does take a bit of getting used to!

trying a little something new.

#illustration #ink #pointed-pen

Like the Sky Alight, 2014.

"You can worry about detail tomorrow," she said. "Tonight I want rapture and color; tonight I want light, light, light."

This piece is a remix of an old piece from 2010, Like the Sky ā€” . I thought Iā€™d revisit it, and though I started it out (with pointed pen and acrylic-based ink!) fully intending to do a heavy detailed piece in ink, with only light washes of color, I ended up focusing on the color more than the ink. I have a very very long way to go when it comes to learning watercolor, but I quite like how vibrant everything is here.

Like the Sky alight (central image). staying up for this was worth it.

Prinsesa, inked.

Ink, 2014. This is the first piece I’ve completed in a series centered around Filipino mythology and fantasy. I mean to color this with watercolor, which is why some parts may seem sparse or bare right now — but I thought that the finished inked piece was complete in itself, in a way; pieces in ink always change once they’ve been touched by water and color, and the princess (shapeshifting, as with all her kin) might very well transform once she bathes in water. So for a moment, I’ll let the ink capture her.

Like the Sky. Watercolor and ink (background texture added in Photoshop), 2010.

An old piece, but still my favorite. Posting because I think it’s good to reflect on past, well-loved pieces, and revisit them, again and again. I’m working on a revisiting!piece for this one; I’m looking forward to finishing it, seeing how ideas bloom and grow with time.

This piece was created with love for my beloved Cy. I inked and painted this when we were very far apart and didn’t know when we would be together again. Now the original sits in the cabinet of our shared study, waiting to be hung.

my art, too, is born from a place of anger. too ethnic? too primitive, too tribal? fuck you.

(context: have been reading tweets on the backlash against the move for more diversity in sf.)