Saturday, March 24, 2012

New BloggerShirt Design

Here's our new design for March, by the way. GO to BloggerShirts.Com to get one! ^_^

Friday, March 23, 2012

I like this playa painting (sand painting) by artist Andres Amador from San Francisco, California. It looks like a cool thing to do. Nature provides a blank "canvas" for him and nature refaces it on the next tide. I wonder if there's a place in the Philippines to do this. I think the sand has to be damp and flat.

The thirty-something year old artist has done more than a hundred playa paintings along the San Francisco coastline in five years. Check out more of his works here.
Here's another local actress to experiment my digital art on.

Kim Chiu first appeared on television when she was 16. That was on the reality show Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition in 2006 where she was made the big winner. She's now 22 and I must say she's gotten prettier. I really like her oriental beauty. Just as I like Zhang Ziyi and Crystal Liu. I wish Kim would also have the chance to do a martial arts film.

I made this portrait from different images in order to create this 1920's Shanghai girl look. It would have looked more vintage if I used the finger wave hairdo on her. Instead, for the love of girls who kick ass, I gave her the Chiun Li hairstyle. ^_^

Wanna be a Shanghai girl too? Click here.

See more digital paintings here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I thought of experimenting on a pop art kind of portrait with a bit of a Warhol style. I hope the lovely Filipino-Australian actress Anne Curtis doesn't mind if I gave her a 60's flip hairdo. I added cat eye make-up to complement the look. It suits her, don't you think? Well nothing looks bad on her! ^_^

If you want a portrait like this click here.

See more digital portraits here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen

I think it's a perfect time for me to remember, and also share to you guys, this music video that became popular in 1999. Originally  written by Mary Schmich, the article was made into a music single by director Baz Luhrmann where Australian voice actor Lee Perry delivers it as a commencement speech.

You'll really pick up a lot of good advice from this video. So listen carefully. ^_^

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bohemian Birthday Blues

Another year in my life has passed. I am now 37 years old. This day every year I usually take a moment and make a little assessment of my life. So how has it been?

I looked to the past and I would be a hypocrite if I say that I never missed the life that I was living before. It was almost a care-free life. Working as a commercial artist, enjoying my pay, spending it on hobbies, riding my motorcycle out of town, scuba diving, martial arts lessons, little creative projects to satisfy my whims... I said it was "almost" a carefree life because despite the seemingly happy-go-lucky lifestyle, I was actually searching - for my life's purpose, for what I love to do, for what I'm good at, for the craft that I can master, and also, for who I am.

There may be a lot of things that I don't get to do anymore. But if there's a significant difference between my life then and now it is that today I have a clearer understanding of what I want to do with my life. Before, I only plan on what to do on the weekend or the coming holiday. Now I plan on things that will contribute to achieving a recently defined long-term goal.

What is this goal? It is, simply, making a living out of what I love to do. So I started a business and starting from scratch is never easy. It took a year before I launched my custom digital painting services and my own brand of shirts. Now my time is mainly divided between developing more products, creating a portfolio of artworks, and marketing them. If I elaborate each task here, there will be a long list of things to do. It overwhelms me, really. I wish I could just focus on the creative side of it but since I'm building this business alone, I would also have to handle the marketing and other aspects of the business that an artist would find less interesting.

The thing is, bohemians and businessmen are two very different people. Bohemians like doing things themselves their way. They pursue the creative process and not the goal. Businessmen, on the other hand, employ people or companies to achieve their goals in the shortest time possible. Can a person think like a businessman and a bohemian at the same time?

I have bohemian friends and businessman friends and I am quite blessed that I have these people to give me advice and encouragement. Their common advice: be patient, organized, and focused.

So much to do, so much to learn. But today is my birthday and I don't want to think about business or goals for a while. Today I'll just be bohemian and enjoy life's simple pleasures. Drinking a glass of honey lemon iced tea in a warm afternoon while looking at the distant Laguna Lake sounds like it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bohemian Diet:
Leylam Shawarma

The shawarma was introduced in this country in the 80's. I recall vaguely that it was referred to as the "poor man's sandwich". Maybe because it's a fast-food staple across the Middle East. Well if it's for the poor man then it's perfect for bohemians hehe.

