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Artist Spotlight: Ishie Manuel, Modern Mural Painter

Meet the up and coming 24 year-old taking over the city one wall at a time

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If you’ve ever been to Tipsy Beans in Mandaluyong or the then-Monster Grub along Mendiola, chances are, you’ve come across some of Ishie Manuel’s work. With her distinct Tim Burton-inspired yet feminine style, you can’t miss it.

In photo: #CherryBlossomsProject Mural no. 1 for the coffee shop, Tipsy Beans.

In photo (L-R): Ishie Manuel, #CherryBlossomsProject Mural no. 2 for a shared girl’s bedroom 

Ishie never intended to paint walls. It was just through word of mouth that she got new clients who asked her to paint their homes or business spaces.  “I sort of fell into it—I was commissioned to do one for a concept store when I was in college and I discovered that I could do big pieces. Everything else just followed,” she shares. 

Although she dabbles in digital art, Ishie still prefers to work with her brushes and tubes of paint. She attributes this passion to a four-year Fine Arts (major in Painting) degree obtained from the University of Santo Tomas.

In photo: 9x12 “PNAY” for a hostel, St. John's Place Manila

When asked which subjects are her favorite to draw, she counts anything that's reminiscent of science fiction books, graphic novels, and Barry Sonnenfeld's The Addams Family. "[These are] fun especially when combined with a vibrant color palette,” she says. 

However, when doing commissioned work for clients, she believes it is best to respect what they want. “Murals reflect the personality of the dweller. It depicts their vision for the home and you [don't] want to ruin that,” she adds.

In photo: 36x36 “Peep”, for a client's living room 

Today, Ishie has moved on to bigger projects with a traveller’s hostel and a few more restaurants. With these under her belt, it looks like we’ll be seeing more of her soon.  

Ishie's Advice for RL Readers: “Murals alone set the ambience of a certain area. In History, you’ll find drawings on the caves of Altamira, the bath houses of Rome and Pompeii and even in the caves of Angono. If you are looking to get one done, make sure it reflects your personality. Visual sensations from large-scale art are unending—aside from making your space look great, it can also trigger certain memories that you hold most dear.” 

All photos courtesy of Ishie Manuel. 

Interested to get a mural for your space? You can give Ishie a call at 0919-914-0211 or email her at 
ishxnott[at]yahoo.com. To see more of her work and for updates, follow her on Instagram.

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