Saturday, December 31, 2011

Collecting Every Token
of Twenty-Eleven

It's the last day of the year, and before I take another ride on this old planet to another trip around the sun, I'm gonna take a moment and put a milestone on an important year in my life.

It is in 2011 that I found the strength, to follow my heart, to do what I love.

It is in this year that I found tha courage to face the risks, the sacrifices that I have to make for the life I want to live.

This is the year I embraced bohemianism. I've learned how little I have and yet how blessed I am.

This is the year I created this blog Buhay Bohemio.

This is the year I put into practice what I've learned in the screenprinting classes I took last year.

This is the year I started my first business, Blogger Shirts, with my first business partner and friend Fitz who is a great source of advice, motivation, ideas and opportunities.

This is the year that I've learned that I have many supportive friends and family. They've become my first clients and customers and I am thankful of them.

This is the year I learned how to make digital paintings on a software I've been using since 2001. I'm glad to have developed a skill that not every post-processing artist can do.

This is the year I created two online stores, and the opening of which is something I look forward to early this year.

There are so much else to count upon in 2012, like here in this blog, I hope you will see more expressions of talent from the author himself.

So, see you in 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

1920's Jazz-Pop Music
by Annette Hanshaw

I still have the Sita Sings The Blues fever so I'm gonna share some music by Annette Hanshaw. Enjoy listening. That's all... ^_^

Sita Sings the Blues
by Nina Paley

Remember the dancing statues video I shared a month ago? That video introduced me to the American animator Nina Paley and I've learned about another brilliant work of hers, the 1 hour and 21 minute animated film, Sita Sings The Blues, produced in 2008. She wrote, directed, produced and animated the multi-awarded film herself. Due to copyright issues the film was released for free download in March 2009 . Read all about it here.

I downloaded a torrent from the official website and watched it from my laptop connected with big speakers. The film is musical and I wanted to hear every single word and instrument in there.

It is actually based on the Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita, "the greatest break-up story ever told".

Here's a trailer from Youtube (the entire film is also available on Youtube).

The film used four different animation styles to separate parallel narratives. I love those traditional Indian shadow puppet narrators talking casually about the Ramayana, also the stiff animation that resembles 18th century Indian paintings, and the cartoon style where Sita appears to be the Bollywood version of Betty Boop singing to 1920's jazz music. Actually, they are songs performed by Annette Hanshaw, a popular singer of that time. I think I'm gonna download some of her music from this film.

It's really amazing how one artwork leads you to an artist, that leads you to other artists and their works.

Anyways, if you're also a fan of traditional Indian art and culture, you'll surely love this film. ^_^

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bohemian Manifesto
by Laren Stover

Searching about bohemianism a month ago, I came across the website of a book by Laren Stover published in 2004. I browsed through the website and find Bohemian Manifestso quite interesting so I went to Power Books and National Bookstore to see if they have it. They don't. Well it was, after all, first published 7 years ago.

But yesterday I was at Fully Booked at Global City, Taguig, and lo and behold, there it was. Two copies on a shelf at the fashion section. I read a few chapters and I like the one that talks about the different types bohemians. Stover classified bohemians into 5. "There are many crossovers and hybrids," said the author, "The bohemian by nature is not easily classified like species of birds".

So there's the Nouveau Bohemian (the ones with money), the Gypsy Bohemian (the expatriate type), the Beat Bohemian (the most deviant of bohemians), the Zen Bohemian (very much into spirituality), and the Dandy Bohemian (the polished ones even in tattered clothing). I think I'm 50% Dandy, 30% Zen and 20% Beat. Hehe.

I also love the illustrations by Izak Zenou. I wish the hard-bound book was filled with those cool watercolor illustrations, as I am more into visual art. If it did, I might have bought a copy. It's around Php 850. It looks like my own bohemianism has prevented me to buy a book about bohemianism. "Not now", says the voice of frugality. Hmm time to look for an ebook. ^_^

Friday, December 23, 2011

My All-time Favorite
Christmas Song

Two days to go and it's Christmas. Just wanna share this favorite Christmas song by Dave Mathews. I love it so much that I play it even it's not Christmas season. The melody doesn't sound so "christmasy". You won't here sleigh bells, words like "halleluiah" or "presents under the Christmas tree". It simply is about the life of Jesus and his love for mankind, written in a casual manner. Enjoy!

Christmas Song

She was his girl, he was her boyfriend
She'd be his wife and make him her husband
A surprise on the way, any day, any day
One healthy little giggling dribbling baby boy
The wise men came, three made their way
To shower him with love while he lay in the hay
Shower him with love,
Love was all around.

