Saturday, December 6, 2014

Monogrammed Gifts by Customized Chic

     How fast time flies! You probably hear that line a lot when December steps in. And it feels even faster than it really is when you're busy. I bet everybody's busy this month. Especially my fellow freelancing artists out there. The closer the holidays come, the busier we get. That's something I learned to accept after 3 years of being self-employed.

   So what has been keeping me busy since mid September that I had to put some stuff for Buhay Bohemio aside? Well it's these monogrammed items for Customized Chic.


        One of my best clients on digital portrait paintings, Madam Yssa,  is very much into personalizing things for her home and one day, obviously not so long ago, decided to make a business out of it. She started with these really sleek acrylic trays with engraved monograms.

     I designed  14 graphic trays, based on the motifs she has chosen for her Prima Collecione. Like this Greek tray (top) and this other one we call Willow (above). Nice huh? Imagine your initials on them. The trays are available in 6 sizes.

        She also has hinged acrylic boxes available that can either have a print or an engraving.

     Recently she added throw pillows with embroidered monograms to her product line. We'll be working on pillows with vinyl monogram prints soon.

       Her latest product is the custom self-inking monogram stamp. You can personalize your stationery in an instant with these things!

      So yeah,  I am the artist behind every monogram on her products. My collection of fonts in my PC was certainly put into use. Designing her items was so reminiscent of my employment years in export companies where I designed housewares and decor.

     Really I was almost like her employee for 2 months! Like an artist-on-call, I was confined  to my PC, waiting for her instructions, submitting product studies and marketing images to her via email. That of course went on when she started accepting orders. She had fairly a lot of orders for starters, and it was all monograms for me for days and days. I'm beginning to dream of the alphabet in my sleep.

      She promised to herself that she'll  stop accepting orders for the holidays by November 22nd because she's also aware that I also have my own brand to attend to. But there are still a few follow-up orders that she just can't refuse hehe. Well at least the load is not as hectic as the weeks before. Now I could get back to my pending t-shirt and digital portrait orders.

      You know, in the local scene, there are a lot of personalize-it shops out there, but very few specializing on monogrammed items. So far she's the only one who offers monogrammed graphic acrylic trays and embroidered pillows. She's getting a lot of positive feedback and I'm really glad I was able to help a client with her business start-up.

      Customized Chic doesn't have an official website yet but do check out the products on Facebook by following  this link.  ^_^  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New BuhayBohemio Shirts:
Symbols of Protection and Peace

       These are the two last designs for 2014. I'm supposed to make 3 but I changed my mind about the other one, even after the film was already printed.  The stencil for these two designs has been ready since October but it's only now that I get to launch them on the online catalog and this blog. As usual, there has been delays but they are what I call "good delays". In coming posts maybe I'll talk about what had me putting aside some tasks that's 

         Anyway this is my Hamsa T-Shirt. Yup, I already have aqua blue shirts in my stock and I'll make some old designs available in this color too for you boys and girls.

        So what is a hamsa? It's an ancient symbol of Middle Eastern origin that is recognized in 3 religions. In Islam it is known as the Hand of Fatima, commemorating Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra. Jews refer to it as the Hand of Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron. Levantine Christians call it the Hand of Mary, the Virgin.

       The hamsa is commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. It is a sign of protection and also represents blessings, power and strength. It is also seen as a potent deflector of the evil eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death or just any kind of bad luck. 

         Well this symbol does feel like a pretty potent design because it seem to work with all my available shirt colors. I currently have eleven but I will make this design basically available in black, white, brown, purple, pink, yellow and my new aqua blue.

       Unlike the hamsa, this symbol didn't come from ancient times. This widely used peace symbol was originally created in 1958 for the British anti nuke war movement by professional designer and artist Gerald Holtom. The symbol is a combination of 2 flag semaphore signals for N and D which stands for nuclear disarmament.

           I originally had reggae colors in mind when I designed my tank top (above) which I will simply call Rasta Peace. I really like how it turned out. Too bad I ran out of black tank tops and so does my supplier! But interestingly, the design can also produce these two other color styles on shirts:
        Hippie Peace T-Shirt, available in pink and purple shirts for men and ladies.

       No-2-War T-shirt, available for men and ladies, only in white.

     Well I guess I'll just be printing shirts alongside other projects for the remaining days of the year. So much for the plan to sell shirts in holiday bazaars. But if I get to do so next year, I most likely will have around 40 designs available. O_o

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Manila Art 2014: Crossing Borders

     Well I'm certainly glad that despite my busy schedule I found the time to visit  Manila Art 2014, that was held October 16th to 19th at SMX Aura, Global City. And after 18 days I finally got the chance to blog about it, squeezing this between graphic projects.

