Meet Reza Antonio, the Ontario-based Artist who Reconnected with Her Artistic Side During the Pandemic
By Bridney C.
Reza Antonio is a 25-year-old digital artist who is pursuing a career in digital illustration and graphic design. Her radiant, eye-catching art is inspired by a mix of pop-culture and street fashion.
Before the pandemic, Reza was working full-time for a marketing agency and did not have time to work on art. During the quarantine, Reza stood home on paid leave and decided to revisit her fun hobby.
In April 2020, she learned how to create digital art in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator by watching YouTube videos. She also took to her inspirations, @mcflyy and @janicesung on Instagram who both pay attention to detail in their work.
Within a month of creating, Reza felt reconnected to her artistic side and started an Instagram account to post her work. After gaining a following from online friends and local supporters, she decided to become a freelancer and picked up gigs on the side. "I am working towards trying to make it a full-time career by constantly building up my portfolio even if I don’t get consistent clients," says Reza.
Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada she always dreamed of being an artist since she was a child and always admired the world of creativity. When she was in elementary school, she enjoyed attending art class, her favorite school subject.
As a child, Reza painted and illustrated often, which made her the happiest person alive. Her grandmother still has Reza's flower pot painting framed in her home in the Philippines.
The best thing about being an artist for Reza is the satisfaction of having an idea she created in her head and bringing it to life. She also feels that art is an underrated career path, especially coming from an Asian household where careers in the medical field are held to a higher standard.
Her parents are not fully aware of the passion and love she puts into her art. "Life is too short to be in a position where you don’t get to be happy because, at the end of the day, all you got is yourself," says Reza.
Reza pays close attention to current trends in the fashion industry and sneaker world to incorporate those elements into her art. She enjoys playing with colors as she creates art. She believes it is important for viewers to "feel something" when they view her art, which is why she uses as much color as possible.
"I’m really into street style fashion and if you take a look at my work, I always incorporate famous sneakers and fashion styles in my artwork. If you combine pop art and street art together, I would say that’s how I would describe my art style."
Besides street style fashion, pop culture has influenced her art. She enjoys listening to music, including R&B, Hip-Hop, and Trap, and says listening to music while working has helped her develop new ideas for her illustrations. If she could choose a genre that would best describe and best fit her art, it would be Hip-Hop and R&B.
Reza admires iconic artists like Drake, A$AP Rocky, and Travis Scott. She loves to incorporate sneakers, including her favorite brand, Nike, into her art, noting that sneakers are essential to any good outfit.
"Behind any brand or product comes with designs. To be able to create that and bring it to reality makes me proud of what I do," says Reza.
Three of her favorite artworks are Travis Scott Cereal Shoe Box, an illustration of a cereal box made to look like a Nike shoebox. The inspiration behind it was a collaboration between Nike and music superstar Travis Scott who in 2018 released the "Cactus Jack" Air Force 1 sneakers.
Another favorite of hers is Twitch Emotes, an anime-inspired illustration inspired by emoticons available to Twitch streamers. Adding that it was a long process, the project took Reza out of her comfort zone.
Lastly, Sneakers on TV is her proudest work, which took hours for each shoe to look realistic as possible. She added detail from the laces to the stitching to the mesh detailing.
Her goal for 2021 is to continue to create more digital illustrations and plans to make it a full-time freelance career. Aside from commissions, she sells her artwork on Etsy, an e-commerce website for handmade items and craft supplies.
Her rates for custom illustrations are as follows:
Logos: $50 CAD
Portraits: $50 CAD
Posters: $20/HR CAD
Custom Sticker Sheet: $30 CAD
"I find peace in being alone. Creating art is a free therapy session for me where I get to explore what has been in my mind and express it through my artwork," says Reza.
Be sure to follow Reza Antonio on Instagram @artbutdigital and visit
her website, www.artbutdigital.com.