Monday, December 31, 2018

The 2018 Year-End Blog Post

    Well another year is about to end in a few hours and here I am writing a year-end post for my not-so-active blog hehe. We're having quite a different New Year's Eve here in the Philippines. I remember celebrating some new years with a drizzle or an isolated rain shower but today oh we're just having downpours courtesy of the tropical depression Usman. It was even raining last Christmas Eve and the day before that. After a 3-day break it's back to wet weather again. So now it has been raining for 5 days now.

    And you know what that means for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) like me. Looks like I'll be greeting 2019 with the blues. Yeah I know I shouldn't be feeling this way but fuck this rain haha! It has spoiled some plans I have for my  3-week vacation. You see, when the Christmas orders from this client of mine were all done by December 15, I decided not to work until the year ends. I also decided not to do anything for my already neglected brand Buhay Bohemio. I don't wanna work and I don't wanna think about work, or think about how to get back on track with my brand. I just wanna relax for goodness sake.

   So after the pre-Christmas concerns I focused on Hardin Bohemio, my garden project that started in April 2018. It is almost complete and it kinda stressed me out because I hoped it will be all finished by Christmas Day. Sadly the rains kept me from doing garden work (well at least the plants are happily watered). When it's not raining I go out to buy garden stuff. I went to Cartimar last Thursday to check out the plants (but mainly to buy fish to re-populate my aquarium that has been fish-less for weeks), I also went to Cubao yesterday and checked out Farmer's Garden and I was glad to find a variety of plants at affordable prices. I bought some hanging plants there and got caught in the rain on my way home which is a complete hassle - carrying all those plants with one hand and an umbrella on the other...

   This year-end post seem to be more about Hardin Bohemio haha!  But this garden project is my only creative achievement for 2018, I guess. Well I did relaunch my Tees & Tanks this year in June with new designs and printed stocks after about a 2-year hiatus from retailing. I was able to sell a good number of pieces to previous customers who had been waiting for this come-back. But stubborn me, I still didn't do any marketing. Then after a couple of months, orders from my regular client (Customized Chic), that I supply graphics to, started to pile up because it was already the peak season, you know, the -ber months. So since August all the work I did was for Customized Chic (which I am grateful for) and my garden, Hardin Bohemio, while Buhay Bohemio Tees & Tanks got pushed aside again and that adds to my New Year blues. I feel that I owe a great amount of time and attention to what should be my primary enterprise. But why did I allow this to happen? Maybe I'll talk about it in another post because this post is getting really long hehe.

   Like what I said earlier, I know that I shouldn't be caught feeling this way as we step into the new year even with all these puddles. Did the holiday storm ruined some of your plans too? Well some people didn't plan to lose property and loved ones to the recent storm...  Even if 2018 is marked with sorrow, we must face 2019 remembering how we were blessed with the warm and sunny days of our lives and  how we are made strong to survive life's cold, dark and stormy days.

  So yeah, let us all allow ourselves have a happy new year!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Music To Listen To While On The Road

       Hello again! I have not shared a playlist in a while. Well, I have not blogged in a while too haha.
Anyways, I have this Spotify playlist that I have been enjoying while I'm on the road. It's a collection of songs associated with road travel. I created this playlist just this year and I'm amazed that I was able to find 49 songs that's perfect for the theme. That's over 3 hours of music. Long enough for those really long road trips.

     It's no surprise why there are so many songs written about road travel because life is very much like a highway that we drive on. Sometimes it's rough, sometimes it feels like you're in the fast lane. Sometimes you take a detour, sometimes you breakdown. Sometimes you just want to get away from something for a while... Yeah there are awfully a lot of feelings we can associate with road travel.

     This playlist is a mix of genres and eras. You'll find classic songs by The Beatles and Nat King Cole, also by contemporary artists like Naika, Krewella, Russ, Rihanna, and WizKid. I have some favorites here by Death Cab for Cutie,  Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift, and Goldroom just to name a few.

    Well I do hope you will love this playlist as much as I do and you'll play it on your next road trip to give you that extra happy feeling that makes you pretend you're in some music video haha.

