Saturday, May 28, 2011

Palatable Pipe Organ Music by Bach
(Updated Post)

Cute caricature, no? I found it on the web but I don't know who the artist is. It might have been used on published score sheets by Bach.

Anyway let me share to you music that I enjoy listening to... I just love the sound of the pipe organ. They can sound glorious and heavenly, and sometimes really creepy. Naturally, one would be reminded of old churches and grand weddings (or maybe even horror films) upon hearing this enormous instrument. 

Bach composed numerous liturgical pieces for the pipe organ but he also whipped up nice melodies that are not too, well, churchy hehe.  Those fugues, sonatas , and symphonies  that will make you think of old European palaces and courtyards instead.

Below is a 1996 album of 12 works by Bach performed by German-American organist Wolfgang Rübsam.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Art of Sarina Brewer

I was looking for pictures of mythical creatures on the net and I saw this beautiful black griffin. At first I thought it was an impressive work of a graphic artist but when I visited the website I discovered that it is a work of a brilliant taxidermist.

If people with automatonophobia will freak out at the sight of a preserved lamb, I couldn't imagine how they will react if they see a preserved lamb with two heads -- or a squirrel with two bodies, or a winged cat with horns in a ferocious grin.

"I call it art, you can call it whatever you want," says Sarina Brewer, the regular looking woman behind the bizarre looking creatures. She's like a goddess who gather parts of fallen animals and resurrects them into one new creature. None of the animals used in her art we're killed for such purpose, by the way.

Publications in America, Europe and Australia have featured her works and she has had her creations exhibited across America, also in Switzerland and France.

Dare check out her other little darlings at =)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Speaking of creative space (in my last post), there is a photo blog that feature the homes and studios of creative Filipinos., by Mitch Mauricio, is like an online tour of an artist's small world. I amusingly observe the personality of different artists as reflected by their works as well as their decorating style. Through Mitch's photos of things that are either lying on the floor, sitting on a shelf or hanging on a wall, one can seem to tell what goes inside the mind of the artist living in that space.

When I finally get to have my own creative space, I hope it will also be featured in Mitch's award winning blog. ^_^

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Need Space !

I mean literally, I do need more space for my stuff. Not just storage space but also working space. Indeed as a person gets older his material belongings accumulate and as they do the more space he needs to store them (and use them also). And so this 36 year old bohemian guy, living in his parent's house, has a bit of a dilemma.

My old 16.50 square meter room (picture below), that used to be well kept and decorated, is now a big cluttered closet. I moved in to my younger brother's smaller room (that he left behind when he got married 4 years ago). Now I share the room with my screen printing equipment. The frames and pallets are leaning on the wall, the light box is on one corner, the inks and tools are in a box on the floor.

We have a roof deck but it is, naturally, an open space so I really can't store anything there. I certainly can't work there either, unless it's a dry, non windy and cloudy day. I do my screen printing in the garage. It fits 2 cars side by side. Had my siblings not moved out and took their cars with them I would probably be doing the printing right next to my bed.

I'd move out if I could afford it. At this point in my life, where I'm just on my first few kilometers in the road to becoming a self-employed artist, It would certainly be impractical. Since I am now relying on my savings I'd do all I can to minimize my expenses.

The monthly rent for a tiny apartment here in my city is like P5,000. That's around half of what a minimum-wage worker earns in a month. So he has the other half to pay for everything else and there is a lot - electricity, water, internet service, mobile phone service, food, fare...the list could go on. And if one wants more square meters of space, a safe and secure neighborhood and a location that is closer to major roads and commercial areas, he has to spend more than just P5,000. Really, when I think of the numbers it make's me a bit glad that my parents doesn't mind that I still live with them. But the thing is, I mind living in this crowded, poorly designed and maintained house. If I have enough dough I'd get my own place and put my decorating and housekeeping talents to use.

I wish I can have a studio, at least. Doesn't have to be fancy. One like in this picture below, of artist Robert Carbonell, is cool. Looks like he's made a studio out of his garage. I'd like a lot of floor space and high ceilings too. (Click on the photo to know more about Robert Carbonell).

