Artist Quick Draw (February): Vanessa Augustin

For 2015, Slate aims to feature various kinds of artists from different parts of the world. With this in mind, we couldn’t have chosen a better creative person to kick off this year’s slew of talented artists.  She is one of the many Filipino talents who are being recognized globally, but still is not one to shy away from giving credit to her Filipino education. She is not only a phenomenal artist, but is also (hold your breath for this one) the owner and executive producer of Off The Boat Productions (a creative media company specializing in video production and graphics), a freelance set dresser on commercials, shorts and features, collaborating with production designers and art directors in the film industry, co-owner of a company called The Raconteur Collective (specializing in the production of wedding videos, SBA videos and graphics), and still has time to  manage a small shop online called Mugaholics. Talk about being a creative multi-hyphenate!   To get to know Vanessa and her never-ending hyphens, read the interview below.

Captain Slate: Tell us about yourself! 

Vanessa Augustin: I graduated with an Advertising degree in the Philippines — UST to be specific. After graduating, I tried my luck as a freelance graphic designer and landed some projects here and there. The instability wasn’t fulfilling so I ended up working for a publications company doing layout design. After a couple of months, I had the opportunity to come to the US and try my luck. I studied film and acquired an Associates Degree. Immediately after, I got hired to work in the Art Department for my very first independent feature. Since then, I’ve worked as a freelance Set Dresser/Graphic Designer for various commercials, independent features, shorts and music videos.    One day, my cousin had recommended me to shoot video for her friend’s wedding. I automatically fell in love with the idea. I had another opportunity to start a business, so now, I co-own a company called The Raconteur Collective. We specialize in the production of wedding videos, SBA videos and graphics. I couldn’t be any happier.

Captain Slate: How did you get into art?  Vanessa Augustin: Ever since I could remember, I was always drawing on different things — from restaurant napkins, my arms, to our house walls. It was something that came natural to me and I’ve always found comfort in using my hands to create things.   


Captain Slate: Has your art/style changed since you started? 
Vanessa Augustin: It sure has. I can proudly say that it’s one hell of an upgrade from stick figures haha! No offense to anyone.  The process of finding that particular style is challenging and I feel like the process never ends. Even up until this point, I experiment with all sorts of media and find myself adding/subtracting elements from my numerous creations.

Captain Slate: What is the process behind creating your works?  Vanessa Augustin: Before starting a project, I make sure I set the mood. I have to be really inspired so I go to websites like,, and Vimeo to source bits and pieces of inspiration. I also have to have an appropriate playlist because music just enhances inspiration. Couldn’t live without it. 

Captain Slate: What are the 5 things that inspire you/your work right now?  Vanessa Augustin: Friends Family Artists like Audrey Kawasaki, Oliver Jeffers and Alberto Cerriteño Music My undying love for the arts 

Captain Slate: What is your favorite project so far?  Vanessa Augustin: Hm, this is tough. There are so many projects that I’ve worked on that are super fun. I’ll have to say that first independent feature, 9 Full Moons, was one of the best ones. I got my foot in the door, fresh from school, and was extremely intimidated by everything. But things managed to work themselves out, like they always do. I met the best people and experienced life through their experiences. We became a family. We saw each other everyday for a little over a month, working 16-17 hour days sometimes. It was hard work but I think the experience I took out of it is irreplaceable.

Captain Slate: Who is your favorite creative person?  Vanessa Augustin: My business partner.

 Captain Slate: Upcoming shows/projects/events Vanessa Augustin: Our company has a couple of shoots lined up for this year — weddings and events. But, I have a solo exhibition coming up in August where I’ll be displaying 10 paintings about how you can turn your childhood fears into whimsical creatures. I haven’t figured out the title of the event yet. It’s still in the works!

To find out more about Vanessa, just click on the links below:
The Raconteur Collective


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