Look: This graphic artist draws Filipino icons as MMORPG characters

Published December 7, 2020, 4:07 PM

by John Legaspi

A true league of legends

Online games have been a part of everyday life for many Filipinos even before the pandemic. But during the community quarantines, online platforms, such as various forms of digital entertainment, have redefined what it means to be connected. Apart from the bonds made, these have also become an inspiration for Filipino creatives as they design and empower characters of their own.

That is what graphic artist Ran Carmona did. He channeled the aesthetic of mobile game League of Legends to his artworks producing avatars inspired by Filipino champions: boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, billiard legend Efren “Bata” Reyes, chess master Eugene Torres, and maestro Juan Luna.

“The game Mobile Legends released a character that is based on Sen. Manny Pacquiao. I thought that there are still more incredible Filipinos that deserve to have awesome characters. So I went on designing right away,” the 29-year-old tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “I chose them based on their accomplishments on a world stage by representing our country.”

According to Ran, it took him almost three hours to conceptualize the characters and about five hours to draw them on his iPad. He notes that choosing the Pinoy icons he wants to pay homage to with his artworks is an essential part of the process.

“I thought of Pacquiao (obviously) and Efren Reyes because we all know how much they’ve accomplished at their level. I also selected the great Eugene Torre, our first chess grandmaster. Then I added Catriona Gray, for winning the Miss Universe title and for having that signature move the ‘slow-mo turn,'” he says. “I initially wanted to draw a duo with her and Ms. Pia Wurtzbach but it’ll take so much time to do. So I figured that I’ll have to do a part two. Lastly, I want to go old school and give honor to the maestro, Juan Luna. As an artist, he’s the first to represent our nation on the world stage.”

With that promise of a part two, well, people can expect to see more Filipino-themed character art in the future. “That’s basically what I love doing,” he says.  “I love making artworks that represent our culture, our people, and our history.” 

Check out more of Ran’s artworks on Facebook and Instagram @artsofran.

Images are from Art of Ran Facebook Page.