If I can have my way I'd have a studio that is big enough for all my artistic interests: screen printing, photography, painting, sculpture, couture and music. That's gonna take at least 50 square meters.

I imagine having all the space for creativity in a warehouse converted into a home. Just like in the pictures below by designers Benito Escat and Alberto Rovira, located in Barcelona. Get a closer look at the interior here.

I really like open-plan home interiors. It's perfect for me. If I am to live by myself I prefer to live in a house that has no partitions. Well except for the toilet & bath and utility storage of course. There's an advantage to it. Aside that it keeps a space looking large, it's easy to move from one area to another and it's easy to move furniture or change an area's function. Plus ventilation is good because all the windows provide outside air for that one big space.

For now, I guess I will have to settle for the limited working space here in my parent's house. I would really have to work hard and act quickly if I am to move into a better house someday. =/

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Old Works:
Self Portraits (Photo Manipulations)

When I worked in the family's distributor business, I had plenty of idle time in my first two years there (2007 to 2009). That gave me chance to create these self portraits.

I used a point n' shoot camera (Casio Exilim) to take pictures of myself. I put the camera on a tripod and set it to shoot 3 times after 10 seconds. That's enough time to click, run, fix your hair, straighten your clothes, and pose.Manipulations were done in Photoshop. I've learned how to use the software by experimenting on the tools and their options, also by checking out all the items under each tab. I also got some tips from graphic artists I used to work with.

When I shared these works on the net I received positive feedback from friends and strangers alike. Some even asked if I can be commissioned to make pictures for them. I had to turn them down because, aside from not having professional facilities, my extra time then was just enough to make art for myself. In 2009, as the family business continued to grow my idle time continued to shrink so I stopped making pictures. I was also getting fat then. ^_^

But of course I am still inspired to turn the old hobby into a business someday. Now that I'm working on becoming a full time artist, the materialization of this dream could just be around the corner.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Flickr Finds:
Tsevis' photostream

I was googling about Valentino Rossi when I saw this image below. Totally awesome digital mosaic.

The multi-awarded graphic artist Charis Tsevis is Greek and he owns a design studio in Athens. His company has served many international brands such as Toyota, IKEA, Saatchi and many more.

You'll find hundreds of his amazing work in his flickr. Click on the image to see them! ^_^

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Full Throttle: Rock & Ride
Motorcycle Show

I was at the Full Throttle: Rock & Ride motorcycle show with my first biker group Mga Independent Bikers. We're a group that has outgrown going to events like these but for old time's sake we decided to celebrate out 10th anniversary there.

Posing at the event backdrop.

One of the bikes on display.

The motorcycle show, held yesterday May 14, 2011 at the A. Venue in Makati, was mainly sponsored by the clothing brand Von Dutch, Motorcycle Magazine and Power Wheels. There was bites and beer, performances by bands such as Top Junk, Color It Red, Epic and a lot more, also a biker babe beauty pageant, dance numbers by sexy girls, subliminally humorous contests and special awards for motorcycles (like Best Theme), and raffle prizes like riding jackets and helmets, and the grand raffle prize - a brand new Kawasaki Vulcan 900 which is the main reason why we went there hehe. I didn't get to take it home nor did any of my club mates but that's so alright because we all had a great time. ^_^

A big plastic cup of beer won't hurt.

The grand prize: Kawasaki Vulcan 900

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Coffee: Drink It, Paint with It.

Yup. As the title of this post suggests, the painting you see below is made of espresso. Cool huh? Karen Eland is an artist since childhood and she's just discovered the link between coffee and art when she worked as a barista. It all started when she dipped her brush on coffee and started painting. (I wonder if its because she ran out of brown water color hehe) Click on the pic to see more of her cool works.

Art is her full time job now and she has created a lot of beautiful brown paintings. Aside from her original art, my favorites include her interpretations of works by Van Gogh and Vermeer.

Her website,, is a work of art by itself. From the header, background, down to the links - they are all painted in espresso. I just love the cherub that follows when you scroll down the page. ^_^

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Old Works:
Sterling Silver Jewelry Suite

I designed this contemporary jewelry suite, made of sterling silver and polyresin with faux gold leaf, sometime in 2004 when I worked for Sanara Silver. It was featured in the March 2007 issue of Silver Styles, a Hong Kong jewelry magazine.

