Humorous but uncomfortable, Patricia Doria’s illustrations are curiously relatable
Inspired by the past few months in quarantine, the Manila-based illustrator has produced a series of works filled with rubber gloves, cleaning products and a pinch of irony.
- Ayla Angelos
- 3 August 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Patricia Doria, like many illustrators, started drawing from as young as she can remember. Based in Manila, the Philippines, the reason why she picked up a pencil so early was that, as she puts it, it compensated for the lack of toys in her childhood. “My mother would buy me colouring books and I eventually got tired of just colouring, and I wanted to create something on my own,” she tells It’s Nice That. Then, once puberty hit, Patricia switched from drawing stories of people, houses and plants, and began venturing into more detailed sketches of insects and fabrics.
Growing up in such a rural province of the Philippines, the thought of choosing art and design as a career path was, therefore, a distant one. With this part of the industry “not encouraged”, Patricia consequently pursued Industrial Design for the belief that it would enhance her stills. It did, of course, yet when her third year of university arrived, it dawned on her how she wasn’t so much of a “form-follows-function type of girl” – “I finished the degree anyway,” she tells us. Working for three years as a UI designer, Patricia decided to share her illustrations for the first time on Instagram and this was the moment that things started to pick up. “When a local company noticed my work and asked me to do illustrations for their bags, that’s when I realised I should pursue a career in illustration.”
Sometimes all it takes is an inch of courage to get your works out there. And now, with tools such as Instagram, it has never been easier to do so. Patricia now works in-house at a local creative company while illustrating on the side – she also recently joined an all-women illustration studio called Tillanelli. So let’s just say that she’s thankful that she took the leap, despite the fact that she finds the self-promotion side of things somewhat of a daunting experience: “Illustration for me has always been personal and putting my work out there is like going out naked – uncomfortable but liberating.”
Divulging in fashion, food and culture, Patricia’s vivid works are littered with narrative and are curiously relatable. Working intuitively and avoiding any kind of formula throughout her process, she tends to write down her observations from her day-to-day – “from new and habitual experiences” – so that she has a wide and varied bank of references to turn to. “From there, I can easily pull myself up whenever I get in a creative rut,” she adds on the matter. And, although Patricia is still in the process of building on her illustration style, her work is distinguished in its own right. “All I know is that I like drawing the human form,” she says of her visual language. Bendy, flexible and malleable objects and characters are what she’s often drawn to, especially for the way that these objects can interact with light.
Utilising hues of blue, pink and orange, Patricia recently started applying a more retro-inspired airbrush technique to her process. A recent piece that encapsulates this is Overindulge, an artwork made during the holidays in her parents’ house. “I had the chance to scan some of our old magazines with vintage recipes and I immediately felt the need to make an illustration out of it,” she adds. Two other notable pieces include Quarantine Decor and Stuck at Home – both are works created over the past few months of quarantine that pull from her personal experiences and activities over the “crazy times”. The first is a visual presentation of a pile of cleaning materials that were accumulated over months of “germophobia” – “this is where I started drawing rubber gloves in my work; I love the imperfect fit and the delicate folds it creates.” The latter is inspired by the desire to go outside, a concept which has only been heightened since lockdown.
“A general theme in my illustrations would be discomfort, I like to add a little bit of humour or social commentary in my drawings as much as possible,” she continues. Illustrating subject matters that we can all relate to, Patricia’s work is universal and accessible to all. But what we like to most is her hidden sense of irony and dark humour found beneath – we’re more than excited to see what she produces next.