Not very much of his childhood was known
Kept his mother Mary worried, always out on his own
He met another Mary who for a reasonable fee,
Less than reputable was known to be.
His heart full of love,
Love was all around.

When Jesus Christ was nailed to his tree
Said "Oh, Daddy, Oh I can see how it all soon will be
I came to shed a little light on this darkening scene
Instead I fear I've spilled
The blood of our children all around."

So I'm told, so the story goes, the people he knew
Were less than goldenhearted
Gamblers and robbers, drinkers and jokers,
All soul searchers
like you and me.

Rumors insisted he soon would be,
For his deviations, taken into custody
By the authorities less informed than he.
Drinkers and jokers all soul searchers
Searching for love,
Love was all around.

Preparations were made for his celebration day
He said "eat this bread and think of it as me
Drink this wine and dream it will be
The blood of our children all around"

Father up above, why in all this anger
Do you fill me up with love,
Love was all around
Father up above, why in all this hatred
Do you fill me up with love
Fill me love
And the blood of our children's all around.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Heart-warming Chritsmas Carols

    The feeling is just different when you listen to Christmas tunes performed by a full orchestra. I dunno, when it's performed in another genre, like pop, blues, or rock, I just don't feel the Christmas Spirit. I'm sure you know what I mean. I guess classical music is best when it comes to old Christmas songs.

     Here's a Christmas album by the London Symphony Orchestra from 2004. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Help CDO and Iligan - Start Texting

It's gonna be a different Christmas for the many people who lost homes and loved ones by the typhoon that struck Cagayan De Oro, Iligan and other parts of Northern Mindanao last Saturday, December 17, 2011.

Christmas is the season for giving. So let us take this chance to help our fellow Filipinos in distress. Thanks to Globe and Smart we can send our donations to the Philippine Red Cross through text.

Truly, we don't need to be millionaires to reach out to people in need. To learn of other ways to donate to the typhoon victims in Northern Mindanao click here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Neil Gaiman's "Nicolas Was..."

Six days to Christmas... Here's a creepily interesting poem about Santa Claus by Neil Gaiman, video by 39 Degrees North.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Most Strenuous Shirt Printing Project

Here's this month's 2nd project and It look's like it's gonna be the last project of the year. Fitz, my business partner in BloggerShirts got us this project from a facebook group of Filipino freelancers. When he showed me the design it made me nervous because it involves the 4 colors of the Philippine flag and there's print on the front and back of the shirt. It made me even more nervous when he gave me the go signal to prepare for the printing of around 30 shirts. There's no backing out now.
I did not design this shirt but I proudly wear it because its the first 4-color 2-sided shirt that I've printed.

It's a good thing though that the production is by batch. I completed the first 10 shirts today after 3 days. It was really tedious work. I haven't done the math on how long it takes to finish one shirt, but one shirt has to be passed 7 times. The white letters that spells "pino" has a red outline and printing them with precision slows me down because my simple printing table still needs some eye-and-hand coordination (and I confess there were imperfections - well, tolerable ones). Plus the fact that I'm the only one printing and there's only one printing table, made this project really exhausting. And also, I didn't design this shirt and that took the fun and the passion away.

But in fairness, this project is something to learn from. While printing the first batch I saw problems, found ways to fix them, and figured how to prevent them on the next project (sadly, not on this project). I'm thinking of getting an assistant here in the neighborhood to do the washing of screens and squeegees. I also thought of having a long printing table made. One that accommodates 3 to 5 pallets at a time. I might not accept projects as tedious as this without that.

Well this project does bring the money. Shirts with this many colors and 2-sided prints cost more. But I can't help but think of the other projects I turned down because of this. It is possible that all 3 of them combined can equal this current project in terms of profit minus the tediousness. But I don't want to do the math. I still have the next batch to worry about.

It's 10 days before Christmas. The money's here but will I find the time to shop for gifts? Oh my, oh my!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I hoped for projects this month and here's the first. My friend Greg, who teaches English to Korean kids, wanted to give shirts to his teammates as Christmas presents.

Similar to BloggerShirt's blogosphere design, his shirts instead have the names of his colleagues, some Korean words and others office words in metallic silver ink. He ordered 12 shirts. Making them was a breeze.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Bohemian Diet:
Kuya's Lumpiang Sariwa

What is the bohemian diet? Well if it's delicious, healthy and affordable. Such as my current favorite food-court item - Kuya's special lumpiang sariwa.

