Wednesday, December 31, 2014

         It is said that whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New Year will bring new opportunities.*

      If so, then I wish strong arms for everybody in 2015 to wrestle those challenges and grab those opportunities real tight!

* Michael Josephson,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year-End Shirt Orders

    Well the year is almost over and I'm  glad the deliveries of December have all been done. I was still able to enjoy Christmas with family and close friends, and it looks like I'll also be celebrating a stress-free New Year's Eve.

      I'd say that this year's holiday season is busier than of the past 3 years. Mainly because I have monogram projects now, aside from the usual digital paintings and shirts.

       Do you know how many BuhayBohemio Shirts I've sold this holiday season? Only 12 LOL. These are for a friend who's also a regular customer. Ordered in mid November but I only got to deliver them 3 days before Christmas. Because I was so busy working on monograms for Customized Chic, I didn't have the time to market my shirts. Well I thought I couldn't accommodate shirt orders anyway. At that time portrait orders are waiting to be done.

        I usually don't accept orders of customized screen-printed shirts nowadays especially if the quantity is too few to outsource. But I just couldn't decline this one by our neighbor who runs a small barbecue business -  because their family has been really nice to us! Luckily it's just 20 pieces with a single-color print. She ordered them in November but I only got work on them  21st of December. I remember printing these shirts on the daytime then work on portraits at night until 2 AM!

       And the last order of shirts for 2014 are these 199Jobs shirts for my friend Fitz. Ordered 2 days before the delivery date. Well it's no sweat because it's just 7 pieces and the stencil is on standby and ready to use. This is actually the 3rd batch of 199Jobs shirt prints. The first 2 batches were printed September and December last year. By the way, are you a freelancer too? Check out There might be a service you can offer for Php 199.

       Well that sums up all the work done this holiday season of 2014. I still have pending portrait and t-shirt orders for January, and also a few marketing images for Customized Chic. Maybe I'll take my time off from working by mid January and do creative non-profitable stuff for a month! ^_^

Monday, December 29, 2014

Portrait Projects of Holiday 2014

      After Customized Chic made a cut-off for holiday orders, on the first week of December, I finally got to concentrate on making these digital portraits. I meant "concentrate" as having most of my waking time spent on these images. I still had to work on a few monogrammed stamps and trays and even printed shirts on the side. 

    Yeah, this has got to be my most hectic holiday ever. Deadlines were tight so I went cramming! Eight of the portraits must  be delivered before Christmas Eve so I had to brave Manila's pre-Christmas traffic to have them printed and delivered on the 23rd. There was no time left for contingency. Despite the circumstance of wrong print sizes and unavailability of the preferred matte canvas, I was able to deliver the goods right on schedule.

       So anyway, I made a total of 16 artworks and most are family portraits - that's 89 faces all in all. (I still have a couple of portraits pending for January.) A few of the portraits were ordered with frame and it really gives me such delight to see my work as a finished product. Very inspiring! I really wish I could start working on a new official website for this creative service of mine.

       If you want to have a closer look at the portraits, click on the images below  ^_^

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Monogrammed Gifts by Customized Chic

     How fast time flies! You probably hear that line a lot when December steps in. And it feels even faster than it really is when you're busy. I bet everybody's busy this month. Especially my fellow freelancing artists out there. The closer the holidays come, the busier we get. That's something I learned to accept after 3 years of being self-employed.

   So what has been keeping me busy since mid September that I had to put some stuff for Buhay Bohemio aside? Well it's these monogrammed items for Customized Chic.


        One of my best clients on digital portrait paintings, Madam Yssa,  is very much into personalizing things for her home and one day, obviously not so long ago, decided to make a business out of it. She started with these really sleek acrylic trays with engraved monograms.

     I also designed 14 graphic prints for her acrylic trays, based on the themes she has chosen for her Prima Collecione. Like this Greek tray (top) and this other one we call Willow (above). Nice huh? Imagine your initials on them. The trays are available in 6 sizes.

        She also has hinged acrylic boxes available that can either have a print or an engraving.

     Recently she added throw pillows with embroidered monograms to her product line. We'll be working on pillows with vinyl monogram prints soon.

       Her latest product is the custom self-inking monogram stamp. You can personalize your stationery in an instant with these things!

      So yeah,  I am the artist behind every monogram on her products. My collection of fonts in my PC was certainly put into use. Designing her items was so reminiscent of my employment years in export companies where I designed housewares and decor.

     Really I was almost like her employee for 2 months! Like an artist-on-call, I was confined  to my PC, waiting for her instructions, submitting product studies and marketing images to her via email. That of course went on when she started accepting orders. She had fairly a lot of orders for starters, and it was all monograms for me for days and days. I'm beginning to dream of the alphabet in my sleep.

      She promised to herself that she'll  stop accepting orders for the holidays by November 22nd because she's also aware that I also have my own brand to attend to. But there are still a few follow-up orders that she just can't refuse hehe. Well at least the load is not as hectic as the weeks before. Now I could get back to my pending t-shirt and digital portrait orders.

      You know, in the local scene, there are a lot of personalize-it shops out there, but very few specializing on monogrammed items. So far she's the only one who offers monogrammed graphic acrylic trays and embroidered pillows. She's getting a lot of positive feedback and I'm really glad I was able to help a client with her business start-up.

