For most artists on the internet, the month of May means sea creatures, versions of Ariel and mermaids swimming across the Twitter sphere. For the #ArtPH crowd, May means something a lot bloodier, with wings plus a body cut in half—for short, MayNananggal.
Coined by artist Rob Cham last 2018, #MayNananggal started out as a throwaway pun inspired by prompt tag #MerMay.
proposing that we start Maynananggal next year as the #PHArt bandwagon we can all get up on
there are so many types of people we can draw in half
— robcham (@robcham) May 18, 2018
While MerMay’s all about how it’s better down where it’s wetter, MayNananggal has the best of both terrains—with legs left unattended.
— robcham (@robcham) May 1, 2020
And just like those legs, MayNananggal has a life of its own since it first started. Artists took to Twitter and Instagram in sharing their own renditions of the manananggal—from vivid, realistic depictions, modern takes, to social commentary. Whatever your take, it’s really up to you. Unlike other challenges, there are no rules here.
“I’m very hands-off, and I’m glad it’s still going on,” Rob Cham tells us, in reaction to the hashtag’s growth since 2018. “I know that there’d be people who would do prompts for these kinds of challenges such as Mermay or Inktober, but I feel like that takes the fun out of it.”
“I always encourage folks that there are no rules to it, other than to draw a manananggal during the month of May. It’s a very low pressure art prompt and people have been using it to make their own original characters, tackle social issues, practice illustrating something outside their wheelhouse, and just celebrating local folklore.”
Whether student woes or dark depictions, one thing’s for sure—this prompt has range. Check out some #MayNananggal art below:
— ring ♡ (@raphaelleringor) May 5, 2020
— gianope (@gianopes) May 9, 2020
— art of pat roxas 🇵🇭 (@patsu_x) May 12, 2020
— coleen 💫 (@co_ctrl) May 7, 2020
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