What makes this fresh vegetable spring roll so special? I must say that their sauce is quite unique. Aside from the basic ingredients (carrots, heart-of-palm, lettuce and thin wrapper made of flour and egg), the generous serving of ground peanuts, the crispy something that looks like fried vermicelli noodles and a special seasoning brings this lumpiang sariwa to a higher level. All that healthy goodness for only Php45.

What's also interesting is their packaging. At the side of the box you will find a verse in the Bible about how a diet of vegetables is good for you.

"Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink... At the end of ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. " (Daniel 1:12-15)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December has Descended

And so December has landed. The month when everybody's excited about the coming holidays. Well I'm not as excited. Since I've just became self-employed, this will be my first December with no 13th month pay. But who knows? Maybe I'll have more projects this month. I'll sure be needing the money to buy presents. If not, I will have to be extra creative to make Christmas gifts.

It has been 9 months since I left my all-expense-paid comfort zone. Now I'm already feeling the downside of bohemianism. Yet I need to maintain this frugality to preserve the funds to buy blank shirts for my own online store, and frames for my digital portraits and painting business. I spent November making a portfolio, building the websites, searching for suppliers, designing my first collection of shirts, and of course, printing orders of BloggerShirts.

It is really tough starting an online business from scratch - so many things to put together! I intend that the websites be launched by January 2012. Everything must be ready by then - the supplies and the order processing system. Yeah, I will need to do a lot of online marketing once I cut the ribbons. I'm actually excited about promoting the business, knowing that they will see a nicely designed website with cool items and services that are quite affordable.

Well I guess I just need to keep working on this stuff while we all look forward to the Christmas season. ^_^

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

5 Things I Miss

I browsed through folders in my old PC and found old image files. Some are as old as 9 years. I couldn't help but reminisce the good old days. Here are 5 things I miss the most.

1. riding out of town on a big bike

Me and the black Honda CB1 I use to own have gone a long way. I miss the group rides to Tagaytay, to Infanta and Tayabas in Quezon, to Batangas, Bulacan, Tarlac, Subic and Baguio. I miss the breathtaking landscapes that you'll see on the way to these places. I miss the wind hitting my chest as I ride along NLEX, SLEX and the Star Tollway and the freedom that it made me feel.

2. wu-shu and my straight sword routine

I took wu-shu lessons from mid 2004 to early 2007 at GymPlus at the Starmall here in Muntinlupa city. Finding wu-shu classes in my city isn't easy. If one wants to pursue this form of martial art he has to go to Binondo or Sta. Cruz in Manila. I stopped because the classes at Starmall got dissolved. I guess wu-shu isn't popular here and my schedule didn't permit me to take classes in Manila. In 2 years I only get to learn straight-sword routines and I hoped to learn other weapons like the broad sword and the staff. Wu-shu was my only cardio exercise and I got fat a few years after I stopped (like 190 lbs). Good thing I was able to manage my weight problem last year. Anyways, I still have my swords and I still know the moves. Maybe I'll make a video of my sword routine someday while this aging body is still capable of it.

3. scuba diving in Anilao

A biker friend of mine who's also a dive instructor got me into diving. We rode to Batangas with other biker buddies and had an into-dive in Anilao. After seeing the beauty of marine life in person, I took diving lessons in 2007 to become an open water diver (under PADI). I really miss the underwater-scapes of Anilao. I never dove anywhere else, actually. Anilao has 24 diving sites and I think I've only been to four. I wish I could watch marine life again in their natural habitat. I'm a Piscean and water is my element. I love being underwater - it's a completely different world that I so miss.

4. the romantic city of Venice

Back in 2002, when I worked as a jewelry designer, my boss brought me to Italy when our company joined the Vicenza Oro jewelry trade fair. After the fair we toured Venice and I instantly fell in love with the old city. Who wouldn't? Now I could only imagine being there marveling its architecture, the old churches, stone pavements, narrow passages, town squares, bridges big and small, the Grand Canal, also the gondolas, the mask shops and cafes, the street performers, and the pigeons at San Marco. *sigh*

5. my cactus collection

I always have been fascinated by these prickly petite plants. I started collecting small varieties in 1998 but I only get to collect 11 varieties (lame!) Now, because of neglect and the unideal climate here in the city, I only have 3 kinds left - the hardy and proliferating kinds of course.

It seems that I was more carefree back then. Going places and trying stuff and enjoying life. Well before, I did have the money and the time, then free time started to shrink . Now I have more time but less money because of my "quest" hehe. Yeah, I left my comfort zone and now I'm in the journey to the life that I want, a creative life and making a living out of it. So for the meantime, I will have to put the expensive leisure activities aside. But of course, in the pursuit of the life that we want for ourselves, we must not forget to live, to enjoy life the way it is now. Life's little pleasures are always around us and most of them don't cost much.

