Even the roads leading there seemed like they came from a fairytale:
The night before our grand road trip to San Francisco from LA, we passed by Americana, which reminded me of our malls here, heh. Saw giant chandeliers and giant chinese lanterns in the middle of the street:
I always make it a point to eat ice cream in the places I visit, and I kinda regret not trying more exotic flavors, but this was what I was craving at the moment:I also discovered the epic fabulousness of a penny press! THE STUFF OF MY DREAMSSSSS
I wanted all the designs in the known world! But because this trip was an exercise in prudence (attempt lang hehe), this was what I got as a souvenir. I made it my life’s mission to collect penny press coins everywhere we went in this vacation.
I love public libraries so I requested for a library day, but the night before that we ate at one of the items in my bucket list: In-N-Out Burger! Had the animal style burger and fries, plus a strawberry milkshake. Nomnomnom, yum:
On our way home, we passed by Hollywood Bd and saw Mickey! (Hint: He’s near the Tussauds sign):
It’s winter so most of the trees had no leaves, but these pretties were all abloom. Saw them on our way to one of my new fave places, Old Town Monrovia!
Camwhorage in front of trees before they become extinct!
I’m in love with Old Town Monrovia. Everything is so quaint and I felt right at home, for some reason. There are artsy polar bear sculptures in almost every corner (Why polar bears?), random lavender sightings, beautiful architecture and a really impressive library.
Would you believe that this fine piece of art was made using crayons, by a 15-year-old? So gorgeous:
Searle’s Cat! There’s a nifty story involving Searle and San Francisco and my dreams, but that’s another entry.
When a friend (Thanks, Iori!) mentioned that there would be an Art Book Fair at LA at around the time I arrived, I immediately googled it up-this was an event I did not want to miss. Luckily, we were able to check it out on its last day (which meant that most items were on sale when it was nearing the closing hours), so, yay!
Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair held at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA was an event that had everything I loved- handmade books, zines, comics, creators manning their booths to facilitate connections/interactions (and my fangushing), art books and lovely people.
Upon arriving, I immediately headed to the zine section, where I almost lost my marbles due to the sheer awesomeness of everything. Zines and zinesters everywhere! I had to be constantly reminded by my relatives to check the whole area first before spending all my monies in the first stall I checked out. Everything was glorious. It was overwhelmingly fantastic.
I chanced upon the stall of one of my idols, Esther Pearl Watson! I saw her comics first in BUST magazine (Tammy Pierce is Unlovable) and it’s the first part I read in the magazine, I love it so. It was a bit embarrassing when I asked her if she had more items by EPW only to realize that she IS EPW. She was so friendly and nice!
I got to meet a lot of my idols at the zine area! I was too happy browsing the zines in all the tables that I forgot that I haven’t checked out the other areas yet, yikes. This ended with me hurrying past the queer zines and art books just so I could visit all the stalls (and they were a lot!). Haha. I wanted to buy this queer zine anthology but I used up my budget in the zines area. Note to self: Pacing is key when it comes to book fairs.
Here’s photographic evidence of the awesomeness of the fair, and snapshots of the people who were cool and friendly (and beautifullllll):
I’ll post a pic of my loot soon! I bought a lot and I might give away some of ‘em (I’ve read them all already), so stay tuned!
Read Part 1 here.
One of my resolutions this year is to blog more, and I kind of miss lj and my lj friends, but I also miss time. It’s easier posting photos here, so I have decided to move my “Exploring the Universe” blogging here instead. Let’s start with this trip of my dreams, which came true because of the Universe and my loving family. I am beyond grateful for everything. Thank you, Universe!
I made a secret U.S. bucket list with wishes like “See the Golden Gate bridge”, and “Check out Getty museum”, and “Meet my writer/artist/artista idols who are in the area so I can fangirl in person” (*cough Angelina Jolie *cough). If you know me, you’d know that aside from being awkward, I am also shameless when it comes to fangirling. I was ready to mix up the two and let it all out in California! Woooo!
Asiana Airlines, I love you! You serve delicious food and your entertainment system is so good. I didn’t want to sleep because I wanted to watch everything hehe. Stopover was Korea, where I had ice cream and spicy soup and basically stuffed my face with all the noms.
