BEHIND sneaker customizer Sikad Sining is a 19-year-old college student and triathlete Rowie Marquez, who's dreaming to make it big in multisport someday.
But she's also indulging her love for the multisport in another unique way: through her art.
Since she was 15, Rowie had been creating art to get extra income for her hobbies and interests.
Having tried a couple of different avenues for her art — like shirt printing — she’s found herself most comfortable with painting over cycling shoes.
That's because she’s a cyclist herself.
“Nakakatuwa ‘pag cycling shoes kasi may meaning. Tulad ng ‘Sikad Sining,’ ibig sabihin niya is naglalakbay ‘yung art. May mga ibang nagpapagawa na ang sinasabi, itong design kasi paborito ‘to ng anak niya, tapos sa mga rides, naalala niya sila. Kumbaga, sini-symbolize ‘yung family,” she told SPIN Life.
Currently a dentistry student, Rowie has found herself a way to sustain her passion for art through this mini business.
“Ever since mahilig talaga ako mag-personalize ng gamit. Nag-start ako kasi may friend ako na namimilit sa'kin na pinturahan ko ‘yung cycling shoes niya. Ayoko pa ‘nung una kasi hindi ako sanay sa leather, puro canvas lang ako noon, pero sinubukan ko. Tapos unti-unti, pininturahan ko din ‘yung akin tapos may design akong 'Starry Night'," she said.
On social media, the Van Gogh-inspired design got 500 shares.
She's happy that the business has taken off. She shared: ‘Yung parents kasi namin, hindi siya magpo-provide ng hindi basic needs. Kaya kaming magkakapatid, natuto kami dumiskarte para sa mga gusto namin — mga sapatos, bike, cellphone — kami bumibili niyan para sa sarili namin.”
The Bulacan-based creative has also been an athlete her whole life.
She started playing volleyball from elementary to senior high school but had to switch her sport in college.
“Sa school ko kasi ngayon, walang available na leagues for volleyball. Pero ayokong tumigil sa sports kaya lumipat ako sa triathlon,” she said. “’Yung kapatid ko kasi ang siklista talaga, tapos nanood ako one time ng race niya, tapos sabi ko, ah gusto ko ‘to, susubukan ko."
In a span of two years, Rowie has won a few triathlon competitions. And through time, she’s grown to fall in love with it.
Multisport, for her, is more than just a show of athleticism, it is a breather from the hurdles of life.
“Hindi lang ako tumatakbo para sa mga karera, takbo rin ‘yung nagsisilbi kong pahinga ‘pag nagkakaroon ako ng problema [at] galit. Tumatakbo akong mag-isa, pagkatapos n'on magaan na,” she said.
In her young career, her long-term dream is to race wearing the Philippine flag. But with her studies still her top priority, she wants to take her triathlon journey one step at a time.
Check out her story on her YouTube channel.
If you have cycling shoes you want to have customized, you'll have to wait a bit. Sikad Sining had to pause from accepting clients to give way because of Rowie's ongoing online classes.