My name is Shiela Sison and I’m from Manila, Philippines and currently living in Doha, Qatar.
These 3 letters define the inner soul that I am and have always been. Since coming out of my mother’s womb, I have always been fascinated by colors, shapes, form, depth, intensity, and perspective. I am able to see an image within an image especially while staring at it and looking through it.
At 4, I remember myself drawing images of houses, trees, sun and even princesses and their beautiful, flowing gowns (oh my, the influence that Disney has on any child, I would assume). But it was when I started drawing petals and leaves that I realized nature was my first inspiration. It is the very reason why I came back to doing what I am fond of, after having a hiatus of around 10 years with anything related to art.
Reminiscing those years after getting a diploma in UP Diliman and a professional license afterwards, I spent a decade trying to get myself a bit “technically creative”, learning various methods in Interior Design and general knowledge on Architecture. I focused more on different computer software and got locked up in numbers and letters. Lucky me, I got married to an Architect so my library of “design” ideas just became more profound.
I flew far away from my homeland to try my luck, hoping that I could somehow find what they always say, a “career growth”; and together with my husband, we built a small family in this new place. With my main duties at work and at home, I somehow felt there’s still a small piece that’s missing.
While browsing through some art posts of my cousin in Bacolod (she is currently spearheading an advocacy program) and my good friend in Manila (she is one of the best calligraphers in Manila), I picked up my HB pencil and started doodling. I was getting more inspired each day and I thought, why not give it a try. AGAIN.
So it was after Valentines day of 2016. Discussions with my husband were getting more productive even with visions of the future as I would say. In short, he was supportive which made me more eager to finally give it a head start.
Doodles and hand-lettered pieces began and my officemate (who happens to have become one of my very good friends in Doha) mentioned, “why not give color to it?”. I pondered about her idea but there was this thin hair line at the back of my confused yet excited mind of giving it a full go.
To be honest, I wasn’t able to figure out yet how to give enough time for this “artsy fartsy” thing, and that’s one thing that got me worried. I was so focused with my roles as a wife, a mom and an interior designer that I thought, “no, it couldn’t be possible”.
But that did not stop me.
Little by little, I “hoarded” what would now be my “tools of the trade”. My husband gifted me with all those I put in my “art list” and I told him, “I will make you proud of me”. In addition, my good friend in Manila got me those metallic paints which are currently giving me a creative happiness and gifted me with some of the nibs in her collection (thank you, Ainz).
Aside from that, my work colleagues gave me on my birthday, a bag full of artsy goodies (thank you, Riz, Flora, Saidz, Tas). Then just a month back, another colleague in my new design company gifted me with a watercolor pack on Christmas. I have never felt so happy in my creative life!
To date, I have the following:
For drawing / painting
- Strathmore watercolor pad, 400 series (9×12 and 12×18 sizes)
- Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolor pack (36 in a pan)
- Daler and Rowney watercolor pack (gifted by a colleague; “Simply”, 12 tubes)
- Gouache (locally bought, 12 tubes)
- Acrylic (locally bought, 12 tubes)
- Finetec metallic paints (Pearl colors – gold series and colored metallics)
- Round brushes (locally bought)
- Flat brushes (gifted by a colleague)
- Pencils (6H series, Faber Castell)
- Watercolor pencils (Faber Castell)
- Colored pencils (Faber Castell)
For lettering / brush lettering / calligraphy
- Aqua brush pen (gifted by a friend in Manila)
- Nibs (gifted by a friend in Manila; one set is the Speedball series, bought locally)
- Winsor and Newton calligraphy inks
With all these beauties, there is a feeling of being blessed to be able to not only use them, but find time for them. Each time I pick up my brush for example, dip it on paint and let it flow on the paper, I can sense how it communicates with me. There is just this strong connection creating a “masterpiece” in the end. Each time I accomplish a piece, my heart skips a beat. More so when people appreciate them and tell me how I am able to inspire them through what I do.
On an emotional level, I am inspired to continue doing this particularly because my 4-year old daughter joins me all the time. She simply enjoys painting, writing letters and being artsy. I guess that is one of the best accomplishments ever after getting my hands back on this journey.
This creative journey in a span of less then a year, became what we now call “SISON DESIGNS”. The launch of this design studio came as a result of 2 things. First, I have a former batch mate in CSA Makati who gave me as much push as I needed to finally get all the guts in this world to make it public (thank you, Arl). Second, there is no better feeling in the world than having the support of your family (a big thank you to my husband Junel, my daughter Sam, my Mama Nene and my 2 brothers, Manong Bong & Mark).
After almost a year of having this creative chaos, I am just grateful.
To everyone who shares the same passion… If you have not begun yet, start now. If you are already doing it, continue. If you feel hesitant, don’t stop. Remember, what you create is a “masterpiece”. It is important to be proud of what you do and have done—imagine those brain cells getting fairly creative. Whatever the result is, you just have to be content, happy and continuously keep yourself getting better.
If there’s any advice I can give, you can hop on to the following accounts to get in touch!Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in