By Angel Cuerpo
It’s common for many university students that whilst they are studying to pick up a part-time job. However, not many undertake what Shanaia Aguila has done. By utilising her artistic talents, she created her side hustle art by.Shania. Shanaia transforms the blank canvases of shoes such as Nike Air Forces into something unique that complements the aesthetic of her clients. She also creates custom prints for her clients wherein she creates portraits for her clients from their images.
Born in Las Pinas City in 2009, she migrated to Australia with her family in search of a better life and more opportunities. Shanaia’s passion for art has always been present where she was always finding new ways and opportunities to expand her artistic capabilities, resulting in Shanaia studying Architecture at The University of Melbourne where she has taken units such as Art History.
Shanaia serves as an inspiration for aspiring Filipino creatives by pursuing her passion not just as a hobby, but as a source of income. It’s no secret that Filipinos are some of the most creative people out there. Not many decide to pursue a career in the creative industry. A lot of Filipino parents want their children to succeed. But their vision of success stems from limited career choices in law, commerce, or medicine.
As a Filipina, Shanaia has a strong work ethic and a caring personality. This is what makes her art stand out from the rest. As a service-provider, she creates art for someone and she works with her client to curate something just for them. It is through her art that Shanaia provides a beacon of hope and joy for her client. Not only is she releasing her emotions into her work, but through collaboration, so is her client.
Art is not something that is owned, it is something that everyone can pursue. Shanaia knows this as she cites a quote that states “never be afraid to try something new because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know”. Fear should not inhibit someone from pursuing their passion in the creative industry, no matter what background they’re from. Everyone’s biggest inhibitor is the negative space inside one’s mind. Being able to overcome that is one step closer to achieving a dream.
Not only does she create art for profit, but she also uses her platform and her art to promote causes close to her heart. As Typhoon Rolly and Ulysses struck the Philippines in November of last year, Shanaia wanted to spread awareness to her audience and beyond, whilst also creating a difference. She created mono.prints for a cause where 100% of the earnings her store made from November to January were donated straight to donation drives. Through her efforts, she has raised an impressive $800 for those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines.
READ MORE: Curated Creative Corner
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