Artist Spotlight: Raine Sarmiento of I Paint The Roses Blue

Intricate strokes, desaturated tones and conspicuous swirls – so captivating and so distinct. Upon looking at the detailed illustrations of women in which the disproportionalities evoke a sense of mystery yet remain pretty on the eyes, you would know that the distinct style belongs to none other than Raine Sarmiento.


Even as a young girl, Raine knew that her innate talent in drawing should be valued and developed. And this is one of the reasons that keeps her going in life. Raine’s passion and determination led her to becoming more and more recognized for her craft. Some of her clients include Candy Magazine and Total Girl Philippines. She is also the artist behind the Candy School Diary 2013-2014!

The Kawaii PH team met Raine during Mata Expo 2014 last February. Once we saw her do a live painting, we knew right there and then that she’s one to look out for. The way she keenly and meticulously worked on her painting was an amazing sight to see. And we knew that what we saw was just the tip of the iceberg!

We got in touch with Raine to find out more about her life as an artist.

1. Please tell us about yourself and how did you come up with the name “I Paint the Roses Blue?”

I am a low-blooded girl who doesn’t watch TV. I am one of those who do passion to earn rewards, in my case I illustrate.

I Paint The Roses Blue is the name of my blog, and the message of my art. I got the name from my favorite Disney Fairytale, Alice in Wonderland. I believe that the creation process of an artwork is like being inside a dream. You lose yourself as you go farther, and you get random ideas out of nowhere.

There’s a scene from the film, showing Alice and three spade cards painting the roses red, because the queen wanted them red. For me it is like the society injecting order to the artists’ minds on what should be painted, on what kind of art should be considered beautiful. As a bold expression of freedom and self-respect, I want to dip the paintbrush in the color I find most attractive, which is blue. Its bucket is labeled with “standard that doesn’t seek approval from anyone”.


2. What got you interested in becoming an artist?

I have always been drawing and coloring ever since I was drinking milk – walking tiptoed ages. So young that my favorite canvases by then were our house’s walls and furniture.

I saw my Papa’s beautiful sketches when I was growing, and that was the formal art introduction to my brain. I got inspired to be as good as him someday. I then drew every day with my older sister, Violet. And when she’s at school, I ask my Mama to substitute. As young artists, Violet and I always win at school art competitions, and it had made our parents proud. I really love that feeling; I don’t ever want it out of my life.

The Beautiful Ones - Raine Sarimento

The Beautiful Ones – Raine Sarimento

4. How do you gather inspiration for your works?

I always look straight at my goals and I set a deadline on when I wanted them achieved. This keeps the excitement in me, so I wouldn’t wait for that moment to “start”.

I also always seek inspiring works from the internet, books, and people. I follow artists at social networks, and I talk to artist friends every day. These are my daily activities. I got inspired, challenged and boosted by doing each one.

5. Do you experience having an artist’s block? How do you overcome this situation?

A lot of times. Especially when I don’t find a certain project very interesting, or when I have been doing the same stuff over and over again.

I do this practice to like counter attack what it is that is causing trouble with what is opposed to it. I use the Boring vs. Exciting practice in this situation, haha! I leave the boring work for a while for different exciting activities (for me) like going to band gigs, watching foreign indie movies, drawing whatever I feel like drawing, playing the piano, skateboarding, eating or drinking chocolate, blogging, or spending an entire day with my boyfriend in places we love. Then I go back to the work, I feel refreshed by then.

6. What memorable responses have you had with your work?

I gain trust from reputable people/company/brand. It is really heartwarming every time my application is being accepted, most especially during the days when I was still starting.


Screen cap from Raine’s blog

I also value each positive feedback from the people who told me that my art have inspired them.

7. Who are your art heroes or who do you look up to in terms of art, illustration, etc?

Artsy members of my family. My Papa, my older sister Violet, my younger brother Christian, and my brother in law Kuya Edra.

And established artists Tara McPherson, Audrey Kawasaki, Jhonen Vasquez, Brandon Boyd, and Simone Legno. Actually there are too many but these mentioned were one of my first inspirations, and I really admire how committed they are to their own styles.


Raine with Borg

My greatest art hero now is my boyfriend, Borg Sinaban. I really look up to him, from the time when I still don’t know his face! Being close to him now grants me access to his works’ process, and they inspire, educate, and challenge me every time.

8. What’s the best advice(s) you have ever received from the industry?

Keep your feet on the ground. This is very important because respect always follows. You get to retain everything and everyone who has been there for and with you from the start, if you give enough value to this trait.

Never stop trying. Judgments and rejections are everywhere, and those who persisted anyway are the ones who succeeded.

9. What advice can you give to those who would like to pursue this field?

People were all made different. Comparison is a heavy burden and you must let go of it along with all the judgments. If you do, what you would come up would look free. Onlookers really appreciate confident art.

And always be grateful about your family’s support. You wouldn’t be successful in the first place in its absence.

Kawaii Looks - Debut Volume back cover by Raine Sarmiento

Kawaii PH Looks – Debut Volume back cover by Raine Sarmiento

Raine is also a member of Ang Illustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). She participates in various art fairs and exhibits around the metro.

See her at the 10A Alabama Arts and Crafts Fair this April 5 and 6!

Find out more about Raine and see her portfolio on these sites:
Official Site
Official Blog
Official Facebook