Anina Rubio’s life is just as colorful, dynamic, and moving as the large-scale murals she paints. In just two years, the 31-year old artist has gone from a rigid and square engineering background to being a self-taught visual artist. “The only way to know you can paint is when you try it,” she reveals, “the same way I taught myself to love the ocean.” Now, Anina lends her languid lines, fluid strokes, and vibrant palette collaborating with Robinsons Malls.
“Among my family, I’m the one who isn’t really into malling. But now, it has changed,” she admits. Now a staple in the mall developer’s new properties, Anina’s murals help make the Robinsons Malls a fun, exciting escape.
Like the rest of her generation, Anina values the great outdoors, where she takes in much of her visual inspiration. From the neon wonderland of the underwater in her dives as a marine conservationist, the rugged, urban textures and the rapid movements of from her daily biking commutes, and the positive mindset and the can-do attitude she injects in most of her creations through living mindfully and sustainably, Anina has managed to create a look and language all her own, that perfectly captures the imaginations of the Instagram set. She is one of the most followed Filipina artists in social media with almost 50,000 followers, and her first break in movie production, with the seminal hit, “Sakaling Di Makarating”, earned her a strong millennial viewership and fan base.
Her first creation, the overhead mural for Robinsons Place Antique’s Food Gallery, combines delectable images with inspiring quotations set in captivating colors, to better stimulate the appetite for the mall’s comprehensive food court. “I like the idea of having the diners feast their eyes as well,” she says of her design motivation, and it should be the perfect background for all the #foodporn posts set to come from the new dining hub.
On her second commission, Robinsons Place Butuan, Anina took on a more street style, taking inspiration from the city’s hip and progressive development. Using childish scrawls and imagery as inspiration, and combining them with positive symbolisms and messages, Anina wanted a look that is as optimistic and forward-looking as the mall’s home city. “As much as I can, I want to create an atmosphere that is relevant and current, to stir the younger generation’s imaginations that they can do something,” she admits.
Up and coming is her personalized renditions of the Mayon Volcano as backdrop, to her spicy creation for Robinsons Place Naga. The artist borrows on the city’s rich botanical traditions, combining the gastronomic draws of siling labuyo and gabi to create a refreshing backdrop for its Food Gallery. “I like how art softens the walls and make it come alive. I hope that it’s what the diners and visitors feel when they visit the mall,” Anina says.
“When we were sourcing for artists whom we can collaborate for our mall’s murals, Anina Rubio stood out because of her style and influence to the millennials,” says Robinsons Malls Assistant Vice President for Corporate Property Planning Department Architect Boyong Aquino. While Robinsons Malls is gearing towards refreshing and uniquely designed architecture and interiors, it keeps in mind its patrons and how it (Robinsons Malls) can further enhance their shopping experience. “Our recently opened malls, along with our upcoming malls in the provinces shall serve as the venue for art appreciation where organic installations, sculptures and wall murals are very engaging,” Architect Aquino added.
With the youth of her generation traveling more and visiting the malls less, Anina hopes to rekindle the same sense of escape our retail centers used to have for their previous patrons. “What I love most with working with Robinsons Malls is the freedom they give me to express myself. They understand and value my craft and my vision, and they don’t limit my power to create. Instead, they give me a wonderful blank canvas to get inspired with,” she admits. And perhaps, it is the same tact that the country’s most-loved retail developers have for its younger patrons, in building conscientious commercial centers across the country that inspires, empowers, and ultimately, asks its consumers to imagine a place they can completely call their own.