Posted June 6, 2015 by Norby Ela in Comics

IAN STA. MARIA, Leaving the Philippines. Leaving Komiks?

Ian Sta. Maria, well-known artist of the Skyworld series and with the current series that he’s about finishing up – Sixty Six, just announced of him leaving our home country to work abroad. Why? Where?  Flipgeeks got to chat with Ian for some answers. Plus, let’s find out if he will bring his Hot Toys collection with him.


FLIPGEEKS: With your recent announcement of leaving the Philippines to work abroad, do you still have doubts on leaving?
IAN STA. MARIA: No more doubts. More excited because I’ve never been outside Asia and Denmark is on the other side of the world. I will definitely miss my family, wonderful friends, and Komikons.

What were the reasons that cemented your decision on leaving?
I’ve been working in advertising for ten years. I think it’s time for me to move on and really do something I am passionate about. I love concept art. I love toys. Bring those two together and I would like to say that it is a dream job for me. There is that opportunity of working with a company I really admire. There are a ton of things I can learn from them and I get to practice doing concept art.

And the fact that I get to design characters for toys! I mean it’s Lego, man! Nuff said! Were there things that came up to your mind instantly after making your decision to accept the job? A lot. Like I said, leaving family and friends behind. Living in a different country can be overwhelming. It’s a big step for me.

Cheers in getting the job. But how did you get a chance on landing it? Thanks! Mervin Ignacio (as you may know is my Skyworld partner) already works there and he gave my online portfolio to them.

But yeah, for sure! I’ll start a new LEGO collection definitely! But I think I would not give up on collecting Hot Toys.

CHECK OUT… IN DEPTH: Meta-historicism on SKYWORLD

Are you looking for an assistant? [laughs] Do you have to learn… Danish? [laughs]
I dunno, man! Maybe? [laughs] I’d love to learn Danish and I think they have free courses there for employees.

What’s going to happen to your komiks work? Will you still make ‘em?
I will NEVER stop drawing local/original komiks. Ever. I will finish volume 2 of Sixty Six and Kadasig’s origin story there. I may take a rest after those projects for a few months and will start drawing again maybe for new titles.

Even though I won’t be physically present at the Komikons I’d still like to be a part of it. Komikon and all the other local komik conventions are very important to me and have a special place in my heart! Maybe I could come back once or twice a year just to visit family and Komikon.

Have you ever thought on drawing comic books with a European writer or for a European comic book publisher?
I have not thought about that yet. But yeah, that could be very interesting.

Could you name a few memorable projects that you’ve worked that came nationally well-known?
Skyworld and Sixty Six. Also Seven Gifts of the Skygods did surprising well even though it had a very limited run. And I thank everyone who supported us!

If you’re too occupied working in LEGO and you couldn’t work on Skyworld and Sixty Six, who would you prefer to be your replacement artists? 
Yeah maybe. There are a lot of talented Pinoy artists out there! So it really depends on their availability. But as of the moment I will try my very best to keep on drawing for Pinoy komiks as long as I physically can.


When’s your last day of work? Will you do something memorable?
I really haven’t thought about that yet. [laughs] I’ve been too busy with paper work and finishing comics and commissions. Bahala na! (Come what may!)

How does it feel that you will be soon labeling yourself as an ‘OFW’?
Weird and exciting.

Will you bring a lot of cigarettes to Denmark?
Yes, I will!

What do you think will be things that you will miss here in the Philippines?
Family, friends, Komikon, isaw, and the tropical weather.

What will happen to, um… to your Hot Toys here? Do you plan to give them away? Maybe to a certain someone, like… me? [laughs]
[laughs] I’m bringing them with me!

Will you decorate your place there in LEGO themed? Or probably start collecting LEGO stuff as a new hobby?
I used to collect LEGO but ran out of space so I switched to Marvel/DC figures. But yeah, for sure! I’ll start a new LEGO collection definitely! But I think I would not give up on collecting Hot Toys.

Have you tried checking if there are any comic book stores there? I haven’t checked out the local Danish malls yet but I am hoping there are.

Do you see yourself settling in and start a family there?
Maybe? I don’t know, man. Too early to say. But I am planning on bringing my family there if everything works out just fine.

I will NEVER stop drawing local/original komiks. Ever.

How do you picture yourself on your last day here before leaving for Denmark?
Mixed emotions, man. But mainly excited! I can’t wait to start drawing stuff for Lego. I really wanted to do an artjam and seminar with other local artists. But I think I don’t have enough time anymore. In the immortal words of the Terminator… I’ll be back.

Well, Flipgeeks will try and help you if you need in anyway.
THANKS! I would really appreciate that! I am a fan of Flipgeeks and would gladly do the same for you guys!

Last question, will you bring a Magic Sing?
Maybe. [laughs]




Norby Ela

Now residing in San Diego, CA, I strive to work in art and further grow FlipGeeks around the world.