Teach yo’self: Relearning calligraphy

I’ve been doing some calligraphy drills recently because I was so inspired by the awesome calligraphers I met at the typekita 2 event. My goal is to fill up a page with drills for 30 days.
Day 1:
image

Day 3: I tried writing after doing drills on the third day and I think doing the drills really work! Not perfect, but a start;
image

Wish me luck! What have you been up to lately?

Artsycraftsy adventure: Make temporary tattoos!

I felt so lucky and happy when I found out I had a slot in Alessa from lifeafterbreakfast’s temporary tattoo-making party.

So excited that I arrived an hour before the scheduled time lol.

When we started, I got so giddy and excited and started filling my paper with everything I fancied: merbirds, cats, a unicorn, some flowers:

image

I got so excited that I accidentally ruined a third of the sticker sheet in my haste haha.

The unicorn survived though:

image

With creative genius, Alessa. Her flower tattoo is too lovely for words:

image

I then headed to the Global Pinoy bazaar at World Trade Center where I got these goods:

image

Mini Bonifacio bust, handmade unlined notebook from @pluma_ph, adobo choco from theo & philo, chinese waterbrush from @craftcarrot and panda plush from cliqnship!

Happy times: June 2014

I love making lists, and love it more when they’re lists of things I love! Here are some of the things I’m grateful about:

❤ Finishing the season 9 of Buffy. I have meh feelings about season 8, but season 9 was just so good, and reminded me of the series plot-wise and dialogue-wise. Am in the middle of reading Angel and Faith right now, sometimes losing sleep because I want to read it all in one sitting.

❤ I moved my voting precinct so voting would be easier and nearer

❤ Finally tried making my own Magnum creation: vanilla ice cream with a dark chocolate coating, parmesan popcorn, freeze-dried raspberries and yoghurt nibs. Topped with a caramel drizzle:

image

❤ That outrageous National warehouse sale near home, where I found brand-new books that were only around Php30 each! I got some comics for only Php5 each!
(check out my instagram for my loot: http://instagram.com/aphazia)

❤ Winning at that CBTL contest where the prize was a trip to my idol Ramon Orlina's museum at Tagaytay, wherein he was the one who toured us! #fangush

image

❤ Discovering a library that's near our office, with a lot of art books, books I coveted, and super nice staff! I love the Union Church of Manila's library! Membership for the entire year is only Php200. I've been dreaming of this my entire life and the Universe answered my prayers! This might curb my book-buying enthusiasm. Maybe. I'm planning on donating my old books and magazines there too, since they also accept book donations.

I'm so excited about these books I've borrowed:

image

What has been making you happy recently? 🙂

30 brave days

“Brave” isn’t really a word I use to describe myself. I consider myself shameless, yes, and maybe strange, but never brave. For some reason, I equate being “brave” with grand things that aren’t really on my bucket list, like skydiving, or swimming with sharks.

When I stumbled upon the “30 brave days” challenge from Arriane’s blog: http://wanderrgirl.com, I knew this was something I should be part of. Seeing the other acts of bravery from the other participants made me realize that just going out of my comfort zone is enough to warrant it a “brave” act. It doesn’t have to be grand, and it doesn’t have to be impressive to others, but it has to be something meaningfully courageous to YOU.

I have a neverending list of stuff in my private bucket list in my listography (http://listography.com/aphazia), and each time I try something new, I add it to my “Happy Times” list.

Aside from my dream trip to Japan, I’m actually pretty surprised that the Universe helps me tick off items in that list. Slowly but surely. Mostly in surprising serendipitous ways.

One of the items there included seeing one of my fave bands, Moonpools & Caterpillars live. Alas, I didn’t have enough funds for a ticket and had to accept that I might not be able to see them this time. A few days before the event, our good friend Evee, was kind enough to give us two passes! I think I almost cried a bit with happiness.

My first entry involved me playing the short harmonica intro to their song “Summertime” because I haven’t played my harmonica in public (see it in my instagram feed: http://instagram.com/aphazia). Started it last April 9 too, coinciding with Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor). My lolo was a Bataan death march survivor and one of the bravest and kindest people I know so I am doing this in honor of him as well.

Day 2 involved me drawing using a pin and nail polish, since I’ve always admired Katie Rodgers’ artworks using a pin and paintblobs (check out her instagram:http://instagram.com/paperfashion)

image

Day 3 involved having my harmonica signed by Moonpools & Caterpillars, and asking them all for hugs (thanks again, Evee! :))

image

image

image

It was a great night with a lot of jumping, dancing, singing, and fangushing, heh.

Day 4 involved painting on blank wooden matryoshkas. I received this as a gift from my mom years ago and always dreamt of painting them but I was scared of messing it up, so I never did.

