Travel journal peek: Taal, Batangas

We stayed at the beautiful Paradores del Castillo and the place was so relaxing and the food so delicious that we didn’t want to leave. The staff was so accommodating and friendly and we felt at home. It was also filled with art made by local artists (on our first time to stay there last year, I got to talk to the artist of the painting in the wall in my journal below and it was an interesting experience). They had a common sala with a long table which was bright and airy so I felt very inspired to work on my travel journal. I used a midori insert, and I can say that I am now a midori believer!


The lower left page above is the view from when I read for a bit, and contains the painting I mentioned above. For a closer look at the pages, you may check out my instagram: @mabuhaydiy  πŸ™‚

Am thinking of making these into a zine, what do you think? πŸ™‚

Happy easter!

Icons of a typical workday

Inspired by a skillshare project from the noun project, I made handdrawn icons describing a typical workday:
Instagram, tea, a bit of exercise, art before breakfast, check the time, I might be late, make more art if there’s more time, read a bit if there’s time, walk, buy coconut juice, walk, wait for the light to be green, underpass, walk, admire the flowers, stairs, powder my sweaty self, toast my bread for my second breakfast, work, listen to music, sneak artmaking during lunch break πŸ™‚


Travel journaling, post-travel: Japan!

I realized that I’m the sort of person who’s very easily excited by the littlest things (if they’re stuff I love). During our vacation, I confess that even if I wanted to preserve every moment by drawing it, I was just too tired and distracted. I’m having fun doing it nowadays though! It makes me remember those happy moments through photos I took, or through memories I try to dig up. I challenged myself to fill up a coherent spread in a cheap notebook:


…and do detailed watercolored pages in my small hobonichi notebook (the paper is smooth and could handle a fair amount of wetness). I also made some project life spreads (see previous entry).

For both notebooks, I didn’t use pencils because I might end up erasing everything lol:


I did practice my pencil skills with this:


Artsycraftsy experiment: Glow drawings!

I’ve been drawing on this black sheet that Nayna found from Divi. I like the surprise colors I get when I begin scratching the surface. I recently was able to buy Vogue Paris for dirt-cheap from Booksale and I’m using it as reference:


I also tried to write a fave poem in it:


The mag also inspired me to make quick fashion sketches, prada-inspired:


I splurged on a chinese brush you can fill with water, and with the leftover ink, made a quick sketch of a rocky cliff with the sea:


I remember: Wanting to write down everything

A year ago, I used to maintain a tumblr blog filled with memory triggers. I wanted to remember the highlights of each day, but didn’t have enough time to write a long-arsed diary entry about it. Thus this tumblr was born: To add to the memoryceptionness of it, I tried to post a throwback anecdote of sorts with the explanation post, but sometimes the lazies get to me, or I become too excited about the happenings for that day so that was often scrapped.

I missed that tumblr though, and so here I am again, trying to revive that concept in this platform. I love Instagram but I want to blather on and on and this here might be a better avenue for blathering. Recently, I’ve installed the WordPress phone app since I am always in a hurry and I fiercely love blogs and blogging. I spend more time with my phone than the desktop anyway, and it’s super convenient to just snap a photo and squeeze the story out of it anywhere and then post it asap. This means more frequent posts, but I do apologize for the occasional typos heh. Mah phone’s screen is small.

Where was I? Oh yeah, memories.

Let’s start with this:


A spread from my Starbucks planner last year. Because I am a bit obsessed with this “documentation” thing, I drew things I’m grateful for using watercolor pencils. From the entries, you can see that I like stuffing my face with food, shopping, crafting, surprise meetups, and bacon. And my memory still isn’t that reliable–check out that entry at the bottom left, haha. Happy to note that things haven’t changed.

Quick quick sketches

Despite not being very good at it, I still enjoy making hurried sketches. I believe doing them trains me to think quickly and draw without inhibitions, and in turn, makes me more confident and less nitpicky.

In a way, it makes me braver. For the #30bravedays challenge, I dared myself to draw poses for 30 seconds each and not be too concerned about the output. A year ago, I joined a Dr. Sketchy drawing session for the first time and even if my output wasn’t spectacular (unlike all the great work of the teens beside me), I still had a great time.

