Sunday, March 1, 2015

Four Years of Bohemianism

     Ahh March is here! I love this month. I always though of it as a happy month because when I was a kid it meant that school is ending, or that I'll be graduating soon. Also it marks the beginning of the hot and dry season that's perfect for beach trips <3 .   For me it is the month of transition. The month of happy endings and beautiful beginnings. Oh did I mention that March is also my birth month? ^_^

      I started this blog in March. On the 1st day, as a matter of fact. So today is my blog's 4th anniversary which also marks the day I decided to go bohemian  and quit working 9-to-5 to become a self-employed artist.

      In retrospection I read all my March-1 posts in this blog. It didn't take long, there are only 3 posts haha, and 4 years isn't so long ago - it's too early for a success story. That is, if you equate success to becoming rich and famous. But my idea of success is being able to do what you want to do in life. Take note: it's "do", and not "have".

     What I want to do is create, create and create things and sell them away to have the money to create, create and create more things ( and pay for the bills, of course ). Well I'd say that I've been doing that - the creating part. I'm not making much money but I'd like to mention that after 4 years, I'm now just a few thousand Pesos away from breaking even. Yeah, the amount of money in my vault will be back the way it was when I started this whole thing. If you think about it, at that point nothing is gained except valuable knowledge,  experience,  suppliers, and clientele... plus stocks of blank shirts and some durable equipment hehe.

    It's like graduating from a 4-year course and it's time to move up to the next level. I need to take time to make assessments and plans. But before that, I really need a Summer break. I'm actually burned-out! Really! I have not recharged myself after the work of last year's Holidays and I hoped to relax and do some non-profitable creative stuff in January. But instead I had to work on monograms and new designs for Customized Chic. Though it does bring in cash, I feel guilty because I haven't done anything for my brand since then. ( Well not really, I did serve a few orders of shirts and portraits. )  I mean I haven't done anything significant. Like introducing a new product, or getting some business problems solved.

      Yeah there are problems but most of them are good problems and I am thankful for them. Well I continue to have many  other things to be thankful for and they certainly are not problems at all. Like you, my dear readers - all 27 of you and those who follow this blog anonymously ( I can see the stats ^_^ ). Also the 492 people  who liked the FB page, the majority of which are complete strangers hehe. Thank you so much to those who bought shirts and other items that I made. The one-time customers and those who keep coming back for more.  Many thanks also to my regular clients for my digital portraiture services. You guys keep me going! God bless you all!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Feeling Meh-eh-eh

      Don't you just love Chinese cut paper art? It's called jianzhi, by the way. Usually done on red paper but sometimes on white and then lavishly colored just like this goat design.

     So today begins the Year of the Wood Goat. The Chinese believe that the goat (or sheep) is a lucky animal because, though a farm animal, it doesn't have to do farm work and is free to roam around and look for green grass... until the owner wants mutton for dinner LOL.

   Have you read your fortune forecast for the Year of the Goat? I always read mine from and this year is another mehhh year for me. You know, though the goat and the rabbit are chums, the elements they carry are not. I'm a Wood Rabbit that's low on water and the Wood Goat also bring earth and fire but no water or metal. So I have 2 elements that consumes water and one that evaporates water. : /   
       Basically, the advice given is that I keep good reputation (as I always do)  among my friends, colleagues and relatives of the same generation as I am  - because they will really be around this year, and they can help me earn some ka-chings. So I need to have a more out-going personality to tap into these available resources.

       Having good luck actually means getting something good by chance rather than by one's own effort. And since I'm low on luck this year, according to Chinese astrologers who apparently has an interestingly time-tested system of calculating an individual's fortune, looks like I'm gonna have to sweat for the good stuff.

         Anyway, weather or not you believe in the concept of luck, I wish you, my dear readers, all the good things.  Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Hearts Day!

       If Valentines is just another commercial day, then this is what I'm selling. . .   ^_^

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"This Is Your Life - You Run The Show."

      With a little bit of effort  I was able to find again this video that I've watched late last year, shared by a friend on Facebook, which I thought is very inspiring. I was hurrying to get back to what I was doing then that I failed to note the title and director of this great work.  But thanks to Google I re-found this vid through a line that I remembered -  "...big mouths making excuses on Facebook trying to get likes but they don't even like themselves!" ^_^

     So this is one of many videos by Italian animator Raffaella Traniello, who is presently working in an elementary school and is focused on making short animation films with kids below 12 years old. You'll find in this vid, animated drawings done by children. The narrator is also a child and it's really amusing that a nine or 10-year-old is giving us grown-ups some advise on how we should think about our dreams, or how do deal with what other people think of our ambitions. Of course the lines are composed by a grown-up hehe but hey, you really can't deny that there are things about life that you can learn from a child.  Remember when you were a kid you did what makes you happy until you became concerned about what other people might think?

      Well if you're person who has given up on your dreams or at least has kept them stashed away for some time now, then this video is for you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Pope in the Philippines:
A Much Needed Visit

         I just love this photo I saw at 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.