But the #30bravedays challenge seems to be working in making me braver, so this morning, I decided that today was the day:

image

I learned a lot from today’s painting adventure:

1. Use paint that isn’t clumpy and a good quality brush. My acrylic paint was clumpy and my brush was losing its hair and it was a bit annoying.

2. Build up your layers. This is my first time to paint wood, so that’s another item ticked off my list!

3. Who cares if it isn’t perfect?

On zines

The earliest memory I have on making zines was when I was around nine, if my memory hasn’t failed me.

I was probably inspired by that kiddie mag Cricket, since my mom bought me back issues from Booksale. Inside it were stories, poems, comics, puzzles, etc. I loved this formula so much, that I set out to make my own, but this time it would be about my obsession at that time: mermaids!

I got my multicolored ballpen, some paper, and wrote a short story about a mermaid, made a maze, drew the mermaid family, etc.etc. I stapled it and showed it to my lola.

In highschool I made a Leo DiCaprio one, inspired by Bop magazine and Titanic and delusion.

Years later I would stumble upon a local lesbian zine, and be mailed several: one about being an artist at work, another about someone’s daily routine. I would buy some local ones from the old Cubao X, that xeroxography event, and treasure a Booksale find named Invincible Summer.

My love for zines is perhaps linked to my obsessive/fangirly personality, and my love for DIY. When I make one, I always feel like I’m sticking it to the man, heh.

I made several zines years ago, which I entitled “Glittering Eyes” after a Roald Dahl quote. Recently, I made these:

image

image

My partner and I collaborated on this one:

image

Do you like zines too?

Exploring the Universe: California-Old Town Monrovia

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:

Image
On our way home, we passed by Hollywood Bd and saw Mickey! (Hint: He’s near the Tussauds sign):Image
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!
ImageImageCamwhorage 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.

Image
ImageImageImageImage

ImageImageImageRead these books in the library:

Image

Would you believe that this fine piece of art was made using crayons, by a 15-year-old? So gorgeous:
ImageSearle’s Cat!  There’s a nifty story involving Searle and San Francisco and my dreams, but that’s another entry.

ImageImageBefore we went home, we passed by Michaels, were I went crazy with all the materials asjdkajdflkad

Image

Graduation and experimenting with new techniques

It felt so great when I finally graduated from Master Fernando Sena’s art class a few weeks ago. 🙂 It was legit, complete with entrance of colors and a march and speeches!

ImageImage

I was able to tick off another item in my bucket list, which is to exhibit my artwork:

Image

Met a lot of new friends and gained lots of new knowledge. I’m glad I attended this class. Thanks for the photos, lovely Jianina!

I’m planning on attending the advanced art classes but since I’m a bit busy with work lately (and low on funds heh), I’m teaching myself as of now with the help of books and trial and error.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with various techniques and art materials. I think pastel and I are friends now. Here’s a nude drawing work in progress. based on a reference photo from my beloved book of vintage lesbian pulp fiction covers. There was text near the butt area so I was a bit confused about the shadowing and contours in that area haha.
Image

I’m obsessed with grumpy cat! Below are drawings using Mongol Inkjoy ballpoint pens. Fun and challenging!

Image

Mixed media collage using magazine cutouts and watercolor. I call this “Imagined galaxies: where flowers explode in bloom and the seven suns wander freely”

Image

I’m learning so much from the online art course in coursera! For our first assignment related to Surrealism, I made this using pastel and magazine cutouts:

Image

I didn’t realize that there were so many surrealist techniques! I like cubomania:

Image

Quick fashion sketches using my fave pens:
Image

Book Making Workshop at 98B

I was lucky enough to secure a slot in 98B’s Independent Book Making Workshop last June 9. I’ve always been fascinated with handmade books bound with love so I jumped at this chance to learn more techniques.

Because I was too excited, I arrived two hours earlier and explored the Escolta area for a bit. Ended up eating at the quaint Escolta Ice Cream and Snacks, where I had hearty chicken adobo and two scoops of Big Scoop mint choco chip ice cream–my fave! I had two hours to spare so I started drawing–I’m teaching myself how to draw using only a ballpoint pen. I like it more than drawing with a pencil since it  forces me to accept that mistakes are part of the entire learning process:
Image

Before the workshop started, I browsed through some of the wares and books in 98B’s library:

ImageImageImageImageImage

We were going to be taught by Mira Asriningtyas and Dito Yuwono from Yogyakarta Indonesia. They showed us some beautiful handmade books and I couldn’t decide on a favorite–they were all so lovely and interesting:

ImageImageImageImage

This one has tea leaves inside:

Image

Here’s Mira telling us about Lir–which reminds me of the old Cubao X/Collective. They have several artsy activities and gatherings, with some using the lush forest as backdrop. I’d love to have the chance to visit them someday!