When I discovered the site, I felt like I struck gold. You can choose a male or female model, choose the time, and choose if you want the models to be nude (which I’ll try next time).

Since I wanted to challenge myself to the max, I chose a 30-second interval and used my pink mechanical pencil. I’m not fond of using pencils but I tried it this time too. A non-mechanical pencil might be a better choice, since the lead of mine kept breaking. After doing 14 drawings, I switched to a ballpoint pen and it was much better.  I was able to draw 9 figures in about 5 minutes:


P.s. We went to the beach last weekend and I can’t wait to share more about the adventure with you soon!

P.s.s The “adventure” involved a real live blowfish, which was scary and awesome at the same time. Mostly scary. And exciting!

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. πŸ™‚ It was legit, complete with entrance of colors and a march and speeches!


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


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.

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


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


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:


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


Quick fashion sketches using my fave pens:

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 itΒ  forces me to accept that mistakes are part of the entire learning process:

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


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:


This one has tea leaves inside:


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:


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

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! πŸ™‚

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

Artist Tribute: Danny Gregory and Robert Alejandro and their travel sketchbooks

Another new section! Each month, I’ll try to talk about artists who have inspired me and how they’ve influenced my artsycraftsy attempts and my life in general. πŸ™‚

Danny Gregory
Some years ago, I stumbled across Danny Gregory’s book in a bookstore. Flipping through it, I was entranced. It was vibrant and filled with so much creative energy and got me so inspired. I wrote down his name and researched his other books when I got home. A generous ninang learned about how much I liked his books and sent me my first Danny Gregory book, The Creative License, which I read ever so slowly, savoring all his creativity tips and luscious drawings.

His books reinforced my belief that every one of us has an interesting story to tell and how each person has an inner artist, how each one has his/her own artistic style.

Yesterday, a kindly fairy godmother sent me Danny Gregory’s memoir about love and loss, A Kiss Before You Go, which totally made my day (and made me cry in happiness a bit–Thank you again!). I have been reading about his wife Patti and their son Jack in his other books and was devastated to learn about Patti’s tragic accident. I finished reading it last night and discussed it in my book blog.

Danny Gregory amazes me with his ability to combine thought-provoking reflections and unforgettable drawings. I love his handwriting, the vibrant colors in his journal pages and his eye for detail. When I’m in a creative slump I browse through his books and become inspired and excited to start writing my own stories and experiences. His words of encouragement are life-changing for me. It would be an absolute dream to meet him someday!

Some of my favorite pages from his journals:

ImageMore of his work here.

Robert Alejandro
Kuya Robert (of Papemelroti fame) is one of my idols. I am and will always be a Papemelroti loyalist. As a kid, I religiously collected Papemelroti products. I had a folder filled with Papemelroti notepads and various paper products. I remember we had a very cool adviser who gave us personalized Papemelroti planners for Christmas, with our name in neon orange puffy paint and a personalized dedication, then she placed each one inside a handmade origami shirt bag,Β  which made us all love her more. For me, the brand represents Filipino creativity and if the brand were a person, she’d be that crafty eco-friendly tita, or our awesome adviser.

I was lucky enough to meet Kuya Robert (and fangirl shamelessly) in the awarding night of NBDB’s National Children’s Book Award. While his work was being discussed onstage, I exclaimed loudly to my seatmate that I love him and his art (and other gushy statements) and to my embarrassment, I discovered that the guy with his back turned to me a few seats away (same table, probably heard my fangirling) was Kuya Robert himself! Haha.

One of my favorite drawings of his. Look at the detail!



Check out more of his awesome sketches here.

Inspired by both artists, I have been drawing a lot more in my travel journal because I too have discovered that travel memories become more vivid when recorded on paper. I love taking photos but find that compared to photos, my travel sketches magically transport me to that specific moment and the details seem so vivid–the weather, the smell of the place, the sounds I hear in that area, my mood that day. Maybe slowing down and focusing your attention to a particular aspect of a place trains your brain to be more sensitive and all your senses to be fully engaged.