Maybe I'll get back to those 5 things I mentioned above someday soon. Hmm well except for Venice. If things turned out well maybe I'll visit it again when I retire. =P

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Amelie Felice!

I went to my niece's 1st birthday party yesterday. She's my second niece - my sister's first baby. My sister asked me to design this photo-booth image template along with a banner for the party. I enjoyed designing them because it's not the usual theme that the typical mom would ask for. She wanted the vintage Paris look.

That's my sister Jeth(1), his hubby Jigger(2), their daughter Amelie(3), my brother Mark(4), his wife Erlaine(5), my shy niece Kelsea(6), my cousin Emer(7), myself(8) and my very best friend Avee(9).

My wish for Amelie is that she grows up as talented as I am heehee!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nina Paley's Dancing Statues

I enjoyed watching this video by Nina Paley. She animated the pictures of statues (taken from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) and made them look like they're doing a production number. I love the music too!

Nina Paley is an American cartoonist and an activist of free culture, a social movement that promotes the freedom to distribute and modify creative works in the form of free content by using the internet and other media.

The very title of this video, "All Creative Work Is Derivative" reflects her conviction against over-restrictive copyright laws. "Copying," she says, "is the engine of cultural progress. It is not stealing."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New BloggerShirt Design
for November

Here's our new design for November, by the way. It's our first shirt with Tagalog words. It's also, I think, our first humor shirt. Hmm maybe not. Our "Caution" shirt has a bit of humor.

Anyways for my readers who speak no Tagalog, it says something like, "When a blogger has nothing left to spend, on blog contests he will depend." ^_^

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Playing Back The Good Old Stuff

Did a little cleaning today and saw my old music CD collection had collected some dust. I thought that it's a perfect day to listen to music that I haven't heard for a long time. Of course not all the songs in every single CD was ripped into my portable devices. It's a good thing that my old stereo is still working.

Listening to them brings me back to the 90's - the pre-MP3 player days. Today I listened to songs by Sheryl Crow, Bjork, Tori Amos, Third Eye Blind, The B52's, The Mamas and the Papas, 10,000 Maniacs, Sunny and Cher, Douglas Throwbridge and Vivaldi. Yeah, I'm quite eclectic when it comes to music.

I remember the time when all I had was the radio as a source for new music. Now I'm glad there are online radios where stations are categorized by genre. There I get to discover new and old artists that are not mainstream here but make music that I really dig. No commercials, no blabbering DJs, and if you don't like the current song just skip to the next. I'm also glad that today's technology has allowed us to find, collect and store music that we like. Ain't life great? What would life be without your own playlist? ^_^

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why Not Live
in the Countryside?

This is a magazine clipping I've kept for years. I got it from an old french interior decor magazine. I just love its rustic style - the thatched roof and the white stucco walls. I thought maybe I could have a house like this built someday. I think I could live in the countryside, grow and raise my own food and sell some of them to pay for other stuff like internet connection hehe. Of course I would still need a window to the outside (congested and polluted) world.
Actually, an opportunity to built a house like this came. Five years ago my parents bought land (almost a hectare) in Cavite, about a kilometer away from our business warehouse. When I learned they plan to build a small vacation house there, I showed this clipping to may dad. When he saw it he said, "Mukhang bahay ng squatter" (Looks like a poor man's shanty) - and there goes the opportunity. There's a house built there now and it doesn't look like anything that belongs to a rich man. It's really sad when money goes to people with no sense of style.

Anyways, back to the clipping. The house belongs to Munnu Kasliwal. He and his brothers own the famous Gem Palace - a jewelry company in Jaipur that catered to the royals around the world since 1852. This humble house used to be a cowshed and Munnu converted it into a stylish tropical resort-like haven.

Check out the awesome interior. See more by clicking the clipping below.
I wonder if my dad would change his mind if he saw the interior. Maybe not. It's too late anyway. Oh well...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I couldn't help but ponder on this quote that I came across on the web. Are my artistic ambitions a needless want? This quote is about simplicity and I wonder, if my life would be less complicated if I just stay as an employee, designing for a boss, and enjoy my pay? Maybe it would but my business goals are pretty simple anyway...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We Are Very Busy People
by The Limousines

I leaned about this song through a friend, about a year ago in his mobile phone playlist, and it became one of my favorite songs. Aside from the jumpy electro-pop tune, I find the lyrics quite amusing. You'll hear words like "...we'll stay up late making mix tapes, Photoshopping pictures of ourselves, while we masturbate to this pixelated videos of strangers fucking themselves..." haha! This song sounds like the perfect anthem for deadbeats. Hmm is this why I like the song? Wait, I'm not a deadbeat!

