Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK, Illustrators for Children) 20 Taon Retrospective exhibit at the Ayala Museum lobby which will be on show from November 22 to January 15, 2012, had me pondering about the practice of illustration:
When illustration becomes independent of the texts, what are the possibilities of its context?
When these illustrations without texts are exhibited and properly curated in a museum, does that transform them automatically to "art"? Or only when placed in the context of art history?
When illustrators are also authors, their personal ideas are expressed through illustration. If personal intentions are validation of what define works of art, is the work of an illustrator-author an art?
While some illustrators does not merely depend on someone else's ideas or story, they also have their own take on an idea, they have personal vision in the expression of an idea. Is the work of an illustrator who interprets another's idea, artless?
A discourse on whether illustration belongs to fine art or commercial design is irrelevant. How come the presence of a silent repudiation from painters, the art scene, and illustrators themselves can still be felt?
1. Texture is everything. Texture creates personal connection to the viewer.
2. Misconception: children's book illustration has to look like drawn by kids. Most likely not everyone will appreciate kid-type drawings, children aspire to draw better than they can. It need not always be cartoony (anime/manga) or disney-like (although nothing is wrong with that also) but should always look delightful. Illustration should be easily comprehensible but not too literal, make it open-ended.
3. Lift from quirky but positive childhood experiences.
4. Draw unusual angles or perspectives of a scene.
5. Work on extra details, make up some back, sub stories or subplots not found in the texts.
In the age of digital publishing, I think that any printed matter you create or receive today,
should deserve and evolve into something extra special than merely an ordinary printed story or message. Just like a polaroid print, a handwritten letter, or a typewritten message, the form or packaging should generate tactile and visual sentimentality to the point of keeping the print. Make printed designs collectible. Otherwise, it goes straight to the trash bin and pollute our environment, not to mention wasted human efforts, time, money, and some trees.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
If waiting were an adjective, I think it should imbibe tranquility. A pause is a perfect moment to synchronize everything: time, space, character, and matter dance together in peaceful harmony. The thought of randomness and uncertainty scares us but that blur on the horizon makes waiting an exciting journey.
A hauntingly beautiful weather phenomenon caught on video at the serene beach of puka in boracay island, Philippines. music: Paul Collier's ambient meditation music
Friday, August 26, 2011
Observing town and tourist spot signs in our country left me feeling a little lost. Commercial and political banners or tarpaulins, wires, and pollution clutter historical and scenic views. Some tourist spots are underdeveloped while some are overly developed where establishments spring from every corner of a place. Progress does not always necessary equate to modern and big buildings. Old and vintage does not always mean unappealing. Our country needs a design overhaul, if only young and creative designers push their ideas aggressively and effectively to urban planners. I just feel our country, so diverse and rich in resources, haven't yet maximized its potential.
I remember a personal anecdote where a panel randomly asked me if I were to run the government, how will I improve the economic situation of our country. Being the lover of the arts, I always think of fusing art to any problem-solving ideas, simply replied "I will hire the best artists, designers, architects, and engineers to make our country extremely beautiful." While I'm very serious with my reply and perhaps it wasn't they expected to hear, I only got a scornful laugh with a side comment, "Yeah, include also beauticians and parloristas to make the ugly fabulous!" Some people don't fully understand yet the importance of design and aesthetics in economic progress. Sad, but true.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
When words can't describe how one feels, pictures can. This is how I perceive the illustrations for Papa's House, Mama's House, a children's book written by Jeanette Patindol and illustrated by Mark Salvatus III. The book won both the grand prize in the Philippine Board on Books for Young People Alcala and Salanga Prize. While published in 2004 by Adarna House, the illustrations and theme are still so current.
The story is about a child's confusion about her parent's emotionally difficult situation. The theme is a radical development to local children's literature where such topics weren't usually discussed appropriately to young minds. The story was well written to adapt a child's comprehension.
The illustrations have bold strokes of provocative colors with small sketchy figures. The heavy painterly style and scratch techniques work both ways: it may either suggest the deep unsettling feelings of the character perfectly expressed through colors and strokes, or the style symbolizes the love of parents for the character which doesn't diminish despite their situation. While looking at the illustrations, you can actually feel those emotions as you read. The small figures may connote that we play deaf in children's honest and pure voices about issues and they should also matter in adult decisions, no matter how young they are. How often do we disregard or underestimate a child's understanding?
The illustrations of Papa's House, Mama's House is a good example of how style may expressively convey emotions.
Friday, June 3, 2011
"While Rizal's works sparked motivation and prompted reforms in the most simple yet powerful manner, I do hope that we also become real agents, more than just participants or "slacktivists," of social causes in the age of sophisticated forms of social media."
The banners will be up at the UP Diliman oval until June 30 while the original paintings are on display at the Vargas Museum (UP) on a limited time only.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I usually work with pencil and acrylic, but I'm open to exploring different medium as well. Sometimes when the schedule can't really accommodate manual renderings, I rely on digital tools for coloring. But I still prefer making it look organic and personal by adding natural textures. Texture, besides characterization, for me is one of the most important element in establishing a personal connection between the illustration and the reader. The mood of the story is a big factor in choosing the medium and technique I want to use in relation to the story. The medium and composition also signify important clues and add a different perspective in understanding the story better.
3. What was your first book? When was it published? How has your work or how you work changed since then?
My first book was "Ayoko Pang Matulog!" under OMF Literature, published in 2005. My succeeding books get much better thereon, while each book is still unique in their own way. Every book have something new that was improved from the last one. Eventually, my work now is more focused on the things I want to convey as an illustrator. I realized I can also have that "voice" in telling a different point of view of a story. I make it a point to impart positive values and messages in every illustration and not just illustrate literally the scenes from the written word.
4. How do you keep your work fresh? Is being fresh or up-to-date important to you?
I want my works up-to-date only because I'd like to keep up with the target audience's attention, whom are basically children, which is very hard to get hold of. But, I also want my works to stand the test of time by sticking to classical techniques and medium. In my works, I try to achieve balance in making it classic at the same time modern, by infusing traditional illustration techniques with modern illustration concepts and visualization.
-Interview by Liza Flores
This is my list of visual cliches in random order, some of which I'm very much guilty of and will try to avoid in future works:
-mother and child in frontal pose
-the female nude-in every possible pose
-balloons for flying
-wings and halo as representation for goodness
-horns for evil
-the bulb for ideas
-gears for progress
-the globe, maps, earth
-dove for peace
"Anyone can help our countrymen by living as an inspiration. Our people needs inspiration more than temporary nourishment in breaking the cycle of poverty. Improve yourself and be the best that you can be, get home then teach them how you made yourself through."
-Sergio to OFWs on how they could help the Philippines.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Sometimes it's very easy for us to say the things that we perceive as simple to do or that we can do much better at anything, than doing the work itself. Of course, nothing is impossible if we have the will to do it. But the question is, when will we get anything started?