I am slowly learning how to not be too OC with getting the details correctly or the proportions right. I am teaching myself how to loosen up and not be too focused with perfection. I am doing this for myself, after all.

Using my calligraphy pen has forced me to stop being nitpicky and to embrace messiness, just record what I see, how I see it.

Some of my travel journals. That green notebook is filled with letters and ephemera from my trip to Thailand, and I gave it to my partner as part of my pasalubong package.


The only hindrance I have to drawing all day is the lack of time. I would dream of drawing but have to decide if I should do that or explore some magical new place. Of course exploration wins, and what I just do is to take a lot of photographs and then draw it before I sleep while the memory’s still fresh. My camera’s review function doesn’t work anymore though (boo), so I am planning to do super-quick sketches within a limited amount of time, say maybe 5-10 minutes, Dr. Sketchy style.

Here are some of my travel journal pages. You can deduce if I had time to sketch of if I needed to hurry by the quality of the drawings, haha. I like experimenting with various sketching materials from calligraphy pens to plain crayons. It all depends on my bag space, the temperature of the place where we’re headed and my current obsession.


My family and I will be traveling to another country next week. I used to bring just a thin notebook and a pen, and then transfer relevant ephemera to my main travel journal (a thick one that I can hardly close, heh), but for a change I plan on bringing a new blank journal this time, to inspire me to draw more and not be afraid of paper running out. (I have paper issues, haha).

Here’s what I’ll be bringing this time in my artsycraftsy travel kit. I wanted to bring more coloring items but was concerned about the weight:

– A new travel journal, decorated with washi tape in my fave shades, with a handmade lucky knot as bookmark (made by an awesome friend)

– My reliable Pentel water brush

– Washi tape, for sticking brochures, tickets and food labels to my journal

– Little watercolor pencils

– A ziploc bag for special items: unique pebbles, fallen leaves, found items)

– Cameras and film. A friend commissioned me to create a washi illustration for her in exchange for lots of yummy film, which I’ll use with my Vivitar. I love the output of Vivitar, and can’t wait to use the film she sent (which came in a protective pouch!):

Any other suggestions for what else I can bring?

Happy weekend!

Artsycraftsy bucket list weekend

An Alice-themed Dr.Sketchy Sketchmob, joining Ukulele Manila and trying sidewalk chalk art! All those items were ticked off my bucket list today, Yay!

I’ve always wanted to join in the events of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School Philippines and I was able to join them today in a sketchmob at the fort today (another item in ze list!). I got even more excited when I found out that the theme was Alice, which I loved.

While waiting, I was able to try Carmen’s Best Salted Caramel ice cream at the Echo Store (new fave tambay place!) while I did this papercut entitled “Amihan’s Dream”:


The other day I made another papercut that I called “Lyra’s Dream”. Am planning to make a series of papercuts revolving around the themes of dreaming, flights of fancy and feminism. Maybe I can make that “Have my works displayed in an art exhibit” dream come true some day soon? (Hint, hint, Universe) Haha. πŸ™‚

Met up with a friend from fashion school and we got to know the awesome people behind the event.


Free tattoo stickers!


Here’s the first pose:
Which I tried to draw using my favorite drawing tool, my calligraphy pen, and then I realized that using it to draw in less than 15? 20? minutes was more stressful than satisfying. Especially when I couldn’t erase errors and had to draw hands. I really have a hard time drawing hands. Must practice more:


Did the next drawing using a normal pencil this time:


After that I got to meet some of the great guys from Ukulele Manila. I shamelessly introduced myself to them and told them I wanted to be part of their group and they were very gracious and welcoming. (I’m now a part of their group too!). The partner and I have been jamming with my lolo’s pamana ukelele each night (that I covered with washi in this post and I can’t wait to learn more about playing it and jamming with the group. πŸ™‚
Saw beautiful lampposts at BGC:


Got to try another item from my bucket list: Sidewalk chalk art! Huzzah! The Doodle Art Enthusiasts group was there at the BGC walkway, doodling with colorful chalk and accommodating doodle requests. Was able to doodle as well, some LSPs and my merbird!
‘Twas a lovely, artsycraftsy day. ❀ Happy Sunday!