My tita was my most excellent host, with her most excellent house with the library filled with art books and comics and lovely children’s books. She lived in a place with a porch filled with my dream plants and birds and every sunset is glorious. The mountains are what you’d see enveloping the area. I was welcomed by a rainbow! Spot the sliver here:
I ate the hugest sundae from Costco, with jumbo fresh strawberries in the syrup. I couldn’t finish it so I ate it for three days straight:
I ate my weight in whipped cream. I ate fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and nectarines and dipped everything in whipped cream. Whipped cream I love you.
I wanted to dip the pepperberries below too:
I’ve always been fond of Valentine’s day and the idea of celebrating a day of love. Right now I am in sunny California for a vacation, but I had the chance to take a leisurely hike in a secluded area in Griffith park yesterday morning with family and new friends. It reminded me that I really am very fortunate this lifetime (and how I’m more of an earth than a water person), and so I won’t forget, here’s a quick recap of things I won’t forget in this trip:
-Seeing coyotes, squirrels, a murmuration of starlings, a pair of ducks flying, a hare, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, smelling a skunk
-Road trip to San Francisco, passing by Sacramento, Solvang, Santa Barbara
-Ticking off almost all the items in my US bucket list (more on this in future posts)
-That glorious sunset leisurely hike
-Meeting the in-laws (almost all of them) of my tita
-Her cool house filled with art, books, books about art and magazines
-Seeing Mickey Mouse near Hollywood
-Getty! Monet <3
-Authentic diner with huge servings
-So many cats near the church
-Food glorious food
Here is a photo from yesterday’s nice hike, which was like getting a big warm hug from the Universe. Hope you had a great day filled with love and joy yesterday!
Happy New Year! 2013 has been the most wonderful year, and I firmly believe that 2014 will be an even better year for all of us. 2013 was named “The Year of Magic and Wonder” and it was filled with so many blessings and surprises because of the awesomeness of the Universe. For 2014, I shall name it as “The Year for Great Things” to call forth good vibes and positivity. I realized that vagueness means more surprises, and I’m a fan of happy surprises, so there you go. Hello 2014!
I ended 2013 doing some crafts, like jazzing up colored pencils from Almi (thank you, Almi!) with colored nail polish, and making rubbercut stamps.
For the colored pencils, I used metallic and neon colors and I really like how they turned out:
I made a couple stamp (for Kate’s birthday), my first time to try making a portrait stamp. Quite challenging (I accidentally cut off Kate’s mole since it was so tiny, heh) but definitely exciting. I also made a grumpy cat stamp because I love her. I’m adding “Meet and cuddle Tardar Sauce” to my bucket list this 2014 *crosses fingers*. I used gold stamp pad ink for both:
I’ve always wanted to try and challenge myself with a 365 project but I know that my attention span is ridiculously short, but maybe I can change that this year! I have created for myself this #Create365 project, where I make art/craft/write/sing each day, and then maybe I’ll share it in my Instagram account (@aphazia) for fun.
With all that optimism and hope simmering inside me, I made this before I slept:
Here’s to another year filled with potential and boundless possibilities. I already have exciting plans which involves ticking off multiple items from my bucket list. My stomach is filled with an army of hopeful butterflies and I can’t be happier!
What are you excited for this 2014?
At the start of the year, I made a list of wishes in my crafty bucket list.
I’m happy to say that I was able to accomplish most of them! Except for “Work with glass”, which I hope I get to try on 2014.
Here are artsycraftsy items I was also able to experience, items from a grand bucket list.
2013 has been such a generous, wonderful year, and my happiness and gratefulness bucket brimmeth over as well:
1. Try air-dry clay (Made pendants out of it)
2. Try modular origami
3. Check out Pinto Art Museum (For my birthday!)
4. Try Art Attack Products (The clay: great, The oil pastels: Not so)
5. Create my own scent for our diffuser (Citrus Olive)
6. Get featured in a broadsheet for my washi creations
7. Make handmade decor for Day’s baby shower party
8. Papel Picado
9. Learn to play the ukulele on my own, and jam with the gf, and then share it shamelessly on my Instagram
10. Make my own jam (Chili Strawberry Basil)
11. Make my own solid perfume: Olive-Tangerine-Mint
12. Attend Art Fair Phils. 2013
13. Do papercuts with my own illustration, then do a freestyle one.
14. Attend a Dr.Sketchy Alice-themed sketchmob event
15. Join Ukulele Manila
16. Draw on the streets using chalk at the Fort
17. Create a handmade papercut of blog logo/banner
18. Create a series of artworks (Dream sisters)
19. Create a panda bento box for her and a strawberry one for me
20. Try intaglio printing using an old cd c/o Serj Bumatay’s tutorial
21. Do a 3d papercut
22. Do a hollow book surprise
23. Wet on wet watercolor freestyle
24. Finally start that mixed media book
25. Buy a kalimba and play it
26. Play a gamelan and other asian musical instruments in Bali and CCP
27. Buy Hello Sandwich book
28. Experience silversmithing
29. Pound coffee beans oldschool way
30. Try lontar-palm etching
31. Try hand-printing, using leaves and flowers with markers
32. Study printmaking at the Phil. Association of Printmakers.
33. Try linocut, drypoint, monotype, monoprint, block printing
34. Try making glue rubber for papercutting/rubberstamping
35. Decorate home and workstation with flowers (statis in washi’d bottles!)
36. Have a small musical studio with my guitar, uke, kalimba, harmonica
37. Try ikebana
38. Visit that library in the street
39. Make yoghurt from scratch
40. Make a felt toy (stuffed cake)
41. Join a watercolor crafternoon
42. Join Fernando Sena’s art classes
43. Learn about shading, drawing with markers, pastels
44. Make a rubbercut with a rubber sole, hand printing
45. Hand color prints with watercolors
46. Check out Ronac Art Center
47. Make a landscape painting out of pastel
48. Make a portrait drawing of my mom and dad
49. Buy myself mint pens (mmm mint Stabilo)
50. Paint using oil pastels in a huge board (15×20)
51. Paint using tempera technique, watercolor
52. Make an abstract painting using pastels
53. Try classitex
54. Be personally recommended to sell handmade crafts (twice)
55. Create pastillas wrapper art
56. Create a galaxy in felt paper using pastels
57. Attend art workshop graduation
58. Receive three medals for the art workshop: Most outstanding student, best in costume, best in group work
59. Exhibit my “artwork” in an art “exhibit”
60. Teach arts and crafts to kids (Je’s pamangkins)
61. Be the chosen leader for my art class haha
62. Get recommended by a friend to design artwork for a store (Camille)
63. Be a dj for Jea’s road trip ride
64. Earn a certificate of completion with distinction for my online Art course (coursera)
65. Get myself teal markers from Art Friend
66. Pet Chestnut from cat socrates
67. Organize arts/crafts materials
68. Give my books/art materials and stuff away
69. Buy matboards
70. Try and make my very own travel palette using airdryclay and altoids tin
71. Start an online magazine: KATHA! (kathamagazine.tumblr.com)
72. Be the virtual dj for Katha’s “mixtape”
73. Have an offer to be a dj at a bar
74. Sing my “Fries” song with gf jamming on the uke over IG
75. Try a massage from hi-tech massage chair in mall, complete with inversion
76. Make a video for my washi collage in instagram
77. Punch holes in my belt c/o Mr. Quickie
78. Check out National Museum
79. See Spoliarium
80. Check out Paper Popup
81. Cook using induction (last sale, sale in SM thanks Universe)
82. Create customized merbirds (TnS birds, a portrait)
83. Attend Bloom Arts Festival (Here’s to joining next year *crosses fingers*)
84. Join the MuniPH X moonleaf event for Katha
84. Art drive for Yolanda kids
85. Sell merbirds for a cause
86. Sell customized merbirds for a cause
87. Give my customized TnS merbird artwork to Tegan and Sara
88. Have Tegan and Sara post my customized merbirds on their Instagram page (!!!)
89. Make Tegan and Sara face masks and wear it to our masquerade-theme office party and the pride march
90. Be a brand ambassador for Pixaroll
91. Color-your-own merbird
92. Cook perfect runny eggs using induction
93. Create optical illusion stamps
94. Carve stamps using rubber sole, erasers and speedball ez carve
95. Frame my papercut artworks
96. Cover walls with my art using washi tape
97. Create trompe l’oeil frames using washi tape
98. Cover walls with artwork by friends and idols
99. Have baby plants! Rubber plant, 2 oreganos, sanseveria and marigold
100. Appear on TV for Katha!
How about you? I’m thinking of new artsycraftsy goals for 2014, any suggestions?