I actually enjoyed designing fine jewelery. I worked for a Filipino-owned exporting company, for 5 years (now that's my longest employment period in one company). They really know how to nurture the creativity of their designers. Aside from having a regular supply of design references, they let the designers concentrate on the aesthetics while the engineers work on the mechanisms and find ways to produce the design efficiently. Technology was not exclusive to the engineers there. I was trained to operate a 3D design software (ArtCam) that communicates with a machine that accurately carves out models complete with the intricate details. Another cool thing about working there are the travels. I was brought to trade fairs in Hong Kong and Italy  to expose me to even more design inspirations.

But sadly, the global economic crisis crept in and their regular buyers started sourcing from India and China where labor is known to be cheaper - the demise of many exporting companies here in the Philippines. I resigned in 2005, not just to save my self from a sinking ship but to help the ship reduce its load. I never tried to find another jewelry company ever since.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I have a fascination for antique statues and I really like bronze Buddha statues from Tibet like this one below from This statue of Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, is one of my favorites.

Items you will find on are for sale. Even if an item gets sold, the page that contained the pictures and details are kept there for our appreciation. Click on the picture to see more Buddha statues made of bronze, wood and stone.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The 2nd Shirt Design I've Produced

So this is my second design that reached shirthood. I've printed the first batch this afternoon. This Glamma Mamma shirt can be bought at Shopping Spells and it is also available in white, pink and light blue. ^_^

Printing this design is actually my first time to use rubberized opaque ink in production. I had a hard time because the ink clogs up the screen quickly. I had to wash the screen after printing one shirt and I was really stressed because the shirts will be picked up later in the evening. I recall having this same problem when I printed the first batch of the Pinoy Blogger shirts. That was because I used old ink (TULCO Classic). The problem went away when I used new ink. So does this mean KIMCO sold me ink that stayed on the shelf for a long time? Or maybe it was just the temperature - it was a warm afternoon.

I called the store, after laboriously printing a few shirts, and asked for some way to prevent the screen from getting clogged up. They said I should wipe the screen with a damp cloth after each coat. So what I did was, immediately after one coat, I lifted the screen and placed a piece of board to cover the shirt. Then I lightly scrubbed the screen (both sides) with a damp sponge. It did dilute the ink that's stuck on the screen. Then I wiped it dry with a highly absorbent rag before proceeding to the next coat. It works but it's still arduous.

Soon my new inks will become old inks if left unused for a long time. So I will most likely encounter this problem again. I've read that there's a product that you mix with the ink (extender) that will make it slow-drying. Some would just add water (just a tablespoon or two) to thin the ink a bit. Anyway, I'll research about this more.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flickr Finds :
Coca Cola Art Gallery

Again, in my never ending search for graphic ideas I found the official Flickr account of the Coca-Cola Art Gallery. It displays different interpretations of "The Coke Side of Life" philosophy done by leading artist and designers. Click on the image below to get to the photostream and see the detail of each entry.

There are 163 artworks in the photostream. I've never seen so many illustration styles and techniques in one flickr account. Browsing through their pages is like drinking a big bottle of real good ideas.

Advertising indeed has played a vital role in shaping Coca-Cola into a timeless brand, and conversely, Coke has continually challenged artist and ad agencies to create innovative images - making them a "catalyst for creative expressions, right ideas at the right time". I'll drink a Coke to that!

Now if you would excuse me, I'm gonna check out every single design in this photostream. =)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Visit to the KIMCO Store

I went to Divisoria today to buy stock shirts for my sister-in-law Erlaine. I've designed a shirt, by her request, that she's selling on her online store for Mother's Day. There are already more than 10 orders for that design so I need to start working for the production.

