Romulo Miclat’s Deira studio is covered with his artwork. He’s created murals for hotels, and illustrations for high-profile companies.

Miclat, 58, is a multi-talented Filipino architect, illustrator, painter and cartoonist. And he’s the man who designed Modhesh.

The Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) mascot, he said, was the brainchild of a collective design effort, but he claims the final input on the character was his and regards himself as the creator of the official Modhesh.

The character began as a jack-in-the-box mascot when DSS was launched in 1997. In 2001, during a relaunch, Modhesh broke out of the box and became a standalone character, retaining the concertina-style body of his original design – no, it’s not a caterpillar.

Modhesh is supposed to be seven years old, and has no gender. DSS promotes him as being the ideal child.

The bright yellow colour represents the summer sun, and the seven spikes of hair represent the different emirates.

“I heard that some people have taken a dislike to Modhesh, especially Brits, but I am very happy that it has become such a huge success,” said Miclat, who revealed that his daughter, also an illustrator, was teased about the character by her British colleagues.

Miclat, who has lived in Dubai since 1982, has been involved in many Modhesh projects in the past few years, including Modhesh Fun City.

He runs his own agency, Qanatar Advertising and Design, which he founded in 1990.

All his children – he has two sons and a daughter – who are also based in Dubai, have followed his profession.