Saturday, August 30, 2008

Eraserheads Mania

I went Quiapo (the photography, flea market, and mystique mecca of the country) today to buy some stuff needed for my yet expensive hobby, photography. I listed all the things I wanted, separated what I needed, and supposed to buy all those needed no matter what. After canvassing different stores at Hidalgo while gushing at every snippets I see around wishing I can adopt all of them, I'm left enticed to buy what I wanted more than what I needed. So I finally decided I wanted this set and this, and a little boy enjoyingly at lost inside a toy store...without thinking much about the pros and cons of buying such brands and products. Okay, I'm gonna get all of them...

I'm about to buy all of them. I went to the nearest ATM to download some cash so I can already get them and go home with my new toys. Yipeee.

My bank's system cannot process dispensing cash at the moment.

Okay, I'll try another machine...and another, and another. No cash, no toys for me today. Okay. I tested my fate: if this last machine wouldn't still give me the cash I needed...then I won't complain anymore.

Still no cash. No more words. Thanks God, I went home with nothing.

At least it wasn't only me: I've heard that the biggest band concert of the year, despite all the troubles and controversies, pushed through. Although the band wasn't fortunate enough to finish the entire gig completely together.

The troubles we get when we change the events destined not to happen or should not happen.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Save the Seas Freebie no. 3

I made this design in Adobe Illustrator using the tablet for the first time. It is supposedly for an environmental project of a client. Since the design called for a more realistic rendition, I decided to give this design for free. At least it will be put into use than stuck in my hard drive forever.

Still a lot of pinoys, especially in local communities, and people all over the world are not aware about the connection of taking care of the seas and our livelihood. We should work together to preserve the waters, most importantly coral reefs. Fisher folks still use dynamite. Shockingly, I have also learned that sunblock may also cause destruction of these precious reefs.

You can use this design freely without royalties but not for commercial use, nor sell it through image bank or sell the image as is. I would appreciate proper credit.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu illustrations in the making Part 2

I just finished all the thumbnail sketches and the actual drawing of the illustrations. Here are some of my thoughts while doing the pencil sketches.

Illustrating children's books seem easy to do but it's actually very difficult to merge everything together: there should be lots of room for the text, the composition has to be very dynamic with one central focus of the action within the page.

Revise, revise, revise. Look again and again for details. As much as possible have it critiqued by well versed in the field, listen to what they have to say. If gone tired of looking, put it down then start again, then you will realize your mistakes.

Patterns within the page creates visual rhythm, these can be achieved by repeating some objects, patterns in the design of clothes, style of hands and feet, color, shapes and lines may also create the effect.

Sometimes exaggeration of some action creates dramatic composition. This can be done by enlarging or prolonging some of the character's body parts; extending movement within the space; extending the story out of context but without much fading away from the main action; and showing humor in the character's reactions.

Preferably, it is better to break social and design stereotypes: characters of different races, unusual but understandable settings and details, actions of characters that seem to display their unique habits or personalities as imperfect but civilized human beings.

Children's book illustration can also be a good avenue for inculcating positive values visually: playing with texts of positive quotes used as labels and names, drawing gestures and scenes that suggest or symbolizes proper behavior or other ways of showing affection/values. It's like embedding these positive values subliminally.


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why Change Styles

People often ask me why my artwork's style changes, there is no distinct or emerging signature uniquely my own. I gathered some of my past and recent works - paintings and illustrations. I observed they seem not to be related with one another, each work created by a totally different person.

I tried to find any specific "signature" style that relates all my works together. If color scheme is the factor, I think my works are almost always bursting with highly contrasting colors. I also found out that I tend to like simple silhouettes with a single unified composition, every work seem almost poster-like, graphic in terms of layout. But I like each of them unique.

Do we really need to find that one true style? Some painters and illustrators say it helps to have one unique, identifiable style and stick to that no matter what. Probably, the reason to this is because you tend to get a 'hold' of a specific market or audience, and perhaps patrons. It's like letting them hooked on your art. In the advertising world where the art director picks the kind of art appropriate for a project, it's important to have consistent style because they need guarantee that the work commissioned to the illustrator matches their portfolio. Advertising illustration is quite precise in conveying messages.

On a personal view, there will always be an audience for any particular style. I believe no matter how varied your style is, if it's really good and strong, it will stand out and people will get to appreciate your work. But of course, you need to put your work out there and show them to your "market." 

For me, style is your own manner of doing things in whatever you do. It's like all the habits you've developed, the tastes you have acquired, the places/images you've seen, or the knowledge you have gained through experiences. It's the way you pick and put together your wardrobe, the way you arrange plates on the table, or the way you fix your hair. In art, it becomes your identity, as such, you can use it to amplify an expression and a voice. Your personality becomes your style: it can't be rock and roll when you love classical. I think style is different from a fad. Instead, it is something very flexible and adapts to current trends. It is changing but is developing. No matter what your style becomes, your voice and vision stay the same.

But why do we need to change styles? Because pattern stalls. We get tired of pop songs after the media hype and saturation. Mannerist paintings and illustrations become predictable and sometimes it brings us to a point where they make us cringe. You get used to your hairstyle then feel old. We don't like to wear single colored clothes nor live in a monochromatic room.

Because we live in a constant state of flux in an indefinite continued progression called time.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Composition is Everything

Ever wondered why a photograph or an image, painting, a scene, a design or layout, an illustration, is so compelling? In addition to color harmony, the texture of the medium, or the sensibility of subject matter, there is one more element that drives the over-all aesthetic quality of beautiful images: the composition.

In feng shui, generally you achieve energy balance called the chi through the proper placement of objects according to the most auspicious direction. You "compose" not only the arrangement of your interiors but also to coordinate their complementing color and designs.

Composition is a powerful way of arranging things: it communicates, informs, dictates, and organizes. On the other hand, composition also restricts, discriminates, and delineates.

Written words become powerful through rhetorical composition. Design and form becomes rhetoric through persuasive composition. A persuasive composition is simple, direct, geometric, bold, excites tension but is balanced, logical and there is flow.