Creative Space: Kara Pangilinan

See how she transforms paper and ink into beautiful art.
by Macy Alcaraz   |  Nov 6, 2016
Image: Kara Pangilinan |
Share This!

Kara Pangilinan of Details Ink has drawn on paper, walls, glass windows, and more. Her intricate hand-drawn art has gone beyond paper—appearing on phone cases, ukeleles, helmets, and sneakers. Meet the talented woman who's set to have her first solo exhibit tonight.

  1. Introductions first. Who are you, how old are you, and what do you do?



"My name is Kara Pangilinan and I'm 22 years old, currently taking my BS Architecture thesis at UP Diliman and I'm the pen and ink artist behind Details Ink."

  1. How did you first get into art?

Featured Video

"I started in high school during the year 2011. (Details Ink just had its 5th birthday last week!) Back then, it was just a personal creative outlet for me—a way to pass time during class, and let out my feelings. I'd doodle all over my planners and notebooks, and fill it up with every thought on my mind. Words, images, patterns—anything. That's how I developed my particular pen and ink style. Somehow, it would always end up looking really intricate... and well, I've loved black and white ever since, haha!"


  1. You work with ink a lot. Is there any other medium you prefer? What’s your go-to store to stock up on supplies?

"I will always have a good stock of PILOT markers and G-Tech pens, UNI felt tip pens and paint markers, and ZIG Mangaka flexible pens, paint pens, brush pens and a whole lot of 50cm Biggies! Those are the different things I use for my black-and-white work, but apart from that, I have my go-to Prang water color sets, Reeves acryclic tubes, and a lot of other stuff!


No clothing brand will ever excite me as much as an art supplies shop! <3"

  1. What's the best time for creating for you?


"Although my body clock has been really messed up and I find myself with ink stained hands even at 3 am, I have always been most efficient early morning. I mean, if I get to sleep well and wake up early morning. My favorite days are those when I'm up reallly early and am able to power through my to do list like a trooper, all before noon. But that goes for when I'm conceptualizing work for a client. 


"If it's for my own personal art, there are no time bounds. The urge to draw comes up at the most random times during the day, and I think all my notes in class have little scribbles of calligraphy or intricate patterns somewhere on the page."

  1. Are there any memorable projects you’ve worked on that you can share with us? What can we look forward to?


"One of the best things about 2016 was that I got to do a whole lot of murals. I started making #DetailsInkWalls last December and my gosh, I love it so much. It is probably the most tiring, and most rewarding thing. 

"Having drawn tiny things on tiny paper items for the first four years, I never imagined I'd be able to draw something at such a large scale. I was so scared! My first commissioned mural was for a landscape architecture firm office. I drew an office window overlooking a tree on an 8-sqm surface, and my goodness, it was probably the most intricate thing I've done. Becaaause the owner wanted every single member of his staff, along with himself and his family, to be represented somehow in the artwork. So the details were comprised of the things each one loved... all integrated into one cohesive drawing! It took me three days and seven jumbo markers to complete!


"Over the past few months, I've been drawing a lot in preparation for my upcoming solo exhibit today, November 6. It'll be a celebration of five years of pen and ink art! #DetailsInkatFive. Yay!"

  1. What's a dream collab you want to work on?

"Oh my, I'm shy. Haha! Well, as of now, I really want to challenge my intense fear of heights and create a huge building wall murall with someone. That's the dreeeam! And I really can't imagine doing that alone. Haha!


"Apart from that, I really really want to get into interactive public art! I want to create something people can take pictures with; or something that they can stop and smile at during their daily commutes. (There is soo much art potential in LRT/MRT Stations!) I love it when people can relate with my work, and I'd really like to explore that more. :)"

  1. What would be your advice for young girls who want to get started in art?


"I always tell my workshop students that the only way to really become an artist is to actually make art—not just read about it, not just gather pegs, not just plan things out. You have to jump in, ready or not, and do it. Do lots of it. Again and again. As much as you can.

You really have to go through a tremendous amount of work, in order to truly turn your dream into your every day. And I think that process is beautiful.

"You have to push yourself to learn, to grow, to fail, to try new things... you have to show up and finish one project after another, giving your very best each time. And you have to keep doing that until you reach a certain point and realize that you're current source of stress was your once your biggest dream. And that despite all the doubts you have on whether or not you're good enough, you'll find that you've come a long away. :)"


  1. Who do you follow on Instagram for inspiration?

"For some reason, I get inspired by artists from diverse fields. Maybe, it's because the artists themselves push me to become better and to do more. 

"Some of my favorite pen and ink artists include Kerby Rosanes, Kelsey Montague, and @Visothkakvei. I'm forever inspired by local artists Alexis Ventura of Ink Scribbler, AJ Pangilinan of Sunday Paper, Ella Lama, June Digan, and Abbey Sy. Hands down, beautiful work, beautiful people. <3"


Don't forget to drop by tonight from 6 to 10pm at Warehouse Eight, La Fuerza Plaza, 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City for her first solo exhibit called What's Stopping You? 

How do you feel about this article?
About the author
Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief,
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
How do you feel?
Click on your mood to read related stories