Friday, December 24, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
This particular style is an offshoot from my book Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! The stories are legends, one of my favorite genre to illustrate. Ethnic textiles, patterns, fabric, and costumes inspired me to produce this. I can't wait to finish this book for Lampara. I hope to finish it soon!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
It's that time once again to celebrate the most anticipated gathering of book lovers in the country. Going to the Manila International Book Fair is as exciting to hunt and cherish invaluable treasures. I'm glad I'll be taking part of the event at the SMX SM Mall of Asia once again and will be looking forward to meet and greet new people. The 31st book fair will start on wednesday, September 15 until the 19th and opens 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
My book signing schedules will be on the 18th, saturday at 4:00 p.m. at the Tahanan Books booth for my newest delightful book written by Reni Roxas entitled "Ay Naku!." And on the 19th, sunday at the Adarna House booth for my latest "National Artist" book entitled "Ang Tuta ni Noe" written by the National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario. Adarna House will have special contests and events for kids in celebration of their 30th anniversary at the book fair. You might like to encourage your kids to join, here's the link.
I will also have a limited, very reasonably priced artworks on sale at the Lampara Books booth. These eye-candy artworks are featured on this post. These are my latest works done in acrylic on wood, 24"x 32" x 0.8" perfect for visual affirmation, inspiration, and motivation companion.
I like making artworks that instill positive messages while enjoying whimsical art, these motivational words subliminally manifest in the subconscious mind thus empower us to be more productive and be successful in whatever field we pursue. If you are interested in these pieces, please leave a comment.
I hope to see you there and enjoy treasure hunting!
Like every artist/illustrator who's used to visual expression, to articulate your ideas verbally is a dreaded job. But in this information age, writing is a required skill. I opened this blog to practice my writing, as I learned that the only way to practice writing is to simply write.
So I began remembering how I illustrated the story and fortunately came up with interesting explanations. Here's what I had to say for a page in my children's book, Tight Times, on why I usually illustrate differently from the way it was described:
[Update] Here's a wonderful glimpse of how kids process metaphors. Take note that a lot of studies mentioned in the article were done in the 60s. I believe children are much crazily smarter now :-)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I got excited when I first read that the theme for this year's PBBY Prizes is on poetry. I've always wanted to illustrate a full children's book of poems, though I have illustrated stories in verse form. There are only a few materials locally and new titles could be an interesting addition. So, exhilarated by the theme, I couldn't wait to create my entry for the Alcala Illustrators Prize this year.
My strategy was to make an illustration entirely different from what I have done previously. I thought it was time to level it up by creating three-dimensional works. I got inspiration from amazing sculptural illustrators, including my fellow INKies Liza Flores and Pergylene Acuna who create delightful illustrations with layers of textured papers. Then the concept just fell everything into place: I wanted to make a visual that is encased within a box. There is something nostalgic and a childhood sense of curiosity that draws me in about boxes.
Personally, poetry for me is a paradox of precise arrangement of words limited by the syntax of a language and yet can create multiple interpretations in indefinite ways. That is exactly the effect I want to capture in my visual. So I made simple illustrations, stripped down to their essential forms and juxtapose them within a surreal composition to emit endless possible meanings. The figures, color scheme are greatly influenced by Pablo Picasso's theatrical mural composition, Guernica. I was moved by the painter's lyrical visual language and the mural's haunting meaning. Having the illustrations enclosed in a box is a visual metaphor for poetry's literal precision. It's like reading poetry, when you "open" it's meaning, either leave you perplexed or liberated. The meaning is left at the interpreter.
I wanted to introduce that concept of poetry to children, though I admit it was too much for their comprehension.
After seeing all the winners, I have to agree with the judges' pick for the top prize. Aldy Aguirre's winning colorful and whimsical interpretation precisely balanced the rhythmical tones of the poems. The visual elements are fluid and gently moving, as if dancing within the space. It was neither too deep nor too literal to grasp what's going on within the scene. Aldy's illustrations are just perfect to catch a child's interest in getting a head start into the wonderful genre of poetry.
My entry reaped an Honorable Mention at the 2010 PBBY Alcala Prize. I'm also happy that all of the winners are fellow INK members: Rommel Joson and Zeus Bascon's works are also commendable, each have their own unique vision. And I couldn't be happier that the awarding ceremony was filled with nicest friends and acquaintances.
