Young Star

Sticker happy

Margarita Buenaventura - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - In the pre-Friendster(!!) era, social hierarchy was determined by sticker collections. Own an album of holographic Hello Kitty stickers and you basically ruled the school. We kind of miss those days, to be honest, and jumped at the opportunity to relive them even for a bit. So when we thought of our invites for #YSPROM, we figured no one could do a better job than 19-year-old illustrator Ross Du.

We first got to know Ross when she auditioned for the Young STAR Open Call, showing us a style that is equal parts charming and emotive. We thought it would be perfect to team up with her for our invites, which featured cute caricatures of black cats, cereals and the phrase “YASSS KWEEN” in cute lettering. Beyond her work with Young STAR, Ross has also worked with local artist BP Valenzuela, and created a number of collaterals for No Filter, a monologue series by The Sandbox Collective. It’s crazy to think that she’s only getting started — even crazier to imagine how much farther she’ll go.

And because Ross is the sticker queen we’d gladly pay tribute to, we hung out with her for a bit to talk about letting inspiration in, getting into writing, and the importance of having no filter.

YOUNG STAR: This is probably what’s on everyone’s mind right now: how’d you get so good at illustrating?

ROSS DU: I’m really grateful that anyone would think that! I owe a lot to my college professors, who taught me a lot about art in the past year. I think what’s important in illustration is really honing your style. I think it’s a matter of drawing often, letting yourself be inspired by others, and putting yourself out there. When I see an image that I think is inspiring, I try to note what I like about it — the brushstrokes, the colors, the subject — and I try to apply it to my work and make it my own, so I think that’s what makes up my style.

Does your art reflect your personality in any way, or would you say they’re different from each other?

I try to make my art as sincere as possible and I think in general my intentions are pretty genuine, or at least I try to be. I’ve heard, however, that my art is whimsical; but I’m think I’m more of a practical, logical kind of person.

Any memorable projects you’ve done so far? What made them noteworthy for you?

I think the most memorable for me is a personal project I did, which was the 100 Day Project. It was an Instagram event where people had to make anything and post it for 100 days. I didn’t get to finish and only went up to 30 days, but honestly, I didn’t expect to reach a month, so I’m happy I did it! I’ve always been conscious of what illustrations I post online, so when I saw that people enjoyed even the illustrations I didn’t really like, I felt really encouraged. It made me care less about filtering myself, and I think that helped in letting my art be more genuine.

How do you stay inspired? Rather, how do you keep yourself from getting distracted?

Recently, I’ve been drowning myself in work, both in illustration and in school organizations, so even if I don’t want to, I have to keep working. I’m easily distracted but deadlines keep me going. Otherwise I get inspiration from my everyday experiences and random images I see.

Do you have plans of going beyond illustrating? A comic, perhaps?

I like writing but I’m not very good at it! I’m trying to collaborate with some friends on some comics and other experimental pieces. Otherwise, I really just want to keep practicing and trying out new ideas. Really vague, but I just really want to practice and experiment in the future.














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