Actually it's just now that I get to watch this video. I'm not sure if it's the official but it might as well be. I like the concept. The photo editing time lapse is just perfect for the song. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Favorite Tomb Statue

It's All Souls Day. Already did our annual visit to the graves of our dearly departed folks (grandparents, aunts and uncles) at the Manila Memorial Park in ParaƱaque City.

Much has changed over the years at the memorial park. I remember how pristine and serene it was back in the 80's - the vast unoccupied lawns, the nicely landscaped artificial brooks that lead to the (not yet stenching) man-made lagoon. I wonder if the management ever thought of restoring the beauty that the memorial park was once known for.

Well there are things there that remained beautiful. Like this favorite tomb statue located near my grandparent's tomb. It is nicely sculpted in marble (or maybe cast marble) reminiscent of tomb statuary in the Renaissance period. Years of exposure to the elements gave it more drama. It belongs to the V. Roxas family.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Saint, Demons and Art

As an All Saints Day special (coinciding with the Halloween celebration), let me tell you of a saint whose story, about his torment by the devil, has been a subject of interest to many renowned artists.

Saint Anthony, also known as Anthony the Great, was born in Egypt in 251 A.D. to a wealthy family. His parents died of illness and was left in the care of his unmarried sister when he was 18. At age 34 he decided to follow the words of Christ who said, "If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come follow Me." So that he did and lived as a hermit.

For a time he lived 13 years in the most rugged part of the Egyptian desert, completely cut off from civilization. There the devil afflicted him with boredom, laziness, and phantoms of women, silver and gold, which he overcame by the power of prayer. Of course the devil doesn't give up that easily. When he was hiding in a cave he was beaten to death by a gang of demons. But his life didn't end there. He was revived and he continued to live an astonishing ascetic life until it was time for him to go at the age 105.

The story of his torment in the desert has caught the imagination of many artist, from the renaissance up to the 21st century, each with his own interpretation of the horrifying scene and of how demons look like. Here are a few faves. Click for a larger view.

Above is Michelangelo's rendition of an engraving by Martin Schongauer.

This engraving is by Lucas Granach the Elder.

This is one of a pair of paintings by Matthias Grunewald. It seems that in the old world, demons are perceived as beings that are a mash-up of different animals.

Remember, Remember
Your Goals Through November

So November is here. In the past month, I have been working on putting together all the things I need to start another business which is the digital portrait painting service. I've spoken to prospective suppliers (framers and printers), did research on different portraiture styles, checked out photography service outlets at malls, and planned the transaction process. There is yet so much to do - like finalizing the prices making samples to be shown on the website, that I've already created.

So now I have two online stores on Multiply. The other is for my own brand of shirts and anything else that I can produce and sell. These are the two businesses I've been meaning to jump-start for the longest time. Let's see which one will be launched first.

Materials, knowledge, and skills - aside from these, there are things I need to put together and apply on myself: patience, perseverance, diligence and determination.

Most importantly, I hope I will always be inspired.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Iron Angel by Jason Chan

I sooo freaking love this digital art by Jason Chan. I Found it on Psd.TutsPlus.Com, a Photoshop tutorial website. It is one of the 54 Mind-Blowing Digital Paintings featured there. Click the image for a larger and complete view.

To see more of Jason Chan's art click here. Enjoy! ^_^

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dreaming of a Halloween Party

Halloween is fast approaching -- so what? Filipinos do not celebrate the spooky holiday as the Americans do. In the U.S., Halloween is the second biggest holiday in terms of retail sales. Here in the Philippines you may find Halloween decoration in commercial establishments but you'll rarely see them in homes, especially in the typical middle class neighborhood. Halloween in the Philippines is more about commemorating departed loved ones.

And that's really frustrating. I love Halloween! I'm a fan of spookiness - the supernatural, ghost stories, witches, vampires, etc. When I was a kid I've always wanted to go trick-or-treating but that never happened. Even as a grown up I've never attended a Halloween party. Well in the streets of Malate in Manila, decked with clubs and bars, costume parties happen on the Saturday closest to October 31st. But street parties are not my thing.