The 1st technique involved one piece of paper folded into eight and gutted in the middle. This is what I use in making my zines and this is also what the local magazine Juice uses. It’s economical, easy and cheaper to mail. They used both sides of the paper and printed a photo at the back which can be used as a poster:

ImageImage

Then we were taught accordion-style folding and sewing with signatures:
ImageImage

I experimented with all the types of binding and came up with these:Image

New friends! Hello Corrine and Aliah, thanks again for the stickers–can’t wait to use them! 🙂
Image

Image
Thanks for the awesome workshop, 98B, Mira and Dito! 98B has an upcoming event this Saturday called SaturdayMarketXFutureMarket. Learn more about 98B here.

Daily drawings and my summer workshops

Hello lovely friends!

I’ve been a bit busy with work lately but I promised myself that I should draw/craft each day since I discovered that it’s what I really enjoy doing–a gift to myself, in a way.

Some watercolored flowers:

ImageImage

I was reading the book Tikim by Doreen Fernandez and was delighted to read a piece about pastillas wrapper art, something I’ve always dreamt of owning, making. Armed with my leftover papel de japon and scrapbooking scissors, I made a freehand merbird cutting:

Image

Now to make pastillas. Hmm. I used to be obsessed with no-cook pastillas as a kid, and even drew the steps so I won’t forget. It involved condensed milk and powdered milk and dayap rind and I would often make it since it was so easy and yummy.

My printmaking workshop ended last week! My last piece was a kitty I drew in plexiglass using the drypoint technique:

ImageImage

Since I love cats, it’s also what inspired me for our class exhibit piece for our graduation day in Mr. Fernando Sena’s art workshop. This is done in pastel, 1/4 illustration board:

Image

I practiced learning watercolor using a painting by artist Thomas Kinkade as reference, which made it even more challenging, considering that manipulating the medium is already a challenge, and we worked on plain sketchbooks (I was afraid I might tear the paper when I got it too wet):

Image

Learned about abstract painting too! I name this “Sayaw ng Sirena” (Mermaid’s dance), also done in pastel. I think I might be in love with oil pastel:

IMG_2925

Summer is workshop season

As a kid, summer equals “reading season”. My friends and cousins would be out there, having taekwondo lessons and music and art lessons while I chose to stay at home with my book-related adventures. Asked if I wanted to learn something new, I’d answer no, I’d rather stay in bed and read, and I was pretty much content with that, but deep down in my heart I knew I wanted to learn more about arts and crafts.

But–I was afraid. I was too shy and awkward and I feared failure and rejection too much that I didn’t even bother trying at all.

My fears overpowered my desire and that was a shame because if I really think about it, workshops are meant to be fun and not competitive–which is why I’m making up for lost time by joining as many workshops as my budget and time and schedule could allow. It’s challenging myself to follow through with that desire to create, to learn about various processes and techniques that are all transferable in the lovely world of arts and crafts. It’s also a neverending process of discovery, and I am learning about the techniques and materials that are suited for me and my short attention span. I also have the scanner personality, so there’s this huge urge to just try everything that interests me, even for a short amount of time.

Printmaking
I learned about this workshop from various friends, who all told me how they really loved their experience. Held at the headquarters of the Philippine Association of Printmakers, near CCP, you get to learn about basic printmaking techniques. I discovered that I am much too excitable which results in overinking (oops) and mismatched prints (shaky hands!) but this teaches me to see beauty in imperfection and to temper my excitement when using the press haha.

For my first monotype print, I made a merbird! Here are the other prints I made:
Image

Image

Image

I also tried drypoint, a mermaid! I bought an old xray I had and used it to make this print:

Image

Also stalked some kitties. I like that the area is shady and windy and has a nice unobstructed view of the sunset:

Image

Image

Image

Creativity + Level 2 Watercolor Crafternoon by Alessa from Life After Breakfast
Been wanting to try this set for the longest time, and I was so excited when I opened the box!
Image

Attempted to paint some shells. Lesson to self: Find an easier angle for intricate objects heh.

Image

Enjoyed the group “collab”:

Image

Met a lot of new friends and learned about color mixing here! Here’s the group:
Image

Yay to artsycraftsy learning! Photo taken by new friend Mars, thanks Mars!
Image

P.S. I got myself some statis flowers to spiffify the house. PLaced it inside jars decorated with washi tape. They make me smile each time I see them. I also have a vase with the same flowers in my office desk, to add cheer to my workstation.

Image