      Anyway, this is my third visit to a Manila Art fair and they are on their 6th year in promoting the best of our country's creative artistry. I took a lot of pictures and I'm sharing here a few of my favorites. Click on the TV screenshots for a closer look.

         The first artwork that I snapshot is this one by Reyber Ramos entitled "Versus". Acrylic and graphite on canvas. Just as cool as his works that I saw 2 years ago, of a dude with a doberman head and another with a rottweiler.

          Cute, huh? Sanrio meets Rock. "The Kiss of Kitty" by Onard Bancaya. Metalic pen and vinyl.

      One of the galleries featured these small works or various medium.  A wall full of small paintings could be equally as interesting as a wall with few large paintings. I should develop a habit of making small 2D artworks in random - as if I have the time!

      This balancing sculpture is made of painted steel. The blue part spins. "Wings of the City" by Gil Corcuerra.

       The superb detail of this painting can never go unnoticed. "Apat na Sugo" (Four Messengers), acrylic on canvas by Eros Basilio.

     Does this look like Hell? Naked men wrestling in the mud, others trying to climb a cyclone wire fence. Sounds like heaven to some people I know. LOL. "On Earth", a large oil painting by Orley Ypon.

          I have a fascination for skull-themed art. It must be the dark side of me. "Retaliate" by Tyago Almario.

       Somebody has made something pretty (and prickly) from toothpicks. I bet this will look good as a lamp.

     If making fine art from regular stuff is awesome, making fine art from trash is twice the awesomeness. This is made of scrap metal by Sam Penaso.

     A pair of Maranao inspired sculptures. Of all ethnic groups in the Philippines I find  Maranao aesthetics as the most elegant.

      The work of a true master: "The Triumph of Life Over Death" by Romulo Galicano, depicts a scene in the aftermath of Yolanda, the storm that caused great damage in Eastern Visayas last year. 

     Looks like somebody has been toying with the image of Santo NiƱo. Well if medieval Christians can depict the child Jesus as an earthly king, why can't we depict him as a superhero? After all Christ is indeed the one true superhero.

     Contemporary interpretations of classical art has always gotten my attention and I really love this work by Christian Tamondong. It's the Birth of Venus and Raggedy Anne mash up LOL. The Painting version is just as lovely.

       "The Cat and the Owl" by Tom Jopson. I simply love this painting because it shows two  of my favorite familiars, I mean, creatures hehe. Does anyone recall the 1871 nonsense poem by Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat" where the two creatures got married and danced hand-in-hand on the sand in the moonlight?

       Darna meets Wonder Woman in this remarkable work by Lhee Taneo entitled "White Brown Pillage". If you've seen shell craft, this is fine shell art. Yup, this is a mosaic made of little shells.

      I took a lot of pictures than I did last year and the year before that. I guess that's an indication that Manila Art is showing more and more quality art each year. I have a total of 101 photos to share to you, if you missed the show. Click on the screenshot above and enjoy! ^_^

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My DIY Paper Tags

       My BuhayBohemio Shirts now has paper tags and they are home-made hehe. There is also a printed label inside the back of the shirts near the collar. I had been meaning to put these branding materials to make my shirts, well, look more presentable as a product. So after months of thinking (and procrastinating), I finally came up with a simple and stylish paper tag that I don't have to spend much money or time on.

        The tags are made of brown board and stamps. I got the boards in Divisoria and it's only less than Php 14 per 3 x 4 ft sheet (minimum of 10 sheets). I also had 4 stamps made  for less than Php 300 each. The rubber stamp is cut by a computer aided machine so any intricate design can be made into a stamp real quick!

       Also I bought 3 stamp pads of different colors for Php 96 each, a 3-mm hole puncher for Php 75, a tagging gun for Php Php 160, and box of plastic tag strings for Php 80. All in all, my supplies that cost Php 1,900 can yield around 2,000 paper tags. That same amount can only give me around 500 tags if I have them printed.

       Of course I don't need to make 2,000 tags all at once. I made 100 in less than 30 minutes (thanks to the handy paper guillotine here at home). Stamping the tags is the fun part. The fulfilling part is putting the tag on the shirts hehe.  With all these boards I can make tags and packaging for my other products. I'll let my creative (and meandering) mind take care of that.

       What's next? Paper bags. ^_^