If I have my own place (and enough money) I'll invite my friends over for a real Halloween party. I will adorn my home with creepy but classy decor just like the ones at MarthaStewart.Com. There are a lot of really nice ideas there. Click on the clipping to learn how to make your own decoration. ^_^

I will require my guest to wear a costume - they will have to be an evil being and not some character from a movie or an anime series. There will be scary story-telling, divination, and magic tricks, and spooky background music will be played. This is how a Halloween party should be!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Glamma Momma Shirts
on the Runway

Remember the Glamma Momma shirts that my sister Erlaine created? She made an online store for it at Multiply. Yesterday Multiply held a shopping party at Whitespace in Makati City, where merchant account owners can showcase their products. There was a fashion show and this Mommylicious shirt by Glamma Momma (that I designed and printed myself hehe) was among the items selected to be shown on the runway. ^_^

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Discovering WPAP

I was searching for modern portraiture art and I saw this really nice one of a favorite character and actor. It is made by Toni Agustian and the style is called WPAP (Wedha's Pop Art Portrait). If you wanna see more WPAPs by different artist, check out PopBoxWPAP.

WPAP was founded by Wedha Abdul Rasyid, an artist in his 50's. He's the illustrator of Hai Magazine in his homeland Indonesia. Below is his self portrait.

I saw a video tutorial and will try it on one of my pictures sometime. ^_^ I'm glad I have CorelDraw here in my laptop. It can also be done in Adobe Illustrator.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Disney's Lion King, The Musical

This multi-awarded musical debuted in 2007 but it was just recently that I get to watch video clips on Youtube. Hadn't a friend asked me to help make masks for him and his colleagues to use in their organization's musical competition, I wouldn't have an idea how spectacular the Disney's Lion King musical is. I think it's the most colorful and vivid musical in history with the costumes, dances and puppetry.

In Asia, The Lion King musical has already been staged in Taiwan and Japan. In Singapore it debuted in March 2011 and will close on October 30, 2011. If you wanna watch it there go get your tickets here.

I wonder when it will be staged here in the Philippines?

Making Our Version of
Lion King Masks

My friend Patrick asked for my help in painting these masks that his team will be using in an excerpt performance of Disney's Lion King musical. Patrick's a medical representative. He and his colleagues will join doctors in a musical competition that serves as entertainment in a convention (by a national organization of medical oncologists). Others teams will do Grease, Hairspray and Moulin Rouge.

Anyways, I must say that there's an artist in Patrick. He made these lion masks himself with wire mesh and paper mache. The manes are made of various indigenous materials. I painted all the face details. We had three dear people (Cholo, Chogie and Avee) help us out in painting and assembling.

In the picture (above), from left that's Chogie holding the Scar mask, Patrick wearing the grown Simba mask, on the table is the young Simba mask, Cholo wears the Mufasa mask, and I'm wearing the Nala mask.

Actually the doctors will get to wear the lion masks. Patrick and some of his colleagues will be a pack of hyenas. We made 9 paper mache hyena masks from a mold. I taught him how to make a mold-model out of epoxy.

We actually had fun making these mask here in our garage. We thought of starting a costume-making business. This isn't really the first time my friends made stuff like these.

We completed all 14 masks just today. The musical event happens tomorrow. Good luck, Patrick!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Watched Jet Li's The Sorcerer and The White Snake today. Originally, the movie is entitled "It's Love and Madame White Snake". I guess I expected too much from this movie. I thought that if Jet Li was in the movie it had to be really good. And as a big fan of the actor I was exited to see the movie after waiting two years since the showing of The Forbidden Kingdom where he had this awesome fight scene with Jackie Chan.

Anyways, despite the simple, CGI saturated fight scenes in The Sorcerer, it was good to see Jet Li in the big screen again doing old China kung-fu.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wendy Lee Lynds' Collage Blog

How do you like my new blog header? I grabbed those images from the web (except the picture of myself) and made a digital collage through Photoshop.

It was inspired by the collage art in Wendy Lee Lynds' blog, Off the Cuff Collage. She makes real cool assemblages. What I like most are those with nostalgic elements. Some reminded me of the printed murals in the Starbucks shops here.

Lynds has other blogs, like Silver Spike Studio, where she shares her cool creations and interesting works by other artists. Off the Cuff is where she shares her collage journal. Yup, she glues the paper finds onto the pages of her notebook.

I hope I could find the time to make a real big collage - not digital. I have lot's of old magazines and interesting paper here!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thank goodness for shelves! All my screen printing stuff are accumulating and my work table was all cluttered up so I decided to get shelves. I'm glad my folks agreed to pay for it hehe. I got this from Itemp Holdings. It's a 5 layer shelf, with no-bolt powder coated metal frames, fiber board tops, that is 0.45 meters deep and 1.20 meters wide. Costs P5,500 and delivery is free. Those that you find in malls cost more. Like P9,000!

