I met Donna Inosanto-Pahignalo or “Mommy Dons” as she’s fondly called, when I was the Editorial Head of a publishing company. She was the Creatives Department head that time, until now.
At first, we would only talk about work matters. But when she got pregnant with her second child, Kyra and we became seatmates, our conversations became more personal. In fact, I am one of Kyra’s god mother.
What I love about my friendship with Donna is how we could talk and exchange thoughts about anything without the fear of being judged. Perhaps our one-year age gap is one factor, and two, she is a very good listener, and can offer good and honest-to-goodness advices when needed.
I like that our friendship has no conditions or expectations. We don’t go out after work since she has a family and I live far away. But I appreciate that she’s always my shoulder to cry on, especially during my lowest times. I don’t know what to do without her that time.
Honestly, I admire her as a wife for keeping her marriage and relationship strong despite some challenges. She is also a mother of two, but can still afford to work and look after her kids and husband after work.
I would always ask her, “How can you do all that? I’m single and I still can’t find time to do everything I want.”
She would just smile at me and answer, “Time management lang ‘yan mars.”
Donna is a graduate of Fine Arts, Major in Advertising at the Technological University of the Philippines. And even before, she’s always loved doing caricatures, it only took her many years to turn that passion into living.
Today, Donna creates solo and group caricatures. She finds complete and utter joy in knowing that her artworks are being appreciated and it touches the hearts of her clients.
Let’s get to know her more and her artworks:
Donna: Carica – from the word “Caricature”; Capture – from the word itself “capture” / “capturing memories or moments”
With your busy schedule, how do you find time to do caricatures?
Donna: When I get home from work, I rest for one to two hours, and look after my kids. I’m grateful because my husband helps me in taking care of our kids. Then after that, I start doing my caricatures. I don’t know, but my creativity usually kicks in at night (laughs). Even if I do it until the wee hours as long as I know my clients would appreciate my final artwork, I don’t mind the sleepless nights. It feels good!
What are the challenges in doing caricatures and how do you overcome them?
Donna: Challenges… maybe if there are ‘unlimited’ revisions (laughs). It’s hard on my part. Unlike in corporate or agencies, they charge revision fees. In my case, I just treat them as discounts to my customers so they will be my repeat clients. They don’t know that doing faces is the most tasking of all because it’s the basis of the caricature – they should resemble the client, I cannot magic that. There’s a process even I do it using computers or digital.
Another challenge is doing group portraits because I do it by bulk and the time I allot in doing that is usually only after work. Group caricatures usually take seven to 10 days to make; solo to two to three to characters usually overnight or one day, depending on my priorities each day.
Donna: I thought of it last 2008 when I learned how to use Vexel art, the basics on how to produce that kind of art. I was amazed so I tried and practiced using photos of celebrities at first, and then I thought, why not do it with people I really know? That was in 2010. Then it spread thru word of mouth but only within a few people.
I remember my officemate’s brother is one of my first clients who eventually became a loyal customer, Ms. Resty. When I improved my artwork and style, I posted it officially on Facebook as CariCapture by Donna.
Where do you get your ideas? What’s your secret?
Donna: I usually get ideas and concepts from my clients – what they want me to create for them, then I just enhance it in the process. My secret? Maybe it’s loving what I do best, appreciating whatever [talent] God has given me, and sharing it.
Advice to young artists
Donna: Practice always makes perfect. Explore and never limit yourself. Thank the Lord for your talent and never forget to share it.
Here’s some of Donna’s favorite solo and group caricatures and the stories behind them. I hope you like them too:
Caricapture for Hazel
“I did this family caricature for a dear friend named, Hazel last December 2016. It was an anniversary gift for her husband – she wanted it special. I also helped her in surprising her husband when she gave the gift. That time, Hazel was already battling cancer so her husband told me, she wanted every moment special and will be remembered forever. Hazel eventually joined our Creator last May 2017.”
Caricapture for my Mother
“I did this family caricature as requested by my own mother as her birthday gift.”
Caricapture for Amia
“This is one of the very first group caricatures I did in 2016. It was memorable because my friend’s mother-in-law was very happy to see the whole family in the caricature, including her husband, who already passed away. It looked exactly like him.”
Caricapture for Lia
“A friend asked me to do this for her close friend, Lia Del Castillo, whose celebrating her birthday. Lia is a GMA news reporter. We personally delivered the gift to Lia’s house. Although she didn’t receive it personally, I overheard she roared in laughter after opening the package and said, “Oh my god! Hahaha! Wonderwoman Lia! (laughs).”
Caricapture for Teng
“Teng asked me to do this for her friend who was engaged and soon-to-be married that time. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to give this gift because the wedding didn’t push through.”
Personally, this is my favorite because Donna created it for me for my blog’s header. Isn’t it amazing?
Mars Donna, hope you liked my feature. Thank you for everything and good luck in your future endeavours. Please know that I’m always here for you.
For inquiries, check out Caricapture by Donna on Facebook.