Carina Santos was born into a family of artists—her grandfather is famed artist Malang; her parents Soler and Mona, both artists, also run an art gallery in Quezon City; and both her siblings Luis and Isabel have done exhibitions of their work, too. When you grow up with art, does that automatically make you an artist? This week, we get to know her creative process and inspiration.
- Introductions first. Who are you, how old are you, and what do you do?
"My name is Carina Santos, and I'm currently 27 years old. I do a few things, but right now, I'm CNN Philippines Life's Art Director, as well as a visual artist and a writer."
- You come from a family of artists. What was it like growing up in an environment where you were encouraged to be creative?
"It's not really as exciting as everyone seems to think, I feel like. I didn't particularly feel that creativity was encouraged above things like sports or studies—it was really more of a general encouragement of our general interests. I do feel surprised when I hear about how creativity was stifled in some of my friends' households when I was growing up."
- What's your favorite medium to work with? What types of art are you inclined to make?
"I don't have a favorite medium, though I do know what I don't like or what I struggle with (for example, acrylic!). I used to think that I needed existing imagery to work from but I don't generally work from anything when I paint, so maybe that's not so true anymore."
"I get tired of things a lot, I think, so I constantly change mediums. I used to work mostly on collages, but now I find myself super excited to paint or draw, which is something I shied away from when I started sort of getting into art. I guess we just have periods. I'm kind of restless so whatever gets me through that state is my favorite medium for that particular period."
- Is there a particular time in the day when you think you create your best work?
"I don't know if I can say best work, but I feel best when I make stuff after midnight or before everyone else is awake. There's a certain kind of peacefulness to that solitude that calms me down."
- You've done a few shows already, is there a memorable one or a favorite piece you can share a story about?
"My last show, 'Sometimes I am restless,' was particularly memorable because I hadn't shown any paintings before, so I was really shy about it and weirdly insecure about the things I made, even though I liked them. I didn't even really invite people; I just posted a general invite on Instagram and didn't expect anything. Anyway, the response was way better than I could have ever imagined so it was actually quite a nice surprise!"
- Who's your dream artist to collaborate with? Or a dream project you've always wanted to do?
"I've always wanted to work with materials I haven't really explored that much like ceramics or textiles or screenprinting. I would love to work on artist books, installations, book covers, stuff like that. I have way too much dream artist collaborations...I think it would be cool to work with someone with a very different style from mine."
- What are you busy working on now?
"I'm in the middle of a holiday, so not a lot! When I get back, I'll be working on (CNN Philippines) Life, some personal projects with my sister, and a group show later in the year, and one in March."
- Who do you follow on Instagram for inspiration?
"I don't really use it for that (though I should) but I enjoy posts from designers and creatives like @jessicavwalsh, @hansulrichobrist, @gymclassmag, @llagj, as well as local artists, and publications."
Whose creative space do you want us to explore next? Leave us a message or tag us on Instagram!