Sea Change – MaricorMaricar

Published:  November 16, 2012
Sea Change – MaricorMaricar

As part of the Sea Change theme running through the past issue of desktop magazine, we asked a series of ex-pat designers to reflect on their decision to move abroad, as well as the challenges faced and inspirations gained from working in a new space and place. Next up are MaricorMaricar.

Manila > Sydney > London

Our family moved to Australia from the Philippines when we were still quite young; we were only two years old. I definitely think we’ve been able to pursue a creative career in Australia that we likely wouldn’t have been able to back in the Philippines.

We started MaricorMaricar in 2010 after working together in studios and on small side projects for a few years. You could say we leaped before we looked, but we’ve been very fortunate throughout our career to have done things at the right time. We were able to live and work in the UK last year with the help of a creative arts grant from the British Council Australia through its annual Realise Your Dream Award. After establishing MaricorMaricar, we decided that we wanted our studio to be known for handcrafted art direction and bespoke graphics. This caught the eye of the judges at the British Council and we were awarded one of its grants to head over to the UK to help develop our career. It proved to be another one of those instances where we were in the right place at the right time. Soon after landing, we saw a tweet from our future agent (London-based illustration agency, Handsome Frank), looking for textile-minded illustrators. We replied and within a few weeks of landing in London we had met them for a coffee and signed with them.

Typographic piece for What's Next Magazine's issue #5 with the the theme of 'Language'

Where we work hasn’t affected our work and process too much mainly because we can be very mobile with what we do. Wherever we’ve set up shop, either here or in London, we’ve been able to work with clients from countries on the other side of the world. For a while this year, Maricor was in the UK while I was in Sydney and we managed to continue to work together on projects through daily Skype sessions. Having said that, though, we do gain a lot of inspiration from all corners of the world and motivation through travel, so in that respect where we live and work influences the work we create.

The depth of different styles of work coming out of the UK attracted us and gave us confidence that there would be room commercially for our craft-driven work, so it was definitely beneficial to work in the UK. I think it’s important to consciously work to be different in order to stand out and be known uniquely for what you do. Otherwise you will get lost among an often crowded creative industry. Try to do some of the legwork before you leave, so you have meetings set up straightaway. And go for it, we wish we had done it earlier!

Commissioned embroidered illustration for WIRED UK Magazine's December

Thumbnail image: hand embroidered type for Esquire UK’s January issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *