THE ART OF XIAO: Singapore-based Designer and Illustrator

If you’re on Twitter, you’re probably familiar with the #VisibleWomen tag. It is used by women colorists, letterers, artists, and writers to bring awareness to their portfolio links. This tag aims to increase the visibility and awareness for women creators.

This is what I hope to achieve in this feature article. To boost visibility and awareness to a particularly talented Filipino artist. Xiao Prieto is a graphic designer / illustrator hailing from Davao City. She is currently based in Singapore doing what she loves best.

Working full time in the industry for over 6 years now, we couldn’t pass up the chance to get to know her. In this article, Xiao talked about her motivations, her comic strips, and her recent post that went viral.

Xiaoness: Art In The Age Of Instagram

Like many artists her age, Xiao actively uses Instagram as a creative outlet. She created around July last year.

“I just wanted a place where I can dump my doodles and not be drowned in my reposted memes and lame posts.” She says.

Her account is filled with slice-of-life doodles. The inspiration behind these posts are usually real-life experiences.

“Before, whenever I have a story to tell, I would have the urge to compose a Facebook status and think about how to deliver it. Mostly I would end up scrapping everything or deliver it ineffectively. Since I’m not really good with words plus I enjoy drawing, I decided to draw them instead.”

Her unique art style combined with relatable situations makes it very appealing to fans. In fact, one of her recent posts got a lot of attention.

It was a carousel Instagram post that showcased a series of situations. One that particularly stood out was that of a grandmother and grandson. The grandson was asking for a computer and internet connection for home-based learning.

It became a powerful social commentary. We asked what was the inspiration behind it and if she wanted to convey a particular message.

“The recent comics that went viral is about my mixed feelings I had when I heard that the circuit breaker here in SG is going to Phase 1 (meaning it sooner or later things will go back to the way they were). Then for a moment I thought how shallow my feelings were – other people could be struggling right now with problems I am lucky enough not to experience. This is also the primary message I want to convey.”

Ever since the artwork had gone viral, she admits that more realizations dawned on her upon reading people’s comments and messages. The readers were able to read more into her artwork which opened her eyes to more realizations than the message she wanted to convey.

Art is definitely up for interpretation. In this case, both the artist and the readers were able to take more meaning from it.

What The Future Holds For Xiaoness.Art

We asked Xiao what her plans are for and if she has any new projects we can look forward to.

She says that she plans to continue what she’s been doing but hopes to do it with more consistency. Additionally, she shares that she has a lot of projects planned.

“A few people also PM’d me suggestions on what to draw and I might consider some of them.”

Lastly, we asked her if she has a few inspiring words for aspiring artists.

“I don’t know if I’m in the position to give advice but if there’s one thing that’s on my mind right now, it is to never stop creating art (whatever form it is). Even if no one is paying attention to it because ultimately you’re not doing it for other people but for yourself.”

Art is a universal language. An artist can create a piece based on their own feelings and experiences but viewers can interpret it in a variety of ways.

It’s impossible to tell you the extent of an artist’s skill and talent. So do yourself a favor and check out on Instagram!

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