Thursday, October 16, 2014

My DIY Paper Tags

       My BuhayBohemio Shirts now has paper tags and they are home-made hehe. There is also a printed label inside the back of the shirts near the collar. I had been meaning to put these branding materials to make my shirts, well, look more presentable as a product. So after months of thinking (and procrastinating), I finally came up with a simple and stylish paper tag that I don't have to spend much money or time on.

        The tags are made of brown board and stamps. I got the boards in Divisoria and it's only less than Php 14 per 3 x 4 ft sheet (minimum of 10 sheets). I also had 4 stamps made  for less than Php 300 each. The rubber stamp is cut by a computer aided machine so any intricate design can be made into a stamp real quick!

       Also I bought 3 stamp pads of different colors for Php 96 each, a 3-mm hole puncher for Php 75, a tagging gun for Php Php 160, and box of plastic tag strings for Php 80. All in all, my supplies that cost Php 1,900 can yield around 2,000 paper tags. That same amount can only give me around 500 tags if I have them printed.

       Of course I don't need to make 2,000 tags all at once. I made 100 in less than 30 minutes (thanks to the handy paper guillotine here at home). Stamping the tags is the fun part. The fulfilling part is putting the tag on the shirts hehe.  With all these boards I can make tags and packaging for my other products. I'll let my creative (and meandering) mind take care of that.

       What's next? Paper bags. ^_^   

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Board Game Lounge, Anyone?

     Just last night my friends and I had dinner in BF, ParaƱaque City and on our way out we saw this new board game lounge, Puzzles, so we stopped over to check it out.  I remember that we once went to Ludo, a similar establishment in Quezon City but we didn't get to play any games because the place was jam packed that night on a Saturday.

     Well I must say that Puzzles, located at 287 Aguirre Avenue, is more spacious and I love the contemporary styled interior. The staff are friendly too. They got a fairly wide range of board and card games that you can try. They charge Php 100 per player for the use of one game set. 

     As I recall and if I'm not mistaken, Ludo doesn't charge for the use of the game materials. You go there and buy a snack or just a drink and that entitles you to play all you want. While at Puzzles, you pay to play games and enjoy some food... that you will also pay for of course hehe. I ordered just a small cup of cafe au lait for a price that could already get you a venti-sized beverage at Starbucks. "Why not just buy new card games and let's play them at Starbucks?", a friend jokingly asked. He's got a point, you know.

       The concept of a board game lounge is quite new here in the Philippines. It feels more for the barkada than for the family, unless the kids are already in their teens at least. And people have different preferences when it comes to their environment while playing board or card games. In lounges like these, expect a lot of noise. Everybody shares one big room that has no acoustic treatment so you'll pretty much hear the HOORAYs of scoring players, ARRGHs of the losers,  and the  HAHAHAs of other participants.

     We made our own loud heckling of course, while playing Cards Against Humanity - a nasty adult game that I played for the first time. It was boring at the start but it got really funny towards the end. I think we finished the game around 1 AM. A fun experience, yeah. Will we come back? Ummmmaybe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

First Try on Vinyl Prints

      A regular client of mine for digital paintings knows that I also do screen printing  and she asked if I could customize a couple of shirts for her.  But I recommended vinyl prints instead. Because if only a single shirt or two is needed, vinyl would be best, especially if the design only uses simple solid fonts and geometric shapes. It's faster to produce and costs less, as compared to having the same design screen-printed on a few shirts. Another thing, vinyl prints can also last like silk-screened prints.

     So these two shirts above are for her. A birthday gift for her dad, the grandpa of her two kids. I had them done in a "personalize it" shop in a nearby mall.

     In vinyl printing, a machine is used to cut the needed shapes from a thin sheet of colored vinyl. Then a heat press is used to permanently fasten the vinyl to the shirt.  You can have a simple shirt done for less than P300. Even less if you bring your own shirt. My tip is that you use a thick cotton-polyester shirt. Though vinyl can be used on most shirt fabrics, I find that thick, less stretchable, and wrinkle-free shirts blend well with vinyl prints.

