Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Room Makeover:
Welcome to my Silid Bohemio

This project started in August 2013, beginning with the repainting of the walls and floors. It's only now, after more than 2 years, that I think it is ready to be presented to you my dear readers. ^_^

       This actually was my younger brother's room that I took for myself, four years after he got married and moved out. My original room, which is just next to this room on the second floor, is where I now keep my clothes and all my other stuff. I really think that without that extra room for storage, I couldn't possibly achieve a bedroom as neat at this.

      Realizing that I'll probably live in this house for the next 5 years or more, I might as well transform this 12 square meter space into that where a creative person like me would like to spend hours and hours in - doing work, sleeping, contemplating, daydreaming, creative procrastinating, etc...

     So now I call this room "Silid Bohemio" (silid means room in Filipino). What makes a room bohemian? The presence of art, eclecticism, or eccentricity really doesn't make it so. Actually, it's all of that minus the opulence. High on art and style, low on budget. ^_^

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Señor Angel y Señora Romana:
A Digital Restoration & Reproduction Project

   This project began last year and it was only completed last week. It really wasn't a very painstaking endeavor. It only took that long because it was often put aside LOL. But I'm glad that my client was patient about it.

   The two charcoal portraits are from an ancestral house in Batangas. They are husband and wife from the 1800's. But I'm not really sure if the original portraits were made in that era. It may have been done after the turn of the century.

   My client first gave me Señora Romana's portrait. You can see above how the artwork has deteriorated over the centuries. The wood oval frame is made of planks that are screwed together and the joints are already split. It has a nice bubble (convex) glass that is rarely produced today.

   If you think Señora Romana's portrait was badly damaged, Señor Angel's is even worse. It got ripped and they've tried to fix it with clear tape -  that turned brown after decades. His wooden frame is already broken but they were able to keep the  bubble glass. The two portraits, for some reason, were separated for many many years. Romana's stayed in the ancestral house while Angel's was brought to a house in Parañaque City.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Five Years of Bohemianism

    I just realize that, the blog and business, is already 5 years old. It was on the first day of March, 2011, that I decided to go freelancing as a graphic artist, created this blog, and started a small business of retailing printed t-shirts that I designed.

   Five years sounds like a long enough time to expect some improvement. So how's everything?

   Well I'm glad that I still find the time to write for my blog. I had envisioned that it will someday become a website where you will mostly read about the Filipino artistic culture. But today it remains a personal online journal where I share my journey to my creative and business goals. I'm pretty much cool about it, really.

   You know, the last time I printed shirts was November last year and I stopped accepting orders since then. Don't worry, my dear readers, I didn't quit. Let's just say I took a little break from printing. I plan to change the type of inks that I use. It's the type that doesn't dry easily and clog my screens. The El Niño phenomenon has been going on since last year, and I found myself scrubbing my screens longer that I should between prints. So switching to aquasol inks will solve that problem. But that requires me to purchase a heat press machine to cure the prints. Yeah, that means I'll be shelling out blue Peso bills again hehe. Anyway, as soon as I get a heat press machine and new set of inks, I'll be back to start printing stocks and maybe produce new designs on the side.

   My digital portraiture services still has no official website and I have not been marketing it. So that business is as stagnant as a puddle. There were no new clients. However, for a previous client, I have just completed a digital restoration and reproduction project of a pair of ancestral portraits from the 1800's. Will tell you more about it in another post. ^_^

    So lately I feel more like just another freelancing graphic artist than an "artrepreneur". I have a pending company profile folder for a printing business owned by a friend's family. Also I continuously work on monogrammed items for Customized Chic which has become the bread-and-butter for the past months. It really should be the other way around - I should work for Buhay Bohemio full time and everything else should be on the side.

    I have to admit that I'm a little lost. They say that it's okay to be lost sometimes as long as you know exactly where you want to go. How to get there has always been the question and it's a kind that has an entourage of subsequent questions.

   But I believe that things will fall into place. We gravitate towards what we really want the most, right? So I'm just gonna keep on moving... and learning! ^_^

Friday, February 26, 2016

El Bohemio at the
Art Fair Philippines 2016 Show

   I remember attending the very first Art Fair Philippines show in 2013 and I really enjoyed it. But I failed to see the 2014 and 2015 show. I was either too busy or just missed their posts on Facebook. I keep forgeting that it happens every February!  Fortunately, despite the not-so-often times I browse my FB news feed, I came across an ad of this year's show.

    So Art Fair Philippines 2016 took place on the 18th to 21st of this month at the same venue of all their previous shows - The Link carpark building in Ayala Center, Makati. This year they occupied 3 floors. That's pretty enough space to showcase contemporary works by  artists not just from all over the Philippines but also a few from Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Spain.

     I went there last Saturday and I was a bit taken aback when I saw this many people at the show. Like a mall on sale. But then I realized that this could only mean that more Pinoys are becoming appreciative of art and that is a good thing. The entrance fee was only Php 150, by the way. It's free if you have a BPI gold or platinum credit card. So kudos to the people of Art Fair Philippines for making their shows accessible also to the  bohemian and the bourgeoisie LOL.
    Anyway, I took about a hundred photos in the show and I'm going to share a few favorites in this post. Yeah just a few. Otherwise, this will be an awfully long post hehe because there is just soo many remarkable pieces there I wanna talk about. But if you want to be spared of my blah-blahs  you can view all photos in this link. ^_^

     The very first artwork that I saw happens to be done by one of my favorite artists in sculpture and instalation art. Gabriel Barredo is just awesome!

  I'd vote for this gallery for best in presentation. As if stepping inside a dark old church, you'll hear monks chanting and an eerie sound of a bell. Instead of rebultos, you will find these rather deviant works of Daniel dela Cruz.

    I surely wasn't the only one who asked about the artist behind this work. This pair seem to have an appeal to the youth. Reminds you of impressive graffiti you find down the street. Art by Bryan Yabut.

Monday, February 8, 2016

And The Monkey Swings In

      This simple and very charming monkey painting is by Chinese artist Li Yan (b. 1949). The original 46 x 66 cm artwork is available for auction. Visit the China Guardian and ArtNet websites to discover more beautiful works by Li Yan.

    So, today is the first day of the year according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. But it's actually already the 5th day of the Red Monkey Year. Yeah, there's a difference hehe. Have you guys read about your fortune for 2016? Every year I read about mine at by Master Tsai.

    Well am certainly glad to read about encouraging things about the year of the Fire Monkey for the Wood Rabbit (my sign), even if Monkey is not as an auspicious sign compared to Horse, Dragon, and Tiger. Last year my fortune in the year of the Goat was just meh-eh-eh.

    But this year they say it's gonna be a good one for me. Not excellent but good at least hehe. According to Chinese astrology, Rabbit and Monkey are compatible signs. Not just in love relationships but also in business relationships. The Rabbit's creativity in making products combined with Monkey's clever marketing skills make an awesome combo. Monkey makes Rabbit famous which brings money to both of them.

   Learning this, I now have a new motto:  "Monkey business is bad but business with monkey is good."  LOL Anyone out there born in the Monkey Year?!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!