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Rian Gonzales: A Candy-Coated Love Affair

A Parallel Planets piece by Jofer Serapio

Parallel Planets presents Rian Gonzales
in A Candy-Coated Love Affair
Story by Jofer Serapio

Mentioned: rainbows, pin-up girls, and Typhoon Yolanda

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It was only a few months ago when Frances Luna III Illustration Firm (FLIII) released their first-ever short film collaboration. The film had an eerie resemblance to the 2009 American dramedy (500) Days of Summer, but in place of writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and director Marc Webb was comic book artist Aaron Felizmenio who previously graced Parallel Planets as the first-ever feature of the Homeworlds series.  

Watching Felizmenio's take on the death of a love affair evokes the familiar feeling of bittersweet nostalgia, the kind that makes you unsure of whether you should be smiling at the thought of a lover who was once your entire world or you should instead try jumping off the roof of a skyscraper. Maybe that fall will get her out of your head, you know? 

The story is heartwarming but at the same time it's as painful as getting your tooth pulled out without anesthesia. It does give you the opportunity to reevaluate yourself and that one failed relationship you just can't seem to move on from, as if you haven't done enough of that already. When did things start to go wrong? What changed? How could Rian Gonzales break that handsome man's handsome heart?

Like what FLIII’s film posits, it's not hard to imagine Rian breaking a handful of hearts: she's sweet and lovely, but it'd be impossible for her, for anyone really, to entertain a relationship with just about every guy who falls for her. 

A product of University of Santo Tomas’ College of Fine Arts and Design, Rian is a freelance illustrator whose works are characterized by the large amount of colors she drowns them in. Rian utilizes the full spectrum beyond that of rainbows, coalescing different hues and tints to give birth to illustrations that are as unique as they are bubbly. It's easy to overdo colors, to be too generous at the canvas’ expense, but Rian manages to find that balance where her paintings don’t end up too bright or too one-dimensional. She doesn't let the colors dominate her work. She influences the colors to bring out the raw potential of her creativity. 

Most of her work features female characters in a style reminiscent of pin-up girls from years ago, except more colorful and a tad cuter. The portraits in themselves do not lack whimsy. The characters are enchanting and full of life. Rian interprets her characters using her own brand of insight, breathing life to them the way only she knows how. Her creations are thus more feminine than anything else, never without a shade of pink resting somewhere on the canvas.

Despite the bulk of her creations focusing more on the feminine side of things, Rian is no stranger when it comes to working with male characters. Her watercolor painting of the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes was pretty cool, and we're not just saying that because anything with Sherlock is cool. She has also made a sketch of Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Sherlock on the show of the same name. That can't be just an isolated incident, can it? Obviously not. She has also done The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper to a positive reaction.

Rian doesn't restrict herself to either traditional art or digital art. She does both. She also spends a lot of time making fan arts, mostly her renditions of characters from comic books and animated shows. Among those that have been “Rianized” are Marvel's Psylocke (and many other superheroines, most notably those from the Spider-Man franchise), Adventure Time's Princess Bubblegum and Fiona, and even Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, the latter no longer little in Rian's version. Rian has also drawn things that were inspired by the work of other local comic book artists. These include but are not limited to cover art and her version of their characters.

Rian Gonzales was recently a part of Free Comic Book Day 2014 along with other comic book artists like Aaron Felizmenio and the legendary Gerry Alanguilan. She also participated in Fully Booked's Art with Heart, which was a charity event for the benefit of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. See? She's not all surface. She also gives back to the community. What a gal!

More from Rian Gonzales: WebsiteDeviantArtTumblr

Disclaimer: In lieu with Parallel Planets' general aesthetics, almost all images found on this website appear in black & white. Hover on them to view the original versions and click them to see in high resolutions. All media files solely belong to their respective artists, some of which are exclusive for Parallel Planets only. If you wish to use any of these, please contact the author or artist first. Thank you!
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