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  • Photography by JL Javier  
  • Print by Manuel Ocampo:   "Ito yung pinagusapan ni Kuya, yung Manuel Ocampo na postcard na dri-nawing niya. Kasi when I was starting out and finding my style, wala akong maisip and I would spend hours here, just thinking. And since super daming art around, ito yung style that I really like. Yung neutral, tapos may pop of color lang. And then may simple, intricate details and elements. And I like the colors. Bright siya, pero hindi siya yung overwhelmingly bright na nakaka-distract. So yun yung goals ko, or yung inspiration."  
  • Hidden Prophecies of the Melancholian Artist II by Jigger Cruz:   "Ever since, gusto ko yung makakapal na paint. And favorite artist ko si Van Gogh, so medyo Van Gogh siya. It's from my dad. Yun yung thing ko, kasi mayroon namang moments na 'Trade tayo' pero 'di ko nagagawa. 'Di lang akong nagka-need to buy, kasi usually nabili na [ng dad ko.]"  
  • Untitled by Roberto Chabet:   "Parang found object lang yung photo… I like it kasi ang brave niya. Who would think to do that, tapos ang ganda pala? Kasi when you're starting out, you want to prove your skills. And yung pagka-simple, gusto ko rin. Kaya lang, hindi ko kaya as of now. If I do it, parang hindi rin bagay. Pero sa kanya, ang ganda niya."  
  • Artist Isabel Santos in the studio she shares with sister Carina

08/05/15 Personal Gallery: Isabel Santos

As our art collection grows, we tend to forget the most important thing about buying art: that it needs to be appreciated. Visual artist Isabel Santos believes that this goes beyond amassing vast collections of prominent names—when you purchase art, it should be with the intention of viewing it.

Santos herself finds that appreciating her art collection—as modest as she calls it—has helped immensely in her own craft. “Parang yung aesthetic nila, nakikita ko na possible pala yun,” Santos explains. “Minsan you wanna be a in place that’s conducive to production and work… minsan gusto mo rin ng break, so tingin-tingin ka lang. Feeling ko yun yung okay eh, when you buy art. When you display it, parang sure ka na rin sa style na gusto mo.”

While the Quezon City-based artist has only been practicing for the last few years, she’s certainly becoming known for her distinct style, one inspired by the bright hues and retro fonts of comic book art. Since she began practicing her art in her latter university years, Santos has displayed her work in group shows at West Gallery and Silverlens, among others. In September, she’s set to mount her first solo show at West Gallery called Failed Minimalist, inspired by her love of contrasts.

For NOUS’s Personal Gallery series, Santos discusses some of her favorite works of art, from prints to local works that remind her of Von Gogh. Through our chat with Santos, we learn that one need not gather a lot of art to become a true collector; one simply needs to have the desire to appreciate the work.