I think I was blog-hopping when I first saw the artworks of Fran. I listed her as one of my fave local artists in my listography site. Months later, much to my surprise and delight, I actually got to meet her in person in some event, where I fangirled like a creeper haha. I love the way she combines color and layers images. I like staring at her detailed artworks and admiring the meticulous brushwork. They’re all so lovely and inspiring!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your art/craft.
Hello I am Fran and I am a restless graphic designer and illustrator who likes merienda time, likes making things, and who is trying to do everything.
2. What are your favorite tools in creating art and why do you love them?
Watercolors, in different opacities. I love the medium first because of how it looks on paper: sometimes it’s barely there, sometimes it’s really heavy. I used to hate it and couldn’t handle it to save my life but it taught me how to be patient. It’s one of the most challenging mediums I had to teach myself to get used to but I love it now.
3. Can you tell us about your daily routine or your artistic process?
I work as a graphic designer at Studio Dialogo, so I guess my routine generally revolves around this. Having a day job has helped me become more disciplined with my work and manage my time better. Bonus talaga na sa creative field ako nagtatrabaho, with wonderful people I really admire.
When working I like having music on, preferably an album or artist I haven’t heard before, or an audiobook. Basta bago, so I don’t fall asleep haha! I work the best when the sun is out, right after I’ve had my morning Milo fix. When I’m stuck in a creative block, I do something non-drawing related para ma-reset utak ko. I play a song on the guitar, kahit isa lang. Or I read something with no pictures at all. Or I eat *whistles*.
4. What inspires you? What makes you excited?
I always get something out of traveling, kahit jeepney rides lang. Natutuwa ako sa iba’t ibang combination ng mga tao at a given place and time. My friends inspire me, their dedication to craft in the different fields they’re in. I also like nature very much, especially flowers and leaves, because every one is different.
5. Who are the local and foreign artists you admire the most?
Naku, how do I even mention everyone haha. In no particular order:
local: Robert Alejandro, my work mates at Dialogo Rommel Joson, Liza Flores, Abi Goy, Electrolychee’s Bru Sim and Marcus Nada, Serg Bumatay, Riel Hilario, Farley del Rosario, Marina Cruz, the talented Santoses Soler, Mona, Luis and Carina, Nona Garcia, Geraldine Javier. A lot more!
For foreign, Brecht Evens, Chris Ware, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Lisbeth Zwerger, Shaun Tan, Carson Ellis, Chris Van Alsburg, Wolf Erlbruch, Chun Eun Sil, Albrecht Durer, David Wiesner, Louise Fili, Christopher Corr, Ernst Haeckel, Paula Scher, Maira Kalman, Sara Fanelli, Aya Kato.
6. Most inspiring place in the Philippines?
Wherever the ocean is.
7. If you were stuck in an island and could only bring one art/craft tool with you, what would it be and why?
Depende, may wilderness ba sa island na ito? Haha. Unstretched canvas, to keep me warm, to catch fish, build a fort, climb trees. And…I would eat some if I needed to.
8. Favorite snack/s while creating art?
9. Earliest childhood memory related to arts/crafts?
When I was in kinder they made us color pages off coloring books. My cousin, who was also my classmate, colored the atis page on his book all black. Also, when I was four, I used to watch Grease everyday in the morning. Grease is a piece of art, right? Right?
10. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Whatever I thought would make everyone happy.
11. What’s your current job now?
What I do best, and what makes me happy. I do graphic design, sometimes illustration, most of the time crazy shenanigans at Studio Dialogo.
12. Favorite books and/or movies?
“You Shall Know Our Velocity” by Dave Eggers
“Strange Pilgrims” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Fruitcake” by the Eraserheads
“Smaller and Smaller Circles” by FH Batacan
“Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Caroll
the GoT series.
Sukiyaki Western Django
Bonus uncalled-for music favorites: The Eraserheads and Leslie Feist.
13. What is your philosophy when creating/making art?
Do all things with great love.
The Universe starts from scratch and you’re given the chance to be reincarnated as a famous artist. Which artist would you choose and why?
Ang hirap! Can I be a bougainvillea instead?
Where can we see your awesome work? (plug away!)
francesalvarez.com is where everything is at, awesome, ugly, in progress, ramblings