I bought 33 round-neck shirts (Ladies' Baby Tee brand) at One-Stop Shirt House. That's a bit more than 10 kilos - just enough for me to carry. After buying the shirts I walked from Juan Luna Street to Reyna Rehente Street to find the KIMCO store (tel. 063 2471118). The store sells TULCO products and I'm glad that they do because I didn't have to go to the TULCO store in Santa Mesa which is 5 or 6 kilometers from Binondo.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Got Taste?
Test How Good It Is

My college textbook about design theories has this test to find out how good your taste is. It was devised by John Maitland Graves, the classically trained fine artist, industrial designer and professor of drawing and design. He also has a background in physics, mathematics and anatomy.

I believe it's quite accurate. I had creative friends take this test and naturally, the designers and artists got higher scores. =P

To determine to what degree you are gifted with good taste, get a pen and paper and click on the image below for a larger view. Study each of the 14 pairs of designs as long as you like then select one, A or B, that appeals to you as more unified, better balanced and more interesting than the other.If you get 12 or more:
You posses extraordinarily good taste ranking with professional painters, interior decorators, commercial designers.

If you get 9 to 11:
This indicates that you have superior taste, occasionally you make errors, but usually you choose pleasing designs and colors.

If you get 7 to 8:
This indicate taste that is above average.

If you get less than 7 correct:
You will do well to listen to expert advise when buying clothes or decorating interiors.

Click here to find out how much you scored. ^_^

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Old Works:
My Anawangin Souvenir

It's really hot today. Summer came late this year by two months. It used to start getting warm by March. I guess the climate is really changing. I wish I could go to a beach soon.

Anyways, I made this necklace last year when I was in Anawangin Cove in Zambales. I saw that the boatmen there wear strings of small shells around their necks and I though I'd make one for myself. So while my friends were enjoying the water, I was snorkeling for small shells and corals and I have to look for ones with holes so I could string them together (I got the string from a vendor there selling plastic pendants). I liked how it turned out and I wore it for the rest my days there. It goes well with my dreads and I feel like a real islander. ^_^

I really miss those three days I've spent in Anawangin Cove. I can still imagine myself sitting on the beach facing the sunset and the glistening water. I remember the sound of the wind passing through the colonnade of tropical pine trees where we pitched our tents. I also remember how breathtaking it was to see the entire cove from the top of a small mountain that we climbed, and how fun it was to follow the stream until it meets the sea at the south side of the cove. *sigh*

If I ever come back there, I will wear this necklace again and maybe I'll make a new one. ^_^

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hello Month of May

May is here and it's my second month on the road to becoming a self-employed artist.

I've produced a total of 105 pieces of the Pinoy Blogger shirts last month. After the first 75 shirts I made 30 more shirts (just a couple of days ago) for Fitz to sell on another blogger event held last Saturday. Again he has sold more than half of the stocks and had pre-orders too.

The profit from these shirts will be used to fund the next production. Papaikutin namin ang pera. So we can't do any "harvesting" yet. After all, the business is still a seedling that needs time to grow. For the meantime, I've been designing shirts that we will produce for the next blogger event and Fitz is working on our online store and he has already bought a domain for it. It is still under construction so I'll post the link when everything's ready.

Yesterday Fitz and I had a meeting with my sister-in-law Erlaine. She has an online store at and she shared to us some tips on handling orders and shipping. You might want to check out her online store. Just click on the business card below (I designed the card for her, by the way) to get to Shopping Spells.

So as of today, cash doesn't come into my bank account yet and I still keep my expenses to a minimum. Getting an online job did cross my mind. I've seen a lot of ads looking for graphic designers on craigslist. But I'm having second thoughts about it because most work-at-home jobs there are full-time jobs and that might expend my time and energy for my shirt business. I'll think about it more.

Another thing that I need to think about more is an effective way to sell my own line of shirts. (I haven't produced any yet but I have some designs ready). I understand that wholesaling to clients, who usually have their own designs for corporate or community events, brings the money quick and in bulk and I may have to accept such projects also. Retailing, on the other hand, though you can sell a shirt for a higher price, sells slow unless you sell them in an event (like our blogger shirts). The key, I guess, is to design for a specific market.

And another thing I've been thinking about (I've been thinking too much, I know) is starting my digital portraiture business. I once was deciding between that and shirt printing and I chose to do printing because opportunity came to it first. Maybe I should start the portraiture business while the printing business is still in its infancy stage. Hmmmmm.......