Due to health reasons, Diko will no longer be able to participate in the live painting event with HERAKUT. We wish him a swift recovery and hope that you may still take a look at his work in this blog entry: 

Introducing Gabriel Tiongson, a.k.a. “Diko”…



Three adjectives that best describe you.

Simple, child-like and a tad weird.


Numerous sketches by Diko, circa 2009.


Describe your design philosophy, or, the thought behind your body of work.

My work is a reflection of my being. I do things spontaneously to capture the image in my head as best as I can. As I work on it, it evolves on the spot too. So I may start out with a rabbit in mind, but the final illustration may turn out to be a rabbit-pig hybrid. Every stroke is necessary even the unintentional.

I have an affinity for asymmetry. My childhood exposure to manga, comics, fantasy stories, cartoons and movies greatly influence my aesthetics. When all those factors are churned together it produces my body of work.


DIKO: Wisdom (Timelapse) from Marvene Rom Munda on Vimeo.


Let’s talk influences. Top 3 artists you look up to and why.

Froilan Calayag. He sees the world in such a different light. Everything is art. He inspires me to be myself, stay humble and to be sincere with my art.

Arkiv Vilmansa. This dude is amazing. He is the embodiment of symmetry and gradients. Every time he has visited the Philippines, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to hang out with him and just experience how his surroundings inspire his works.

Angry Woebots. The first time I met him, I was blown away. His brush seemed to be an extension of his hand, thus making his strokes super organic and clean. Again, I was fortunate enough to paint with him and just hang out. His life is an inspiration and his art is a testament to that.

All these awesome dudes play a big part in my life, in and out of art. I can’t thank them enough.


ANGRY WOEBOTS x DIKO: The Collective Wall (Timelapse) from Marvene Rom Munda on Vimeo.


How do you find inspiration for your work? Any best practices or advice for budding artists?

I am inspired by anyone and everything that catches my eye. I love to walk around and just take in the scenes that I pass by. For example, I came across this lady who wears this funny expression while waiting in line to pay for her groceries. She made me giggle and her character appeared in my head. I try my best to describe her in words. This description will later be my guide later on when I illustrate her on my paper. That is basically my simple process.


Three out of over 200 sketches that made up Diko’s first solo show “Neurana” at Vinyl on Vinyl in 2011.


I suggest that keeping an open mind and letting experiences flow is the best way to produce that mental image. Letting it out on any medium is a start, so don’t be afraid to explore and take baby steps.


FUEL “Break Out” from Fuel.PH on Vimeo.


What music are you currently enjoying?

I enjoy basically bouncy, upbeat and feel good music. One OK Rock’s “The Beginning” has been a current favorite of mine as well as Guns N’ Roses’ “Night Train”. I usually listen to the beat of the music rather than the lyrics. That leads me to make up my own words when trying to sing those songs.


“Venomancer” by Diko


What are your 3 favorite books and why?

One book that I remember until this day is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This qoute, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye” reminds me to stay grounded.

Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code are two of the few books that, the moment I started reading them, I couldn’t stop. The history and references were too interesting for me to stop reading at that time.

While getting inked, I read David Choe by David Choe. It was instantly one of the funniest, inspiring and honest books I had read. And it had a lot of artwork and pictures, which really works best for me.


Any shout outs?

Thank you Vinyl on Vinyl and Fully Booked for this awesome opportunity. Thank you to all my friends and family for the love and support. Thank you M&H for passing on the baton. A special Thank you Sharpie for the awesome markers. Thank you Dunkin Donuts for the butternuts! Thank you Vans for my favorite shoes, the Authentics! Thank you to all the the people for opening their hearts and minds to the world. Love = Life.


Learn more about Diko:

Facebook: facebook.com/dikoart
Twitter: @DIKO_art
Tumblr: http://dikoart.tumblr.com/
Instagram: Diko_art

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