Did you know that ZeroThreeTwo readers are the best? Without you, we wouldn’t be able to keep this site going.

With that being said, we’d like to introduce you to another reader who happens to be an uber talented and passionate artist. His name is Antonio Ismael A. Sandiego or Maeng in short.

We discovered who he was after he sent us a message with the desire to design a ZeroThreeTwo shirt. A peek into his portfolio ensured that the output was going to be very well done. We were not disappointed.

It’s difficult to describe his art style. One piece is straight out tongue in cheek cartoony then the next jumps to black and white illustrations with a splash of psychedelic. It’s almost like a kid watching TV who can’t decide what channel to stick to, but in a good way.

Maeng ismael sandiegoThis versatile artist has had his work published in a book called Semi – Permanent 2012 and many of his artwork is already printed on shirts.

We got a chance to find out what makes him tick.

032: What’s your profession?

Maeng: I am a graphic designer for The Times of Oman in Muscat, Oman.

032: That explains your varied and versatile work. What kind of work do you do?

Maeng: Depends on what is required by my clients/bosses – from shirt designs to websites, and from graphics for marketing collaterals to logos. You ask for it, I create it. Haha

For personal works though, the kind of art I spew out depends on the ideas that come to mind. I’ve made some pretty gothic/dark designs in the past along with cartoony and floral designs. I like to explore and dabble on new techniques which is why I don’t really stick to a particular style.

032: Do you have any bits of art that you created that you are particularly proud of? 

Maeng: Hmmm that would be like choosing your favorite son or daughter. But seriously, I’m actually proud of each work that I’ve created, since I worked really hard to create each design. The not-so-good designs serve as learning curves for me while the good designs make me happy when other people appreciate them (Yeeey!).

panda z ismael sandiego collab Isidore Vic CarlomanI love doing collaborations with other artists. The most collabs I’ve done with was with Isidore Vic Carloman, a very good friend of mine. We were in the same class in high school, took up the same course in UP Cebu, and now we work in the same company. We go a long way back so collaborating with this super talented and truly humble guy was a no brainer.

Our collab works include The Purrfect Scare, A Few Good Monsters, Samurai-Z, and Panda-Z (you can find those here). Yo Isidore! You gotta upload more of your awesome work!

032: What’s it like to be part of a book? How did that come about? 

Maeng: It was an honor and an exceptionally humbling experience to be featured in the Semi Permanent 2012 book. More so, it was the design conference’s 10th year anniversary, so it was a monumental time to be part of it.

Each year, artists all over the world are invited to submit their works for screening. The folks at Semi Permanent will then choose which artworks to feature in the book. And by sheer stroke of luck, they liked my “Identity Theft” artwork and decided to include this in their 2012 book. Wooo!

I was ecstatic to have my work published amongst the works of other talented artists. My head just explodes each time I think about it.

2012 Semi-Permanent Ismael Sandiego032: What’s it like seeing your design “out of the computer” ie. shirts, books, etc?

Maeng: It feels surreal to see a physical copy of my work. I mean, I never really expect or assume for any of my work to be recognized in any way. I simply like making something from a wild or silly idea. But when somebody appreciates it enough to produce my work into a shirt or gets it printed, framed and hung, this genuinely inspires me to continue to make art. As long as it makes me happy and it makes other people happy, well, I’ll just carry on then!

032: What made you want to submit a design to ZeroThreeTwo?

Maeng: I’m a true blue Cebuano and I have always loved what you guys do to promote Cebu. I love the freshly fun approach and the not-so-typical ways in getting Cebu ‘on the map.’ I also think the collection of products and shirts that you guys have in the Assembly are really good.

So when I had that light bulb moment for the concept of the shirt, I knew that the best team to pitch it to was ZeroThreeTwo. Jeremy (One of the founders) had mentioned that the team was always looking out for new design ideas, so I was hoping that you guys would like my design. So glad that you guys did! Yes!

unknown pleasures shirt032: Obviously, the design was heavily influenced by the Joy Division album called Unknown Pleasures. What made you think about using that design and dropping a little bit of Cebu into it?

Maeng: I was listening to a couple of Joy Division songs. It reminded me of that epic album cover design for Unknown Pleasures. I then thought it would be pretty awesome to have the shape of the island of Cebu incorporated in the design. I toyed with the concept in my head for more than a year, but only got around to work on it recently. 

*You can check out the shirt, click here.

032: What’s the link to your portfolio/website?


You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.  


"RAWR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Antonio Ismael A. SandiegoThe Purrfect Scare Isidore Vic Carloman and Antonio Ismael A. Sandiego

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