PLEASANTVILLE, NY – A Manila-born and naturalized American is a comic book artist who is also a Filipino martial arts master and a Hollywood fight choreographer.
Since the early 80s, Rafael Kayanan has illustrated for almost every major comic book publishers, from Marvel Comic’s “Conan” to DC Comic’s “Firestorm”.
Other popular titles he has worked on include: Spider-man, Elektra, Star Wars and Batman.
“As a child in the Philippines, my father always brought home comics, so what I did was I spent a lot of time drawing and practicing,” Kayanan said.
His creative talent later took him to Broadway. He was a set illustrator and story- board artist for Spider-Man, the Broadway musical, directed by Julie Taymor, with music created by Bono and the Edge.
“I ended up doing a lot of the illustrations that you see on the Spiderman Broadway Musical, a lot of the artwork, the buildings, the set, the characters themselves the Green Goblin, you see the Spiderman, the things you see on the shirts, a lot of them is from my artworks,” said Kayanan.
Kayanan has also worked on concept illustrations for films like The Brother’s Grimm, Snow White and Immortals.
As a Filipino martial arts enthusiast, Kayanan is also a master-level edged-weapons expert and instructor.
With his rare talent of combining visual arts and Filipino martial arts, he was hired to illustrate storyboards, choreographing fight scenes for movies like “The Hunted” that starred Benicio Del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones.
Recently, he choreographed fight scenes for the TV show, NCIS Los Angeles.
Kayanan believes Filipino Martial Arts is becoming more popular in Hollywood movies and TV shows.
His biggest dream is to choreograph a fight scene for a movie or a TV show with a Filipino actor in the lead.