Sunday, July 31, 2011

Will The Sun Ever Shine Again

It has been raining since Monday. Two days of rain is fine but a week of the cold and wet weather really gets in my nerves. I really hate it. Days like these mean dirty shoes, dirty bike, slow traffic, puddles here and there, slow drying laundry, damp bed sheets, leaks in the ceiling, and house molds.
What I really hate most is how this gloomy weather affects my state of mind.

I've read this interesting article from Psychcentral.Com about how the weather affects our mood and about SAD (seasonal affective disorder). So its very natural to feel blue when the sky is gray. We tend to associate rainy days with sadness - we seem to be reminded of sad memories and sulk if we are in a sad situation.

And it's no surprise that there are songs like "I'll Do My Crying in The Rain" and "Rainy Days on Mondays (Always Get Me Down)".

Of all the sad rain songs out there, my favorite is "Will The Sun Ever Shine Again" sung by Bonnie Raitt, written by Alan Irwin Menken and Glenn Evan Slater for Disney's animated film Home On The Range. Give it a listen...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I've Learned How To Paint (Digitally)

I've been using Photoshop for like ten years and it's just recently that I learned how to make a "painting" with the software. Well actually, I only converted a picture file to look like a painting. I tried an old picture of mine and did an unfinished style.

This wasn't done in one-click. Though Photoshop has cool filters that do the job (like the watercolor, dry brush, paint daubs, angled strokes from the filter gallery), they of course produce a uniform texture, with a single brush size and limited stroke direction applied on the entire image. Too perfect-looking, or stiff, I should say. On my picture I used a special brush in different sizes and made random strokes. That gave it a more freehand touch. Color adjustments and masking was also done to achieve this look. It was really fun making it.

Some graphic artists make paintings with Photoshop from scratch. Like they will start with a sketch or outline then color it. That's really amazing but I don't have the diligence to do it that way. I rather apply the same diligence on paper or canvas, you know.

Anyways, I hope to make more of these digital paintings. Maybe I'll offer it as a service too. ^_^

Monday, July 18, 2011

Goodbye My Honda CB1

In an older post I've mentioned how sentimental I am about letting go of my big bike. Well I've gotten over being emotionally attached to the old machine. It's no longer practical. I don't ride so often anymore now that I work at home, and that's just not healthy for the bike. The decision to sell the bike came when it wouldn't start again (June 12). I had it picked up for the last time and asked my mechanic friend James to sell the bike in his shop.

The bike got sold today, after 32 days, to a Korean guy. I hope he would use it more often than I did in 6 years. I only got to maximize its use on the first 2 years since I got it in 2005. I use to ride to work everyday back then, and often join rides out of town on weekends. I started riding less in 2007 when I worked in the family business in Cavite. It's just inconvenient to ride like 20 kilometers to get to work everyday.

Before we parted I touched the bike and felt it for the last time. I took the wooden rosary that I've twined around the handle bar. Also the skull bolts, that secures the registration plate, given to me by a rider friend. They will be passed on to my next big bike. I'm not hasty about getting a new one though.

But I'm not left bike-less. I actually have another motorcycle which came before the Honda CB1. This red cruiser, the KYMCO Zing150, has been the spare bike whenever the CB1 fails. It is my first bike. I got it in 2002. It's old and has issues too. Once I have it repaired I'll sell it away and then think of what motorcycle to get next.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finally a DSLR Camera

Nope, I didn't buy one. My sister Jeth lent me her first DSLR Camera, a Canon EOS-D30, which she has not been using since she got her Nikon.

A couple of months ago, I offered to buy her camera so she can have a chance to upgrade to a newer model (and so I can get a camera at a low price hehe). But she's actively using it so instead she offered to lend me her old camera, which I didn't know she still keeps. She handed it over to me today at a family lunch out.

I got more than a camera. Her husband Jigger, whom she met in a photography club, lent me some of his old equipment - a pair of lamps which include the stands and umbrella diffusers. Awesome! ^_^

I remember contemplating on getting a Nikon D300. A photographer friend said its a good camera to start with. It's a good thing I didn't rush into buying one because this old Canon will do just fine. After all, I'm more of a graphic artist than a photographer. I manipulate pictures and photography is just a half of the process of my work. Modesty aside, I was told that I make impressive images with pictures taken from a point-and-shoot camera. With a DSLR in hand, I guess the difference is that the images I will produce will be more crisp and sharp.

I hope the chance to start using these equipment will come soon. ^_^

Friday, July 15, 2011

Traditional Guzheng Music

I have always been fascinated by classical oriental art. Especially of Imperial China, particularly the Tang Dynasty which marked the golden age of Chinese art.

