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Embracing Self-Love with Soleil Ignacio

How accepting her biggest insecurity gave her art a new direction



Not unlike a math problem or a far-flung city, self-love is a strange concept in the way that there’s no single way to finding it. In the same way that some come to terms with who they are as life throws its punches, accepting (and moreover, appreciating) the self is a lifelong pursuit for others. Another possibility, too, is thinking that self-love is already in the cards—only to come to a pivotal point and realize that, no, there remain great lengths still untraveled.


Take artist Soleil Ignacio, for instance.



If Soleil’s romantic, ultra-stylish illustrations of women look familiar, it’s likely because you’ve seen them before. Since quitting her full-time job as an Art Director of a magazine in 2011, Soleil’s art has propelled her across platform and product: from murals to storefronts to swimwear and jewelry design. The logo and packaging on Nadine Lustre’s Lustrous makeup line? Illustrated by Soleil. Did we mention she’s also included in the hand-picked lineup of local artists who have their work printed on Uniqlo UT t-shirts?


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Despite her distinct style and flourishing career, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that Soleil found the edge that would set the women she drew apart: their skin color. Soleil’s earlier works were noticeably paler, having been drawn off a canvas of white and left uncolored. This style wasn’t born out of an intentional desire to color her characters pale—they turned out that way because the artist had never given her illustrations’ skin color thought. 


In recent years, Soleil began to color inside the lines the best way, taking the morena skin tone that made her the target of childhood bullying and turning it into her greatest strength. “I was able to overcome my insecurities and found a deeper purpose,” shares Soleil. Her illustrations began to mirror herself and the women she sees around her, coming to life with a newfound warmth. 




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Words Cessi Treñas

Photos Karen dela Fuente

Art Alex Lara

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