INODORO is the creative signature established in 2003 by graphic designer Patrick Janssen Ong or PJ Ong for short.
“It makes you ask why or think twice, right?” he guessed. Apart from it being catchy, it’s memorable and yes, makes one ask him again “Why?”—which gets a chuckle out of him.
PJ is known for his experimental works with a unique aesthetic stemming from fluid manipulation as well as the use of basic shapes and lines in playful forms. In a nutshell, it’s got personality and strays from conformity.
Specializing in dynamic branding to various corporations, Inodoro brings in eye-catching and forward-thinking designs from logos to other collateral. “I just let nature take its course until I see a form that works or a balance,” he said. “For instance, if I design you a W, it’s not just that stiff W. So in other collateral—like business cards, letterhead or brochure—that W will stretch or become something else but there’s still that W. But that’s your whole logo; that’s your distinct logo.”
Adding to his growing list of works is a recent collaboration with Uniqlo for an exclusive collection. PJ, under the moniker Indoro, represented the Philippines as one of three artists in Asia who designed graphic tees for the Uniqlo UT “Feel the SEA” campaign. “I was dancing when I saw the e-mail,” he recalled when Japan headquarters got in touch with him. “Maimai (Maebelle Varron, his fiancée) and I saw the e-mail and we were dancing even though we got scared after watching a horror film,” he recalled chuckling. The shirts evoke geometric-inspired artworks and were released last November 14.
Having drawn since nursery, PJ’s interest in art piqued at the sight of his father’s works from photographs to paintings (his father named, Filemon Ramon Ong, is also an artist) as well as the artworks of his father’s vinyl record collection. Apart from being inspired by the Japanese and Scandinavian approach to art, he considers music to be an important factor in his life. “Music is a part of me so that is the real fire,” he said, mentioning artists including Icelandic singer/songwriter, Björk, to name a few.
As an experimentalist and someone who values artistic integrity, this signature style of his took him years to perfect but humbly admits to wanting to grow more despite numerous notable projects and collaborations both local and international. “I’m just doing what is good to my eye and just keep on improving. Even now I’m still improving because I want to do more. I have established my own signature but I need some growth again—I need to be happy,” said PJ. He also values the importance in maintaining a balance between art and the business side of things. “(Work-wise) There’s a certain balance and limit that you allow them because you allow change in your contract to a certain extent. But you also need to tell them ‘Hey this actually works you have to try this, trust me’,”.
As for advice on how to stand out in the art scene, “The only thing I can tell people is to be happy with their work,” he said.
He recalled that someone once told him that his works aren’t just for the Philippines but for the rest of the world. Which begs the question, does he have plans to take it full-on global? to which he responded, “Yes, by staying here. I like Cebu.”
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2018.
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