Art + Illustration

Hello! I’m Arlene, a visual artist and art director based in Manila.

Having worked as a magazine writer and art director for three years, I set up an art blog in 2010 to casually revisit two of my passions: drawing and painting. Later, realizing that I’d stopped creating art for pleasure, I plucked up the courage to strike it out on my own and give my first love my full attention.

Since then, I’ve been driven by a belief in traditional, handmade art. My work is characterized by a certain attention to detail with a feminine, whimsical charm. I'm constantly inspired and informed by fashion trends, chic spaces and places, and unique homegrown lifestyles.

I am drawn to flowers, vintage memorabilia and elements (botanicals as of late), Parisian culture, and French-inspired details. Those, and the color pink. 

I love paper, more so when something on it speaks to me--a subtle wash of my favorite color, a unique floral pattern, gorgeous typography or photography, or an illustration that leaves me in awe. (Plus points if it's on matte paper!) In 2012, right after getting married, I briefly launched a line of custom-designed paper goods, which I dreamt of setting up for the longest time.

While I'm comfortable rendering most subjects in my style, I enjoy doing portraits and small still lifes the most. I keep my plate full working on commissions, collaborating with like-minded creatives, and designing paper goods–these help me share my delicate yet modern take on the world.

I hope this little space inspires you to make beautiful things. If you have something to say, ask, or share, feel free to get in touch!

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All illustrations, artwork, and photographs in this site are the property of Arlene Sy, unless stated otherwise.

Photos generally taken with: iPhone 4 camera; iPhone 6s camera; Panasonic Lumix GF1