I've tried many shawarmas already. A lot of bad ones. They can really make you realize why it was called the poor man's sandwich by the small serving of meat and too much onions. But I've discovered at SM Southmall (at the supermarket area) the shawarma store that has kept me coming back since last year.

Leylam Shawarma for me simply tastes better. Primarily because there's a good serving of meat that is not dry unlike other brands. All the ingredients - the vegetables, spices, cheese and sauce, are well portioned to give the right taste. It's only around Php 50. They also serve shawarma with rice instead of the pita bread, you can also have your shawarma rice topped with sunny-side-up egg. I think it's their best-seller. I'll try it also sometime.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Visit to Taal Basilica:
Asia's Largest Catholic Church

Last Friday I went to the province of Batangas with some friends and that gave me the chance to see Asia's largest church, the Basilica de San Martin de Tours, also known as Taal Basilica.

Actually there was an original church built in 1575 near the shores of Taal lake but was destroyed along with the town when the Taal volcano erupted big time in 1754. So the town was transferred farther from the volcano to its present site and a church was built in 1782 but was destroyed in 1852 because of an earthquake. Interesting construction and destruction history, huh?

Another interesting thing about this church is that it houses the country's largest bell (6.42 ft in height, 19 ft circumference at the lip). I didn't get to see it (darn!) There's an area in the basilica where you have to pay Php 50 to get in. That's probably where the bell is. The guard should have mentioned that there was something remarkable in there. The thing is, you get to know these things after the trip, when you get home and research about the place. =/ They don't ring the bell anymore, by the way. It was damaged in the 1942 earthquake.

Anyway, it's really nice being inside a huge church with a lot of history. Especially in an ordinary day when there's no mass, you can loiter around and check out the the different areas and appreciate the decorations and statues.

The Taal Basilica is a good place to hear the Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words of Christ) this coming Holy Week. If you're gonna do it in Batangas, do include this National Shrine in your Visita Iglesia list. Know other historical churches you can visit in Batangas at BonggaBa.Com by my friend Don TriviƱo, who took me along the trip.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I created a separate website for my digital painting services on multiply. (Click the image above to get there.) I made it at simple as possible. I don't wish to spend too much time customizing it. Besides, less elements is good - it puts emphasis on the artworks.

Hmm I only have 18 portraits there. Gotta make more!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Here's a new portrait. That's Neg being carried away by balloons. This portrait is a gift to her by my photographer friend Noel. I had fun working on this portrait because of the concept. The original photo, by itself is a creative shot. I thought that the image deserves to be lifted to a higher level, more like stratosphere-high of a level hehe. Aside from the background I made some changes with the ribbons, her hair, and replaced the stuffed toy with a more discernible one.

Want a portrait like this? Click here.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Exhibition by Jef Cablog

A just recent trip to Mandaluyong City gave me the chance to check out what's showing at the Art Center in MegaMall.

Some paintings I saw were quite familiar. I've seen one or two in galleries in Alabang. I love the work but never got a closer look to see who the artist was.

But today is a real treat because I saw the entire collection up close and I learned that the name behind these awesome paintings is Jef Cablog. Nice surname, Cablog. I'm blogging about Cablog. hehe.

I've seen many paintings depicting the ethnic people of Northern Luzon but Cablog's work is outsanding. They are dreamy and realistic, with soft lighting and sedate colors. The texture greatly adds to their overall appeal. Through his art I see the elegance of the Ifialig people.

Another day of art appreciation. Thank you Avee for the exhibit pics!

Getting a closer look at "Memento" by Jef Cablog.

My favorite: "Spearhead"

Detail from "Spearhead"

Another brilliant work: "Ceremonial Adornments"

A Little About Jef Cablog

The young artist is a pure blooded Ifalig from Barlig, Mountain Province. He has a degree in fine arts from UP Baguio. His paintings are visualizations of the stories told by the village elders of Barlig. He is steadily gaining recognition in the national art scene. Yeah I did a little research. See more of his great works here.

My Bohemian Fashion:
Kung Fu Style

I had no second thoughts about buying this black Chinese shirt of matte silk, at the moment I saw it at Shopwise. That was probably nine years ago. I'm glad that even today the shirt is still in good condition. Every bohemian man should have a silk Chinese shirt. I wear this getup every Chinese new Year.