I also love the music of that period. My most favorite classical Chinese musical instrument is the guzheng, a plucked string instrument belonging to the zither family. If there's a word that can describe the sound it makes, for me it would be "serene".

The album below is a collection of recordings by various guzheng masters. Hit the play button and find out how serenity sounds like. ;-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flickr Finds:
Mindazonaltal's Photostream

I just love these photo-manipulations found in Mindazonaltal's Flickr. The artist is Sarolta Bán and she lives in Hungary.

I like her style: Surreal and nostalgic. Simple with few elements but gives a strong impression. Most of her work are in square dimensions. They make nice music CD album covers. She currently has 153 images in her photostream. Check them out! ^_^

Monday, July 11, 2011

BloggerShirt's 5th Design

Last Saturday I printed our first travel blogger shirt. It has the same old road sign theme as the last shirt, the Caution shirt. This one uses silver ink and is available in 3 other shirt colors. If you are a proud travel blogger, go get yourself a shirt! Visit BloggerShirts.Com ^_^

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christian Schallert's
Stash-Away Apartment

I was really amused while watching this vid featuring Christian Schallert's amazing apartment. Everything (well, almost everything) can be hidden away. He's an Austrian Photographer, by the way, living in Barcelona.

I wonder if I could live in a place like this. I really don't mind pulling out a bed or assembling a table, or opening up a kitchen. Hmm... maybe not, because I work at home now and my work doesn't involve just a desk and a laptop. But then again, maybe having a separate working area with the same concept will work.

This system is perfect for those tiny condo units that are built all over Metro Manila. Surely you have seen one of their brochures. Ang mahal-mahal tapos ang liit-liit. hehe.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Short Tarot Reading
to Myself

I was looking for some documents in my room and while digging through piles of books I found the box containing my sister's tarot pack. She bought it so many years ago and she just got tired of it. Like the many other things she was interested in before. She's a typical Aquarian.

Anyways, when I saw that it was just lying around I borrowed it from her and learned how to read them. I remember giving friends free readings like 6 or 7 years ago. I'm no expert but I was able to predict some things that will happen in their future. Sometimes months or a year after giving them a reading, they'd tell me, "Hey, what you told me came true!" And by then I wouldn't remember what I told them.

I guess I got tired of it too. I broke the habit of always consulting the cards. Que sera, sera. What ever will be, will be. But because I came across the deck again, I guess it wouldn't hurt to give myself short reading for old times sake hehe.

I asked about my shirt business and it gave positive cards. Then I asked about the digital portraiture business and the cards didn't seem to favor it. At first I found it strange because I have the flair for it. Then I realize, as I analyze the cards, skill and talent is not enough for this business. I lack space and equipment and acquiring these will surely cost me. So I guess what the cards are telling me is "not now". Anyway, it's good to know that I'm on the right track with the shirt printing business. ^_^

By the way, these cards are the Rider-Waite tarot pack. It is said to be the most popular tarot deck in use today in the English-speaking world. Pamela Colman Smith illustrated them under the instructions of Arthur Edward Waite, an expert in the occult and esoteric matters. The cards were published in December 1909 by the Rider Company.

Behind one cover card you will find this short biography of Pamela Colman Smith. I'm posting it here in honor of the artist. "She will be astonished and gladdened to know that today the deck touches the heart and emotions of millions of people."

Friday, July 1, 2011

Head's High for July

I can't help but notice the lessening frequency of posting here in my blog when I look at the archives. Only 6 posts last month. I can still see my afterword post for June in the first page. Well I really had to put blogging on the shelf for work. Yup, work . I feel self-employed already. I am a serigrapher hehe. Serigraphy - that's another word for screen printing, and serigraphy is all that I did last month.

Since the opening of BloggerShirts.Com on June 7, I have printed orders of 28 shirts. We also sold some of our printed stock of Pinoy Blogger shirts online. For the Glamma Momma shirts, I've printed 51. This one-man Art & Production Department really worked hard. Printing in the daytime, burning stencils in the evening, designing at night.

But it's not all just hard work. Finally money finds its way to my bank account. I was already paid for the mommy shirts (thank you Erlaine!) and I will be receiving my first profit shares from the blogger shirts. (Yipeee!) Oh and that's not all - a friend who owes me some money (for like 3 years) just paid me a couple of days ago. Hmm maybe I'll use the returned money to buy this portable studio backgroud stand and one of these background canvas from Tay Hua Trading so I can get back to the digital portraiture business that I've been meaning to start for so long.

What else can I say? I just feel so inspired! My business with Fitz is doing fine and other opportunities relating to shirt printing seem to draw near, just waiting to be grabbed. I hope the positive vibes continue throughout July and the coming months. ^_^