Though it is much cheaper to get a carpenter to build you a wooden shelf (that is likely to be fixed), I think it's more practical to get a durable, modular, and easy to dismantle shelf.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Blogosphere Shirt
by BloggerShirts

Here's our new BloggerShirt design for the month of October. I've printed the first five orders today. ^_^

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Hovers Over

Another month has passed. It has been half a year months since I set out to become my own boss and to make a living out of my talents. Well, so far I have BloggerShirts, a brand of t-shirts that I produce and sell with my friend Fitz. We're coming up with another design this month, by the way.

I created an online store a couple of weeks ago at and it's still under construction. I don't have anything to sell yet. My own line of t-shirts, that I have been meaning to create, will be sold there. Maybe I'll make fashion accessories and sell them too. I'll also offer digital painting services there - framed digital art and fine painting-like portraits that will be delivered to a client's doorstep.

Digital imagery, particularly portraits, is what I hoped to be my primary business because I know it's what I do best. But I had to put it aside because of the lack of space. I do need a decent studio for this particular business. I rather have the studio here at home than rent a per-hour studio or go to a client's place and photograph him there. I'm not being finicky or maarte. It's just that having your own studio has advantages. Like it keeps the service cost low - I want my art to be affordable and yet have good quality.

I really didn't anticipate this delay. Silly of me. I reallized that my plans depended on my parent's actions. I thought that by this time they have already moved into their new house in Cavite and I have set up all my creative spaces here in this old house. I confess that the delay really upset me so much that I failed to appreciate the help that my parents are giving me, despite that they seem unsupportive to my artistic endeavors.

Well, I saw the mistakes I made about planning. There's a plan B to think about and some attitudes to change...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mastery of Manipulations by MichaelO

Other works in photo-manipulation that really amazes me are those by digital artist MichaelO. His prowess is something I would like to achieve also. He mainly uses Photoshop, of course, and sometimes incorporates elements done in 3DMax.

These two image are some of my favorites. It's really amazing how he creates thematic images from seemingly simple photographs.

In his FAQ he said, "I believe that the general skill you have in art is more important than how well you know digital techniques."


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spanish Guitar Music

I love the sound of the acoustic guitar. That is why I am more into genres that mostly use the instrument, such as rock, alternative, and American folk and country music.

But if there's a genre that uses the full melodic power of the guitar, it would be classical music. Listening to solo guitar performances of Spanish tunes make me love the instrument more. Here's some really romantic pieces performed renowned guitarist John Williams. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not feeling so great today. Thinking about delayed plans and disappointing results really upset me.

When anxiety creeps in I grab my copy of Finding Your Strength, a book of meditations by David Viscott. It really comes in handy at situations like these. I just love the way it was written - straight forward but not in an artless way. I found this book back in 2007 while being down in the dumps. I was walking aimlessly in a mall and went inside a bookstore and there it was, as if I was led to finding it.

Anyways, let me just share something Dr. Viscott said about when you feel like giving up...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've just bought for my blog its own domain name. Not that anyone cares hehe. So now my blog's URL is. . .

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Awesome Predator Mask

I went to see a movie yesterday at Festival Mall here in Alabang. While waiting for the 10PM showing, I did a little window shopping and checked out the 2Rats action figure store at the 4th floor. I saw this really cool Predator mask and tried it on. Goes well with my newly retouched dreads, don't you think? I think it's made of resin. I love the finish and the details like the battle scratches. It cost around P2,500, by the way.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Had my dreads retouched yesterday. It has been 7 months since I last had them maintained by my loctician at PinoyDreadman Salon. Finally all those loose strands of hair, that I kept hidden under a bandana, are all tucked in their respective locks.

I first had my hair dreaded in March, 2010. Starting with just 19 locks that are 15 inches long, and with my sides clipped - looking like a Mohican with dreads. January this year, I had them re-done with better sectioning so that gave me 24 locks. I waited for my side hair to grow back until it was long enough to attach more dread extensions. So now I have 30 locks that are 22 inches long.

I love my dreads. I've tried many hairstyles already but this is the one that I never got tired of. I'm gonna keep them for years! ^_^

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Enter September

Hmm... Only 7 blog posts for the month of August. When you're busy there are things you really have to put aside. But being busy on the right things is always good.

So aside from printing bloggers shirts, I've been designing a roll-up banner and a flyer for a memorial/leisure park located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I've been working on the layout since the first week of August and still they are not approved. The client is being too meticulous and keeps adding unnecessary details. Like, he wanted to have a tiny logo placed before the company name everywhere it is mentioned in a paragraph. As if it could actually increase chances of sale. Anyways, I hope to get this project over with soon because I don't really enjoy designing print ads and there are other things to do.

