Pilar Basa

Pilar Basa

Sydney, Australia

About Pilar Basa

G’day, I am Pilar and thanks for coming to hang out.

Sprouting in Sydney, Australia I grow up in a very culturally diverse family. My mother Polish, my dad from the Philippines, a child of Australia. After having studied design at University of New South Wales, I took my skills and loves to New York where I lived and worked for over 5 years. As the years, the hours, the moments went by the buildings got too high, my skin felt too little sun and I missed the vivid blues and green of home. So I came home to Sydney, where now I am creating from my roots on sunburnt soil and experiencing my homeland with wide eyes.

From a young age creativity was always something that had existed in my life. My grandfather carving leather, my father doodling, my mum crocheting late into the night. Though never something to be celebrated or overtly acknowledged, art just lived in our home. As a child I liked to draw, and the inspirations I took those decades ago have not much changed; my surroundings, imagined happenings and made up creatures. With the same core inspirations, it is the plethora of life, it’s fleeting experiences and the growth of a soul that has taken these and developed them into what my hands create today.

I still like to draw, or create from what’s around me. I live in the ‘burbs of Sydney and there is so much inspiration to be found walking these quiet, and usually uneventful suburban streets. The slower nature of the ‘burbs allows us time to take in what’s around. The constant juxtaposition of human constructions speckled with native and introduced fauna and flora is 24hr performance. These small interactions between all of an areas inhabitants, not only human, is an ongoing and changing dialogue that is so enthralling to be a part of. A lot of my work captures these small snapshots, the minor occurrences or the quiet moments happening just out of our daily periphery. Or sometimes they are the result of small amusing imaginings of what nature gets up to whilst we aren’t looking. I guarantee, if you walk your street with a slightly slower step and wide eyes, there is a world you will instantly be a part of that you never noticed existed. 

Primarily I illustrate with gouache, watercolour and black pigment marker. There is a captivating dichotomy between these materials, the fluidity of watered down gouache and the stark and solid permanency of the pigment marker. Much like life and my own personality, my art seeks balance somewhere in between these extremes.

The majority of what I know (or claim to know) is self taught. Though completing a degree in design, I never formally studied fine art. That is not to say I have not had or learnt from a myriad of teachers in my life. Other artists, family, friends, strangers and now-a-days youtube, I have gained and shared knowledge with them all.

And this is where I am at right now, having trained and worked as a print design since my early 20’s, I recently shifted focus. A confined office in the cramped streets of Manhattan was no longer a place for me. Within the last year I made my way back home to Australia to pursue my artistic endeavours. I have found the journey thus far arduous yet beguiling. To step away from the norm, to find comfort in the unknown and to give yourself the time to experience even the smallest of moments, this is what keeps my mind stable and the inspiration coming. Having been away from home, I have come back to my own life as an outsider. I am relearning my cultures, all of them. I am finding that uniquely Pilar window in and out of the various nationalities I am born of. I can not wait to share with you more of my own discoveries and give you just a moments respite from the chaos of human existence.

I love to create. I love to offer questions and share thoughts. I love seeing through another eyes and I love sharing stories. I hope you find some quirt moment in my work, or I hope a little moment of laughter. Whatever it is you find, I am so honoured you found it, it is yours and yours alone.

Cheers & thanks again,


Children's Book Writing & Illustration (Short Course) - School of Visual Arts NYC
Bachelor of Design - University of New South Wales


Sydney Children's Hospital | Sydney - currently showing
KRVNM | Sydney - 2019
The Other Art Fair | Sydney - 2019
Hot n Heavy | Sydney - 2018
Busstop Film | Sydney - 2018
The Other Art Fair | Melbourne - 2018
SHOUT!: Illustrator's of Australia | Melbourne - 2018
Pennies for the Ferryman | Sydney - 2011