Friday, June 24, 2011

Post-it Affirmation Art no. 7

"Shift from the competitive to creative mind."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rizal's turf



behind you


flag ceremony

In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Rizal's birth.

You are free to use these photos, provided that you don't sell them. Kindly place proper credit or link to my blog.
Click on the photos for high resolution files.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Post-it Affirmation Art no. 6

"Move on. Look forward. Never look back."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Why I love the Peacock

If there's one local children's book I am most influenced by, in terms of illustrative vision, it's The Crane and the Peacock. The book is one of the series of Aesop's fables retold by Boots S.A. Pastor and illustrated by Jason Moss. Published by Lampara in 2003, the series is already out of print. You are probably one of the very fortunate ones if the books are already in your collection. I thought this book and series deserve a recognition, in honor of its groundbreaking feat to local children's book illustration.

The illustrations are so avant-garde and stylish, makes you think and feel it was made for an intelligent audience. The illustrator exploited every medium, technique, and style to create his rendition of Aesop's playful world. No matter how spectacular the illustrations were, it's unfortunate that such breakthrough was gone unnoticed by local readers.

I particularly liked The Crane and the Peacock simply because the visual narrative is not literal. Who would have thought of illustrating a story with animal characters to be portrayed by humans don in animal suits? A metaphor within a metaphor within a metaphor. That illustrative vision was way ahead of its time when local children's book illustration was all still about cuteness, regionalism, and colonialism.

If you are lucky to find copies in bookstores somewhere, grab this treasure. And if you're lucky enough, have your collector's item signed by the artist.


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why I love Papa and Mama's House

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 in 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.


If you like this book review, please click on the ads to support my art projects. 

Or gift yourself and loved ones with lovely goodies here
I'll appreciate it very much, thank you.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

The Assembly

Ang Pagpupulong (The Assembly)
pencil and acrylic on wood

My painting for Relevant Rizal, the third annual outdoor banner project by Canvas.

"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

Most common questions Part 2

1. Do you have a style or point of view in your work? How would you describe it?

I make it a point to make my work embody Filipino identity, for example, as motifs, character, or values. I grab every chance to use designs or concepts that can be found in our culture as detail or as main motif. For me, illustrations can be a powerful medium in conveying positive messages subconsciously. So, as much as the project allows me, I try to incorporate quotes, words, or symbols in my recent works.

2. What media do you usually use? What factors affect your choice of media and/or technique? Does the story or target audience affect your choice of media? You don't do digital illustrations for your books, right?

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

my visual cliche list

relic of enthusiasm

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

-the heart


-gears for progress

-the puzzle!

-the globe, maps, earth

-dove for peace

On pinoy progress

"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.