Isugid Pinoy! (ee-soo-ghid), is tell it Pilipino in the Philippine Bisayan language.

Under Kularts Making Visible Program, the 2017-2019 Isugid Pinoy! Stories in Pictures & Words is a multi-faceted participatory art project led by visual artists Don Aguillo and Rafael ‘Raf’ Salazar, in partnership with the members of our South of Market (SOMA) pamilya. We hope that through this graphic story telling project we reflect and celebrate the diversity of our Pilipino experience.

While our pilot project Clan of Saints Bay focused on a single story, for Isugid Pinoy! (formerly entitled: “Pinoy Stories: Here & Now) Aguillo and Salazar will pursue multiple stories: an entirely new concept led by Aguillo, a second volume to Clan of Saints Bay by Salazar, and 10-20 page comics driven by the ideas and narratives of members of the SoMa based organizations: Arkipelago, Veterans Equity Center, West Bay Multi-Service Center, and Bindlestiff.


For the first 6 months of the project Don and Raf will focused on creating the 10-20page community-driven comic books by the conducting focused surveys and interviews with folks from SoMa anchor organizations. We project to print an anthology of these stories by December 2017. In addition, Don & Raf will generate large posters each organization can exhibit on their storefront windows. January-June 2018 activities will focus on the creation of their own 40-60page comic book. Throughout the year, they will hold graphic story-telling workshops at Bayanihan Center and other community spaces.



June 2018, we will present our completed comic books, a total of 80 pages that will be available for purchase online and in-person; as well as large-scale panel artworks that will be displayed at our partner sites for the SOMA community, and the greater Bay Area public to view.



DON AGUILLO, Concept Artist & Illustrator

Don Aguillo is a concept artist and illustrator with years of experience in production design, pre-visualization, and traditional art. He also dabbles quite often in the world of graphic design, when the opportunity presents itself, but lives primarily in the world of character and scenic design. He began his foray into drawing from watching his brother draw the Ninja Turtles and Batman at a very young age, and continued the path long after his brother put down the drawing pencil.


He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with Honors in Drawing and Painting (though starting on the track to a degree in Pre-Med), spending time in school and later years formalizing experience in digital art, concept and production design. He has shown at The Pennsylvania State University in three venues, the Zoller Gallery [Senior Student Exhibit], The Patterson Building [Rocket Surgery, with Rodrigo Salazar] and is part of the Palmer Museum of Art’s private collection with a piece in the Prometheus Bound Exhibit with Tim Rollins and K.O.S. He draws from his experiences growing up surrounded by comic book and cartoon references and discovered classic art through every level of school in central Pennsylvania, living and painting in Rome, Italy, working in Houston, Texas as a studio concept artist and freelancer, and finally arrived in San Francisco, California in early 2010 to continue his work in freelance illustration and design. The opportunities to participate in the massive creative community that thrives here is what excites him, the driving force behind finally developing personal projects he’s had on the shelf for quite a while.

He watches a ton of film and television, visits galleries, studies comic books and graphic novels, video games, photography and draws from his relationships with people he meets and the places he visits [or aspires to]. He aspires to be a chef on the side. He doesn’t get bored and fills silences and spaces. Though he wants to go everywhere, he’s perfectly happy here, at his desk, creating worlds, bringing characters to life, meeting new people and honing his craft.


Rafael ‘Raf’ Salazar, Illustrator & Designer

Rafael ‘Raf’ Salazar was born with two interesting things, a twin brother and a pencil in his hand. Maybe the pencil is an exaggeration, but his love for drawing and creating art was almost inherent. Between watching his older brother play video games, his dad letting him look at his comics, and watching Saturday morning cartoons, Rafael’s mind was brimming with colorful images and grand stories. It was only a matter of time till his creative mind spilled onto a piece of loose-leaf paper.


Having stayed true to his passion, Rafael graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in Communication Arts with a concentration in Illustration. This time allowed him to better hone his craft by working with an array of subject matter and art media. Traditionally trained, he has since fallen in love with everything digital. He had even exhibited in two Juried Fine Arts Exhibits in the Anderson Gallery. However, it wasn’t until he attended Sequential Arts his junior year, did he discover what he truly wanted to do with his art… to tell stories.

Whether it’s his character designs, illustrations, or even design work, Rafael tries to deliver a snap shot to a larger, fun story. This can be seen with his work on the trading card game Conquest tactics or the mobile game Writer Rumble, and most notably the web comic ReGrBl. He finds the graphic novel medium one of his best ways to explore and showcase his skills and ideas. His work has grown from short form jokes to long form stories further exploring not just the medium, but also the characters themselves.

Rafael was originally from the D.C. metro area and now finds himself on the opposite side of the nation. When not glued to a computer screen Rafael spends his time exploring the Bay area and what it has to offer. Of course he still plays video games, reads comic books, and watches cartoons. Like his art and stories, a lot has changed for him as he continues to grow, but at the same time nothing has changed at all. His love for creating art hasn’t waned. He’s just swapped the pencil for a stylus.