Miel Cabañes is a visual artist from Manila with a degree in industrial design from the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. In the past, she has also dabbled in production design, furniture design, graphic design, and illustration. She has helped develop award-winning furniture pieces for designer Ito Kish and is the artist behind the Toile de Jouy pattern used in a number of Kish's homeware pieces, most notably the dinnerware souvenirs given as tokens to the 2015 APEC VIP spouses and presented by President Aquino to Pope Francis during his visit in December 2015.Miel began painting in 2016, and as evident in her works, her childlike expression lends a bold, vibrant, and whimsical quality to her art. Her distinct palette, which combines rich tones and earthy hues, is the perfect foil for the sureness of her thick strokes. Her experience as a production designer can be seen in her highly tactile pieces and in the experimental inventiveness of the materials employed in her works, incorporating unconventional items such as beads, capiz, wood cutouts, ceramics, and various found components. She has shown in several group shows, and her works are sought after by her private collectors.
"I wear my glasses only sometimes. Most other times, I enjoy mistaking things for other things and perceiving them differently from what they actually are. As a child and to this day, I have always reveled in both dreaming and daydreaming. I built secret worlds unknown to others, spinning stories in my mind, half wishing for them to be real and half wishing to be able to have them only to myself. It was in creating art that I discovered the equal wonder of letting them go and escaping me, exhaling them into color, movement, strokes, forms, lines, and tangible wonder. I want these stories to now be just as much the audience’s as they are mine, allowing my work to live a new life in another’s eyes. I wonder at the secret lives and colors carefully hidden beneath our understanding of our surroundings. Rather than presenting a factual reality, I aim to explore the illusions behind familiar forms, introducing new and bigger life as it calls forward the realms of our imagination."