    I have been meaning to have shirts done for my own personal use. Lucky for me, I have the same vector editing software that these shops use to operate their cutter plotter, and not to mention the adeptness. Plus I have my own stock of blank shirts. So producing a vinyl printed t-shirt is really such a breeze!  ^_^

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Dark Side of Being Creative?

   I really like reading the funnies in newspapers and Dilbert by Scott Adams is one of my favorite comic strips because I could  relate to those funny office situations. Well, most of them. I've been a corporate artist for a decade, you know. 

    But this one has to be the best. It made me check the symptoms of  ADHD, dyslexia, being bipolar and schizophrenic! XD

    Visit for more funny stuff!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Origins of Bohemian Culture

West Bohemia, Czech Republic.
      Lovely, isn't it? It's the real Bohemia. I say "real" because Bohemia nowadays could also be any place where an artist or any creative person work and live cheaply and enjoy being their radical selves.

    But what's the link between Bohemia, part of today's Czech Republic, and the people practicing Bohemianism? Is there actually a link? Well Bohemia is not really the world's capital for art and literature. You probably made that guess hehe. But you may find it interesting that Bohemia was once a kingdom of the Holy Roman Empire. So it was a country with a history that began in the 11th Century.

       Bohemianism actually emerged in Paris during the late 19th Century when artists began to concentrate in low rent neighborhoods during the Belle Epoque (Beautiful Era) - a period in Europe where peace and prosperity allowed the arts to flourish. Many notable artists worked and lived in Paris in this period that started in 1871 and ended at the start of World War 1 in 1914.

The Eiffel Tower was built during the Belle Epoque 
to serve as the grand entrance to the 1889 World's Fair.

Vincent Van Gogh was among many artist 
who lived in Paris for a time, particularly in
Montmartre where rents quite affordable.

      So these economizing artists started to live in low rent neighborhoods in Paris that are also occupied by gypsies. The gypsies were at that time called "Bohemien" because they were thought to have arrived from Bohemia. Gypsies actually refer to the Romani people - a nomadic ethnic group living mostly in Europe and the Americas. Their linguistics and genetics suggest that they originated in Northwest India and migrated as a group in medieval times.

An all-male gypsy band in the 1800's.
The Bohemian, William Bougueerau, 1890.
       The Romani people themselves are gifted in the performing arts. They are known for their music and dances. Their music has influenced many European classical composers. The distinct sound of their music has in fact influenced bolero, flamenco and jazz in Europe.

Bal do moulin de la Galette (1876) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir,
depicts a typical Sunday afternoon dance in the 
district of Montmartre in Paris.

       Now imagine a suburban neighborhood in 19th Century Paris that is home to people who are "different". You have the dark skinned, black haired music loving gypsies; and the free-thinking French artists who broke the norms that led to the rise of modern art. These people probably got along quite well. The artists may have been drawn to the gypsies' non Western aesthetic culture, and the gypsies in turn favored their artist neighbors for being  non-discriminating and even appreciative.

Renoir was among a handful of 19th Century artists
who rented space at 12 rue de Cortot which today
is known as the Montmartre Museum.
       Now I'm not certain if the artists who lived in such villages started to adopt the multi-cultural fashion and the laid-back lifestyle of the Parisian gypsies and began to call themselves "Bohemiens" also, or people might have given them that as a moniker. Whatever it was, this new term for such breed of artists has survived a millennium after the Belle Epoque and its use has crossed the borders of Paris and into the shores of many cultures.

US clothing brand Artisan de Luxe came up
with a seemingly "street bohemian" style 
collection for Fall 2013.
     Yet today not everybody is aware of what a bohemian is because not everybody has an interest in the arts. Not everybody is an artist and in fact not every artist is bohemian. Others may think that bohemian is simply a style in fashion. Try typing "bohemian fashion", "gypsy fashion" or even "hippie fashion" on Google and you'll pretty much see the same thing.

     Of course to be a bohemian, or to practice bohemianism, is to make art an integral part of ones life to the point of unconventionality. They are painters, sculptors, writers, journalists, singers, musicians and actors who gave up their material well-being, wandering like a vagabond  in search of their own Bohemia, waiting for the Belle Epoque of their creative endeavors.