ezek of Maharlika Handpoke

Truly, the way we see clothes now has changed. Gone are the days when we just lusted after ready made clothing like it’s the best thing. Right now, what we’re really looking for is individuality—the quest for something out there that fits our persona like a custom glove. maybe that’s why we fiend for rare clothing and footwear, because we want our stuff to be unique. But then, that gets to become an endless chase.

Thea Ursales / Photo by Dominic Dimagiliw

Enter WEARy Studios AKA Mark Taojo, a solo run venture that customizes clothing for you and only for you. Forget about mass produced clothing, he just goes straight for the jugular as he hand paints and designs pieces with pure passion and grit. If you’ve been craving for something that you can truly call yours, then this is it chief.

We recently sat down with him to get the lowdown on his beginnings, his craft and aspirations. For sure, you’d want to get a piece by the end of this interview. Enjoy!

Can you share with us how you got the art bug and how that morphed into your brand?

I was into art ever since in kindergarten but didn’t have that patience yet, it was developed more in high school when i started entering poster making contest and winning some. Then it was in college when i started doing portraits and it all began there. I stopped college due to financial matters and started doing sidelines outside, everything art related. Mural painting, portrait commissions, bas-relief on phone cases, tshirt printing, etc. Years past and an art gallery owner from Manila came to our city (Davao City) and managed an Art in the Park/finding new artists to recruit. It was a swift decision when they ask me if i will come with them, I’m free and eager to know more about the art world.

Then a day after, I was in Manila already. I was into artist residency program for two years, entering local and itn’l exhibitions. I was trained to draw everyday and painting large canvases. It was a great journey until it’s already not, due to the owner’s issues we got no choice but to quit. I work shifts for the very first time in a sneaker store of a friend, i had my own bills to pay that time living alone. It when the pandemic started when it’s harder to go to work i realized I’m not doing art anymore and be a corporate slave. Then I quit, with no savings, hungry, but the motivation is there. I thrifted clothes and started painting on them. I used all the skills I’ve learned through the past years. Then the birth of WEARy Studios’ first collection on August 2020. In just 3 months it was sold out, then that time i already started commissions on denim jacket.

How do you go about your design process? Do you follow your customer 100% or do you take liberties in changing his/her design specifics?

Usually they just gave me a specific design then I’ll do the rest. I mock up the design to the design and show it to the client, then that’s where we finalize the design.

Can you share with us artists who inspire you daily?

I don’t just paint on clothes, I design clothes too. Reworking them to my specific aesthetic. Inspired by mostly Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo. They insert paintings in their clothes by printing, while I painted them.

Among your commissioned pieces, what are your top favorites?

The most complex/detailed designs I think. Hozier‘s self titled album, 22, A Million by Bon Iver, and my personal favorite Blonde by Frank Ocean. That design really give a big lift in my audience.

Give us your elevator pitch, Weary Studios is – – – – – – –

not just a brand but a lifestyle. “Wear who you are”. WEARy Studios’ designs breaks the gender norms about clothing. Genderless clothes that speaks for itself, not just a fabric to wear but a story to show.
Ken of SB19
Josh of SB19

If there’s that dream client, who would it be and why?

Local would be the SB19, since they’re into that music genre that is so big globally now and they really got a good stylist. Actually one of the member have been my client, he bought 2 pcs from my 1st collection and one member too has been gifted by a fan. So imagining them all 5 members wearing my clothes in a music video, that’s a dream come true! 

 

Future plans for Weary Studios? Breathe them into existence here…

Painting more denim jackets! Collabs with local brands and tryna go back joining art exhibitions incorporating WEARy Studios. Lastly go global!
Words of wisdom to our readers. Maraming salamat!
If you have that one thing that you can’t live without, cling to it. Live your life the way you want it to be, don’t be blinded by fame and being slave to it by not being who you are. Keep creating, the world is yours to take!  
Oh, while you’re having a custom jacket made from him, this Project 7 to 1 x VAULV EDC Sidebag is the perfect match to complete your fire fit!

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