Filipino illustrator Soleil Ignacio is based in Manila and began her career in graphic design. She was working on a magazine as an art director when she decided to start illustrating, and after collaborating with various friends working in fashion, was able to reinvent herself as a full-time fashion illustrator. Today she tackles both local projects, and ones for international brands.
She traces her drawing style right back to her childhood when she was obsessed with drawing Ariel, from The Little Mermaid, and Barbie. Later she discovered Alphonse Mucha and Audrey Kawasaki, while more recent influences include Antonio Lopez and Artaksiniya. When she works, she constantly listens to music and some of her favourites are Banks, Blood Orange, and Childish Gambino.
Soleil spent four years studying Visual Communication at the College of Fine Arts, which is part of the University of the Philippines.
At first, Soleil will work up an image using pencils and sometimes a bit of watercolour. She’ll then scan it in and add to it in Photoshop. When she was a graphic designer, her style was minimalist, and this shines through in her illustration a little bit too. She keeps her colour palette quite spare and even when an image has a lot of detail in it, there’s a clean overall feel.
Feminine, edgy and strong, her style combines expressive, stylised main strokes with a touch of realism. She balances textures and negative space to emphasise certain areas of her illustrations, and has a particularly unique way of drawing hair. This, she says, goes right back to her roots when, as a child, she drew countless pictures of The Little Mermaid.