Digital artist earns raves for animé-style characters inspired by Filipino icons

A Filipino artist creating digital characters based on Filipino icons such as food, plants, and animals has earned raves online for his creations, which look like they came straight out of a manga or video game.

Ran Carmona, who posts his artwork under his page, Arts of Ran, has earned a following for mixing animé style illustrations with symbols of Filipino culture.

Carmona told Coconuts he has been doing digital illustrations since 2009 and usually focuses on character designs, taking inspiration from other digital artists such as Nitro, Naru, Zexi Guo and RinoTuna.

The 32-year-old album is full of character designs that he said were based on random objects associated with local culture.

“There was a trend in the art community that I came across one day where artists created characters out of random stuff like any objects or brands like soda brands or fast food,” Carmona told Coconuts, which led him to create his own Filipino take.

At first, he focused on the country’s official national symbols, such as the national fruit (mango), national fish (bangus or milkfish), national animal (carabao). But he quickly realized that sticking only to those would make for a short list, so he expanded the series’ scope by adding other local objects.

The artist has drawn 20 characters so far for the series and plans to create a total of 100 characters and put them together in a book.

He’s since created characters based on the icy dessert halo-halo, the hairy fruit rambutan, the local broom walis tambo, and even the quintessential tabo, aka the bath dipper.

His post has since been shared over 9,000 times.