I still have to design shirts for two motorcycle shops owned by friends. Also, remember my moto-industry shirt? I still have 15 pieces with me. I need to schedule a trip to Global City in Taguig and sell the shirts to riders who hang out there every Sunday morning. Really, after I sell all these shirts away I will not do the print-then-sell approach anymore.

Oh and I have to get my red bike repaired so I can sell it too and finally get a new big bike! I miss the long out-of-town rides!

I still haven't set up a photo studio here in this old house. There's just no space for it here. The DSLR camera and the lamps, lent to me by my sister and her husband, are still in their boxes lying on the floor. No space at home and no money to pay for rentable space. Paano na? The most ironic thing here is that my parents has a new and empty house in Cavite (just behind my brother's new house). They did offer me to set up my workspace there but I refused. I do not wish to write lengthy explanations about why I cannot have my business that far outside Metro Manila and I certainly do not wish to write an even longer explanation why they are still not moving into that house instead. But I am not out of hope. I will someday find a solution to this.

On the good side, I found sources of affordable custom made frames and printing services for the digital portrait paintings that I'm planning to start as a side business. I'm yet to look for box makers, make sample portraits and create an online store.

Well here's another month - the first of the "ber" months. As always, I hope to accomplish more.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Screenprinting Marathon

I printed 8 different blogger shirts this afternoon at a comfortable pace. But yesterday I had to print the first 25 orders of our PR shirt in one day because it was scheduled to be picked up for delivery this morning. I started printing at around 11 AM yesterday and packed the last shirt around 2 AM today. This was the first time I continued to print even in the night time. It was really exhausting. What made these shirts longer to make is the printing of a different number on each white square. Lesson learned: If there are shirts to be printed at this level of effort and quantity, wake up early!

Why the many shirts? Most of these will be given away for free by the guy who came up with this shirt idea. His blog,, has just recently become a PR6 website. As celebration of the consecutive Google PageRank updates this year, and by his appreciation for his blog's avid readers, the first 20 people who has written a blog post that mentioned their want of the shirt will each receive one that has their blog's current PageRank.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Trip to Laiya Beach

Last weekend was a long one, thanks to the Islamic holiday - the end of Ramadan. My friends had planned a 2-day beach vacation in Batangas and invited me to come along. Why not go? I wasn't able to go beaching last summer (that really sucks) and the past weeks have been really hectic. I sure needed those relaxing moments, being soaked in sea water.

There was a storm last Saturday and the day before. So, with the possibility of a rainy Sunday, we chose not to make any reservations. But the power of positive thinking was on our side - we started to see blue skies by 10 o'clock and a bunk room had just become available in the first beach resort we walked into.

We stayed at the Kabayan Beach Resort in Laiya, Province of Batangas. Don't be deceived by my picture here. I made some color adjustments on the water. The water there is not really blue and clear. I'm not sure if it's always like that, or it was just because of the recent storm. Anyways, it was low tide and there were big waves when we went swimming in mid-afternoon. It was really fun being knocked down by those waves.

That was something I haven't done in a long time - being with a lot of friends, all 10 of us, in a far place. Everything about it was enjoyable - the long ride, the heckling and laughter, swimming, sand fights, discussions in the bunk room, eating on one long table, drinking near the shoreline, putting a drunk friend on his bed... Priceless. Hehe

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Blogger Shirt Designs

It's just now that I remembered to post the new Blogger Shirts design for this month. I've been really preoccupied with a lot of stuff. Anyways, the 6th design is also our first design exclusive for women - for mom bloggers to be exact. For a start we came up with this simple design. There are a lot of mom bloggers out there each writing about different topics aside from family, parenting and housekeeping. Some are new moms writing about raising their first baby, and some are experienced moms blogging about beauty, for example, while raising her growing-up kids. Some are just stay-at-home moms while others have office jobs. So we rather not design for a specific type of mom blogger just yet.

We also have another design that came out this month, our 7th design that is also our first "customizable" shirt. The concept was suggested by a blogger friend of Fitz, my business partner. PR means Page Rank. The higher a website's page rank is, the higher the chance of it appearing in Google search results. Page rank is from 0 to 10. An authority website such as facebook is a 10. A blog, depending on its age, uniqueness of content, number of visitors and frequency of post, could reach a page rank as high as 6 and people who wanted their blogs to become popular are conscious about its PR.

All ranks are available in our PR shirts. We designed it in a way that printing all the different ranks will use only one stencil. ^_^