Wearing it makes me feel like a kung-fu master hehe. I bet no one would try to pick a fight on me lookin' like this. ^_^ I did take wu-shu lessons actually, from 2004 to early 2007, focusing on straight sword routines.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My recent bling project caused me to organize all my jewelry making materials. I use to keep them in a big plastic shopping bag piled with the rest of my stuff. Now they're in a nice plastic hobby box that my brother has abandoned. I found it in his former closet here at home.

Finally all the beads and the metal findings are sorted. The organization has led to making these bracelets below. I found these irregularly shaped plastic beads.They have been here for more than a decade! They are manufactured in a way that the beads are permanently attached to a very long string. I refinished it to look like tarnished brass then I used wax chord for the macrame. The old beads yielded 4 bracelets. Could have been 5 if i didn't run out of wax chord.

So what shall I do with these bracelets? I could sell them to my hippie friends, I guess, for Php 25 each. ^_^

Monday, March 5, 2012

Project Pirate Beads

I always wanted to have something like what Jack Sparrow tucks in his bandana. Those strings of various beads dangling along his dreaded hair. I dunno, it looks cool to me.

I've been meaning to make one since last year, I've bought earrings and necklaces and took the components that I need for this project. Just recently in my trip to Divisoria I was able to buy chrome-plated plastic beads and little metal feather charms.

Last Sunday I finally have the chance to put them all together. Some of components I used I already own for years. Like the red one with carvings, the yellow crystal-like beads, and the coconut shell disks. The orange feathers was supposed to be used in a photo-shoot that didn't push through (I still have lots of those). I found the big white pearl in a plant box at a pool resort last year.

It would have been grand if I used real precious stones. Jack's beads has amber, coral and turquoise, I think. Anyway I like how my 24-inch long pirate beads turned out (even if it looks too pristine). Maybe I'll make a weathered version next time.

I really don't have an occasion to wear it yet hehe. But if you do and you want to have one I can assemble your own pirate beads. Just message me. ^_^

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Music of Aimee Mann

    If you've listened to new wave music in the 80's, you've probably encountered Aimee Mann, vocalist of the band 'Til Tuesday, with their song Voices Carry. The girl with the teased up blond hair made a comeback in the 90's with a look and sound that is much more to my liking.

    She still has the soft lazy voice but this time it is accompanied by nicely arranged music - some songs used strings, piano and even french horn. Her lyrics are also nicely written. I couldn't help but listen to the words and ponder on their meaning.

     I was gonna share the soundtrack of the 2000 film Magnolia in which every single track was performed by her. But it isn't available for streaming yet so below is her live album from 2004 which include some favorite tracks from Magnolia (That's Just What You Are, Wise Up, and Save Me).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy 1st Year, Buhay Bohemio!

Today is the first day of March 2012 and today my blog BuhayBohemio.Com is a year old. I flipped the pages of my online notebook to find the very first post for some retrospection.

So it has been a year since I've embraced bohemianism. Though I have been creative since childhood and being unconventional was evident at a very young age, it was only last year that I accepted the third aspect of bohemianism - voluntary poverty.

But let me make it clear that becoming poor is not the goal of bohemianism. If someone would offer me business partnership where I become creative director of a bohemian lifestyle brand, I will accept it without hesitation. But what are the chances of that happening? I'll either use my energy in search of a financier who believes that I have a good idea, or I'll just try to build the business myself one step at a time. The pursuit of artistic ambitions often leaves an artist struggling to preserve their finances by living below their means. That's where the voluntary poverty comes in.

This blog is really a documentation of my artistic ambitions, the journey to becoming an artist-entrepreneur (plus of course the meanderings along the way). It is a solitary journey but never a lonely one. And so I'm gonna use this post to thank some people:

To Fitz, who's gotten me into blogging, for helping me generate some income and at the same time develop my screen-printing skills through BloggerShirts.Com.

To my 15 followers: blogger friends Don, Cesar, and Greg; my blogger sister-in-law Erlaine, my sister Jeth, my dearest friend Avee, friends Vangie, and Tanya; recent followers, artist Lamberto, bloggers Gellie, Sumi, Christian, JP and Leandro, all whom I hope to meet in person someday. Also to those who follow my blog without me knowing ^_^

To the 94 people who liked the facebook page, relatives and friends and people I haven't met. That simple clicking of the "like" button means a lot. Thank you all. ^_^

May you all continue doing the things you love!