Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Pope in the Philippines:
A Much Needed Visit

         I just love this photo I saw at rollingstones.com by Stefano Spaziani. A seated Pope Francis slouched in prayer or contemplation, in a dimly lit room inside the Vatican. Quite a dramatic shot. We don't usually see him like this in photos that we find on the web. Especially those taken a few days ago when he was here in the Philippines. We had been seeing a cheerful Pope with a charming smile that can light up a dreary room, or bring the warmth of sunshine in a stormy day in Tacloban.

        Well at least 6 or 7 million Filipinos experienced the power of his presence. I, however, only witnessed everything through an old TV screen. Being a not-so-devout Catholic I was not moved to go out there and see him in person. But I did watch him, in avid curiosity,  from the moment he stepped out of the door of the Sri Lankan plane, to the time he looked back and waved to the Filipinos for the last time before entering the plane that brought him back to Rome. There goes Saint Peter's successor, I thought. The 265th successor, as a matter of fact.

        Speaking of facts, the Philippines rank 3rd on having the most Catholics (Brazil 1st, Mexico 2nd). It is then no surprise that his Sunday Mass in Luneta can conjure a crowd exceeding that of an EDSA Revolution. We have not seen a Pinoy multitude of this size for years, you know, and I feel that an event like this is something that we actually needed. Because I couldn't think of any other leader living today who by his example and words can inspire hope in a country that has long been battered by disasters both natural and man-made. Corruption, injustice and apathy - these are the silent man-made disasters with an aftermath that can last for years and years. Now I could only pray that the Pontiff's message of compassion has the same staying power in the hearts of all Filipinos.

       "Pray for me", we often hear this simple request from him.  I seem to hear him saying so in my head with an Italian accent, as I look at the photo above.  We usually ask friends and loved ones to pray for us when we're troubled or in need of something that only God can bestow. Perhaps the Pontiff too is in need of something. Of course he is. After all he is one of us - human, and to be the head of the largest and one of the oldest religious institutions certainly is no easy task. Imagine the torment of not knowing what to say to a child who asked why God allows them to suffer. Though not knowing the answer, he shares their pain. Imagine the weight he carries on his shoulders and in his heart. So, yes I will indeed pray for this man.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

         It is said that whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New Year will bring new opportunities.*

      If so, then I wish strong arms for everybody in 2015 to wrestle those challenges and grab those opportunities real tight!

* Michael Josephson, whatwillmatter.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year-End Shirt Orders

    Well the year is almost over and I'm  glad the deliveries of December have all been done. I was still able to enjoy Christmas with family and close friends, and it looks like I'll also be celebrating a stress-free New Year's Eve.

      I'd say that this year's holiday season is busier than of the past 3 years. Mainly because I have monogram projects now, aside from the usual digital paintings and shirts.

       Do you know how many BuhayBohemio Shirts I've sold this holiday season? Only 12 LOL. These are for a friend who's also a regular customer. Ordered in mid November but I only got to deliver them 3 days before Christmas. Because I was so busy working on monograms for Customized Chic, I didn't have the time to market my shirts. Well I thought I couldn't accommodate shirt orders anyway. At that time portrait orders are waiting to be done.

        I usually don't accept orders of customized screen-printed shirts nowadays especially if the quantity is too few to outsource. But I just couldn't decline this one by our neighbor who runs a small barbecue business -  because their family has been really nice to us! Luckily it's just 20 pieces with a single-color print. She ordered them in November but I only got work on them  21st of December. I remember printing these shirts on the daytime then work on portraits at night until 2 AM!

       And the last order of shirts for 2014 are these 199Jobs shirts for my friend Fitz. Ordered 2 days before the delivery date. Well it's no sweat because it's just 7 pieces and the stencil is on standby and ready to use. This is actually the 3rd batch of 199Jobs shirt prints. The first 2 batches were printed September and December last year. By the way, are you a freelancer too? Check out 199jobs.com. There might be a service you can offer for Php 199.

       Well that sums up all the work done this holiday season of 2014. I still have pending portrait and t-shirt orders for January, and also a few marketing images for Customized Chic. Maybe I'll take my time off from working by mid January and do creative non-profitable stuff for a month! ^_^

Monday, December 29, 2014

Portrait Projects of Holiday 2014

      After Customized Chic made a cut-off for holiday orders, on the first week of December, I finally got to concentrate on making these digital portraits. I meant "concentrate" as having most of my waking time spent on these images. I still had to work on a few monogrammed stamps and trays and even printed shirts on the side. 

    Yeah, this has got to be my most hectic holiday ever. Deadlines were tight so I went cramming! Eight of the portraits must  be delivered before Christmas Eve so I had to brave Manila's pre-Christmas traffic to have them printed and delivered on the 23rd. There was no time left for contingency. Despite the circumstance of wrong print sizes and unavailability of the preferred matte canvas, I was able to deliver the goods right on schedule.

       So anyway, I made a total of 16 artworks and most are family portraits - that's 89 faces all in all. (I still have a couple of portraits pending for January.) A few of the portraits were ordered with frame and it really gives me such delight to see my work as a finished product. Very inspiring! I really wish I could start working on a new official website for this creative service of mine.

       If you want to have a closer look at the portraits, click on the images below  ^_^