      Customized Chic doesn't have an official website yet but do check out the products on Facebook by following  this link.  ^_^  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New BuhayBohemio Shirts:
Symbols of Protection and Peace

       These are the two last designs for 2014. I'm supposed to make 3 but I changed my mind about the other one, even after the film was already printed.  The stencil for these two designs has been ready since October but it's only now that I get to launch them on the online catalog and this blog. As usual, there has been delays but they are what I call "good delays". In coming posts maybe I'll talk about what had me putting aside some tasks that's 

         Anyway this is my Hamsa T-Shirt. Yup, I already have aqua blue shirts in my stock and I'll make some old designs available in this color too for you boys and girls.

        So what is a hamsa? It's an ancient symbol of Middle Eastern origin that is recognized in 3 religions. In Islam it is known as the Hand of Fatima, commemorating Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra. Jews refer to it as the Hand of Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron. Levantine Christians call it the Hand of Mary, the Virgin.

       The hamsa is commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. It is a sign of protection and also represents blessings, power and strength. It is also seen as a potent deflector of the evil eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death or just any kind of bad luck. 

         Well this symbol does feel like a pretty potent design because it seem to work with all my available shirt colors. I currently have eleven but I will make this design basically available in black, white, brown, purple, pink, yellow and my new aqua blue.

       Unlike the hamsa, this symbol didn't come from ancient times. This widely used peace symbol was originally created in 1958 for the British anti nuke war movement by professional designer and artist Gerald Holtom. The symbol is a combination of 2 flag semaphore signals for N and D which stands for nuclear disarmament.

           I originally had reggae colors in mind when I designed my tank top (above) which I will simply call Rasta Peace. I really like how it turned out. Too bad I ran out of black tank tops and so does my supplier! But interestingly, the design can also produce these two other color styles on shirts:
        Hippie Peace T-Shirt, available in pink and purple shirts for men and ladies.

       No-2-War T-shirt, available for men and ladies, only in white.

     Well I guess I'll just be printing shirts alongside other projects for the remaining days of the year. So much for the plan to sell shirts in holiday bazaars. But if I get to do so next year, I most likely will have around 40 designs available. O_o

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Manila Art 2014: Crossing Borders

     Well I'm certainly glad that despite my busy schedule I found the time to visit  Manila Art 2014, that was held October 16th to 19th at SMX Aura, Global City. And after 18 days I finally got the chance to blog about it, squeezing this between graphic projects.

      Anyway, this is my third visit to a Manila Art fair and they are on their 6th year in promoting the best of our country's creative artistry. I took a lot of pictures and I'm sharing here a few of my favorites. Click on the TV screenshots for a closer look.

         The first artwork that I snapshot is this one by Reyber Ramos entitled "Versus". Acrylic and graphite on canvas. Just as cool as his works that I saw 2 years ago, of a dude with a doberman head and another with a rottweiler.

          Cute, huh? Sanrio meets Rock. "The Kiss of Kitty" by Onard Bancaya. Metalic pen and vinyl.

      One of the galleries featured these small works or various medium.  A wall full of small paintings could be equally as interesting as a wall with few large paintings. I should develop a habit of making small 2D artworks in random - as if I have the time!

      This balancing sculpture is made of painted steel. The blue part spins. "Wings of the City" by Gil Corcuerra.

       The superb detail of this painting can never go unnoticed. "Apat na Sugo" (Four Messengers), acrylic on canvas by Eros Basilio.

     Does this look like Hell? Naked men wrestling in the mud, others trying to climb a cyclone wire fence. Sounds like heaven to some people I know. LOL. "On Earth", a large oil painting by Orley Ypon.

          I have a fascination for skull-themed art. It must be the dark side of me. "Retaliate" by Tyago Almario.

       Somebody has made something pretty (and prickly) from toothpicks. I bet this will look good as a lamp.

     If making fine art from regular stuff is awesome, making fine art from trash is twice the awesomeness. This is made of scrap metal by Sam Penaso.

     A pair of Maranao inspired sculptures. Of all ethnic groups in the Philippines I find  Maranao aesthetics as the most elegant.

      The work of a true master: "The Triumph of Life Over Death" by Romulo Galicano, depicts a scene in the aftermath of Yolanda, the storm that caused great damage in Eastern Visayas last year. 

     Looks like somebody has been toying with the image of Santo NiƱo. Well if medieval Christians can depict the child Jesus as an earthly king, why can't we depict him as a superhero? After all Christ is indeed the one true superhero.

     Contemporary interpretations of classical art has always gotten my attention and I really love this work by Christian Tamondong. It's the Birth of Venus and Raggedy Anne mash up LOL. The Painting version is just as lovely.

       "The Cat and the Owl" by Tom Jopson. I simply love this painting because it shows two  of my favorite familiars, I mean, creatures hehe. Does anyone recall the 1871 nonsense poem by Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat" where the two creatures got married and danced hand-in-hand on the sand in the moonlight?

       Darna meets Wonder Woman in this remarkable work by Lhee Taneo entitled "White Brown Pillage". If you've seen shell craft, this is fine shell art. Yup, this is a mosaic made of little shells.

      I took a lot of pictures than I did last year and the year before that. I guess that's an indication that Manila Art is showing more and more quality art each year. I have a total of 101 photos to share to you, if you missed the show. Click on the screenshot above and enjoy! ^_^