What I’ve been up to: March 2016

This has been a beautiful, art-filled month! I was able to visit Yuchengco museum for the trade fair for women’s month and we were lucky enough to access the museum that day for free!

I’ve been so inspired by frannerd’s ‘Draw Outside’ series, so I tried drawing a fave Amorsolo painting too:

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Here are my other favorite artworks. To know who made each, check out my instagram: @mabuhaydiy 🙂

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My greatest purchase involves this midori traveler’s notebook insert. Still saving up for the cover, but for now, this works well for me. I personalized it with washi tape and a unicorn sticker:

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I love the page size, which is challenging but also manageable for making art, and how I can use both sides of the paper, how it’s sturdy enough. My eyes are happy with seeing all the beautiful inspiring pages using the hashtag #travelersnotebook in instagram. 

Here are some pages I made:

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My passion for stickers have been rekindled by this journal obsession. I’ve been making these handpainted stickers for a long time but seeing planner layouts made me interested again in making various ones. I made summery neon ones:

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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:

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…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:

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I did practice my pencil skills with this:

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Artsycraftsy shenanigans, post-Easter edition

Met up with the crafty ladies for a craft tambay (we bought our fave tools!) and a mini-TWYK (Teach What You Know) sesh. Made some easter cards for them using the crayon-resist method and washi tape:

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Also! I bought a new Speedball cutter and I’m sort of in love with it. Thanks, Aya! So much in love that I hand-carved a few stamps within a few days:ImageImage

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Also tried linocutting! It was fun, but I was used to the soft erasers so it was a bit more challenging. I shall practice some more!: Here’s my first attempt, burnished using a negative canister;
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Tippy taught me some watercolor techniques that I used in some watercolored paintings,

The day my hair became the sun:
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For a friend’s birthday, she requested that I paint her a cake–I made her this cupcake, which is salted caramel, with strawberry orange buttercream icing and cherries:
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Do you paint while traveling? I discovered that I like it, my waterbrush making it easier and super fun. I used my Prang set here and painted the Baler mountain view from memory, while we were on our way home. Also used some crayons for the crayon-resist effect:

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I love sunsets and how it makes the world golden:

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With the lovely crafty ladies:
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Had a great time, girls! Sa uulitin!

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. 🙂

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:
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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,  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!

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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.

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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.

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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:
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– 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!

Sketchbook adventures

Whenever we travel somewhere, I always make sure I bring my travel sketchbook so I could easily trap memories there. I read somewhere (I think from one of Danny Gregory’s books) that you could really remember nearly everything about a certain place if you drew it, and from my experience, it’s true. Scents, sounds, and other details come rushing back when I look at previous sketches, no matter how hastily drawn they were.

Thought I’d share with you some pages from my recent sketchbook. I promised myself that I’d do more creating, drawing and sharing for 2013.

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Do you keep a travel sketchbook too? Do share!

Beach painting

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We went to Laiya last Christmas and I got to finally do one of my artsy fantasies: Paint near the shore. I brought my trusty Pentel waterbrush and attempted to paint what was in front of me at that time, which was Mt. Hugom, I think. I also picked up the corals nearest me and drew them. When the sun became too hot I stayed near the pool and used my calligraphy pen to do a quick drawing of the cottages. I like that when I look at them all the happy sunny memories come rushing back.

 

Do you keep a travel sketchbook too?