Friday, August 27, 2010
When I was young, I remember my mother used to take me with her whenever she goes to the palengke (wet market). I knew that she wanted me to go with her because I was the only one who can carry her bayong (shopping bag) since I was the only strongest and most responsible boy yet in the family. I never liked going there, not only because I had to wake up very early but also her bag was so full and too heavy to carry. My hands tremblingly ache after. But I can't complain because we had to carry as much as we can because we are a very big family and buying there saves us a lot of money. As I grow older, she wanted me to come with her so I can be street smart and learn from her. Now, I realized it was more than that: I was grateful that going there has enriched my experience visually. The market is also a harvest place of inspiration: from slices of life to the exotic goods you can see around. I was positively influenced with pop culture.
That wonderful experience is very much captured in one of my favorite books, Araw sa Palengke (A day in the market), written by May Tobias Papa and illustrated by Isabel Roxas. The story is very simple, the illustrations very delightful, and yet that simplicity is what makes the book so lovable. Almost anyone can relate with it.
The literary style of the story can be likened to a japanese verse: direct, short, and simple words fully describe the wonder of a child going to a market. Even if the main character is a girl, any child can probably relate with her as she's honest, smart, and quirky. This is probably the first local children's book I have read that mainly invests on the importance of emotional intelligence. It subtly teaches a child that being patient and disciplined yields to pleasant rewards, and the joys of receiving it through hard work and a little sacrifice is priceless. This is what kids need nowadays when the words "instant" and "push-buttons"are just a click away.
The story is accompanied by very charming illustrations, just a warning: you won't stop looking at them. More importantly, the styling, patterns, and figures are very Filipino. The color scheme is splendid, the visual elements are coherent. Although it's a sanitized version of what you see in a real local wet market that is loud, cluttered, and shockingly bright, the toned-down renderings of each scene perfectly create an exotic ambiance. The main character's expressions are comical, the illustrator has masterfully achieved humor through their eyes.
The book is one of those few ones that you can't just put down even as adult, I'm pretty sure a child will also truly love it at first sight. You'll probably read and look at the pages over and over again. It makes you crave for more.
Araw sa Palengke, published by Adarna House, is highly recommended to be part of your child's library. No wonder it is one of the six Best Reads of 2008 and 2009 in the first ever National Children's Book Awards.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
When I was seven years old, the most memorable event was the first People Power EDSA Revolution. Around that age, my mother already taught me to save money. I remember she brought me to a bank and opened me a junior account. That's how I started to learn the value of saving hard earned money and the financial freedom it entails.
I will be part of a group exhibit by Ang INK entitled "When I was Seven" on June 1-15, 2010 at the Gallery 7 Digital Studio, 3rd level Eastwood Mall in Libis.
My work is a digital print series of three, in a limited edition giclee print on textured canvas, size 10" x 10". If you like a copy, please visit Gallery 7, you may also find very interesting works by INK members.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
This is my painting for a very relevant group show, Everyday Filipino Heroes staged by The Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS) opening this May 1, 2010 at the Vargas Museum of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, QC, and will run until May 31, 2010.
Ang pagiging guro ay isang kabayanihan dahil ito ay isang pakipagsasapalaran hindi lamang sa paghubog ng kabutihan, karunungan at katapatan sa musmos na kaisipan kundi ang pagahon din sa mga hamon ng panahon.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Getting kids interested to read books is becoming more challenging nowadays. Yes, more competition are catching the young mind's attention: gadgets, games, and stress from school activities, among others. These distractions leave them uninterested in reading, especially books. Poor children, if they only knew the benefits and magic of reading at an early age. Perhaps they will only appreciate that when they turn into adult monsters. LOL. Good thing there are still people, most especially parents and teachers, who have relentless dedication in enriching and promoting literature. Not only do they encourage the love for reading but also the traditions and culture that are closest to our hearts.
If you need great resources on children's literature and tips on how to make your children interested in reading, you can go to these inspiring and informative sites.
Asia in the Heart Blog
I have some interviews there to share my insights on children's book illustration. I hope you will also enjoy the world of children's literature as much as I am and encourage children to read more in spite of the challenges.