American Cult Fashion Brand Features Filipina Artist

Aloha Board shorts Volcom artist philippines Sharon AtilloA social industrialist with revolutionary ideals. Impossible? Perhaps just for another run-of-the-mill artist; but definitely not for Sharon Atillo.

Fondly referred to by her peers as an industrial type gypsy, Atillo was born and raised in a furniture factory on the island of Cebu. Armed with an aesthetic which she describes as "Crazy yet nevertheless interesting environments… bare metal.. industrial... unfinished wood… concrete… plain... and most of all functional.” And shedding more light to her art, she adds, “Frankly I don't understand expensive art I can only look at. It could be amazing and inspiring and all that... but I'm always afraid I'll tire of it. And then what? At least if it's art one can sit on, if I get tired of it at least I can get to sit on it." Imbued with this unique mindset, it was only a matter of time before this indefatigable artist broke through the bounds of her humble beginnings.

True enough, she currently heads the operations for I LOVE YOU, an art and design collective, which in its own words, aims to 'save the world and the environment through social change'. And just last year, Sharon Atillo was the first Filipina to have a design showcased in Volcom's featured artist series. The forward-thinking global boardsports & street fashion brand hopes to collaborate with more of our local artists.

Aloha Board shorts Volcom artist philippines Sharon AtilloFeted Feature. Sharon Atillo’s work entitled ‘Self Portrait with the exploding robotic rhum in cake’ earned her a spot in Volcom’s Featured Artist Series, the first time a Filipina was able to do so.

“The Volcom idea incorporates a major philosophy of the times which is ‘youth against the establishment’ — a state that supports young creative thinking,” says Freddy Gonzalez, President of Aloha Boardsports, which distributes the brand exclusively in the Philippines. Established amid the grim social milieu of the Gulf War and at a time when skateboarding and snowboarding were still looked down upon, Volcom broke into the scene by channelling the oft-ignored youth subculture and ideals. “We’re a family of people not willing to accept the suppression of established ways. We stand for change and we back up people who’re not afraid to ignite it.”

Over the last decade, Volcom has provided a platform for aspiring artists to express themselves through the Featured Artist Series line of products. Mark Appleyard, Michael Sieben, Mitchell Froelich, Todd Bratrud and Michael J. Zepeda are only some of the independent artists previously tapped by Volcom. Here, the chosen Volcom artist is tasked to design T-shirts and a range of other accessories such as hats, wallets, and belts as well as boardshorts, sweatshirts and woven/knit shirts. The Featured Artist Series line is released in Volcom outlets worldwide.

What’s distinct about Atillo’s artwork is her exceptional aesthetic—the same element that caught the eye of the global brand and established her as the first Filipina for Volcom’s Featured Artist Series. Entitled Melissa’s Portrait with the Exploding Robotic Rhum in Cake, the artwork title with her cousin’s name, for whom the work was originally for, suggests a mirror image or a portrait of the viewer and the viewer's surrounding mental, physical or sociological environment.

Aloha Board shorts Volcom artist philippines Sharon Atillo

Now, Aloha Boardsports, as exclusive local distributor of premier boardsports brands, will be paving the way for other Filipino artists with similar mindsets. With the theme “Why do you keep on hurting your neighborhood? What's wrong with you?," aspiring artists are challenged to come up with their own original T-shirt designs. The best among original designs will be handpicked by Volcom and will be featured and produced as a limited edition release under the brand. On top of bragging rights, the winning designer will receive $500USD, a P10,000 shopping spree in Aloha Boardsports and an exhibit grant.

When asked what advice she could give to aspiring artists set on joining the Volcom Call Out for Art submission and getting their name out there, Sharon responds in true revolutionary spirit. “I guess my advise is “good” advice. Be good and try not hurting your own neighborhood. We can’t all be perfect but at least we can try. And most of all, these days, it’s not about YOU; it’s about your neighborhood.”

For contest details, click here

For questions and more information, you may call the Contest Secretariat at 780.98.98, Monday to Fridays, between 9am and 5pm or email
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