    Ride / drive safely, okay?!  ^_^

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Making Of Hardin Bohemio

   Well hello again after almost 2 months hehe! It has been raining and I sure miss riding out of town. Last summer was awfully hot and now we seem to be having more rain in this year's wet season. So most of the days I'm just stuck at home.

  But that's okay because I'm pretty engrossed with my new home project that I call "Hardin Bohemio", as mentioned in my last post. I finally decided to make something of this 25 square meter roof deck that has been bare for decades!

   Sometimes when I take a break from working  in front of my PC, I step out of my room (aka Silid Bohemio), and walk around the roof deck to relax my eyes and get some fresh air. Nothing much to see out there but I thought that it would be nice to step outside to something like in this pic below that I found in Pinterest.
I can imagine myself doing my desk work in a place like this
while enjoying a cup of coffe and listening to music,

     So the decision to pursue this project came when I realized that I will probably grow old in this place (my parent's house) Haha! Also with the willingness to shell out money for this project. But with the help of this bonafide boho's  frugality, resourcefulness, and good taste (naks!), I trust that I will be able to beautify this space without spending more than hmmm... Php 40k.

   The very first structure built for Hardin Bohemio is this pergola made or 2" square tubes, some rope, and camouflage net. I bought the net from one of those army uniform and supply stores  in Quiapo. Four pieces of 2 x 4 meter nets at Php 900 each. Surely this kind of roofing will not last very long but it will do for the meantime. When they finally wear out I might replace them with bamboo slats or something. It has to be the kind that will still let rain get to the plants below it and also reduce the amount of sunlight. Because it gets really hot on cloudless days here and it seems that even hardy plants get scorched!

  Next built was this fence made of pallet wood. There's this 1.5 x 4 meter balcony that I enclosed and placed  a sink, a shower head, and a urinal. So this is my new outdoor laudry / bath area hehe. I've been bathing here already and it feels like I'm in a shower room of some remote beach resort haha! Well I'm sure glad that I don't have to go downstairs for a quick shower anymore.

   This isn't really part of the original plan but I decided to repaint some of the exterior walls and the metal window grills. I really hate this fake brick finish that was painted barn red. Now it has an uneven earth-tone color for a more natural look.

I started bringing upstairs some nice planters that are just lying around the house containing hideous dust-collecting plastic flowers haha. I also bought 3 big terracotta planters (20" diameter) to plant small trees in. I got them from a store along Daang Hari for only Php 500 each, while other stores are selling them at Php 800!

   What's really sweet is that my parents are supportive about this project. They started bringing plants upstairs. My mom loves plants and she planted a lot of them in the yards of our warehouse and small farmland in Cavite. So that really saves me a lot of money - I do not have to buy new plants to fill this garden. 

  There is still a lot to do! The shelves are waiting to be installed, I need to have a 12-seater table built, also some string of lights for the pergola, and I need to find cheap outdoor stools. When all of that is done the project will now proceed to Phase 2 haha! Because I'm not just building a garden. This is Hardin Bohemio so it must be artful and stylish! Bring in the garden decor, sculptures, chimes, lanterns, etcetera etcetera..!

   Haay.. Yeah, still a long way to go and it frustrates me that I can't have everything done in just one month. Had to wait for the next paycheck haha. If it takes a pot of patience to grow a plant, then it must take a dump truck of patience to build a garden!  ^_^

Friday, June 8, 2018

BuhayBohemio Tshirts & Tanks:
The Silent Re-Launch

So I finally re-launched BuhayBohemio Tshirts & Tanks. I hoped for a grand re-opening. You know, like announcing it avidly on FB complete with flashy pics. But instead it was rather a sneaky kind hihi!

  Late last month I started uploading pics on the BuhayBohemio FB page then I had to put the page on unpublish mode because people are starting to inquire haha. It took a while - uploading all those pics and adding product information, also changing some settings in the page.

  So now there are 38 print designs available and  I have about 270 pieces of printed tops (t-shirts and tank tops) in hand, filling two big cargo boxes. That sounds like a lot but the stocks are really limited. Like some shirt designs have only 4 to 8 pieces in varied sizes. A few designs have only one piece available haha! That's why I'm not too confident about promoting them just yet.

  Because I uploaded the album last month and re-published the page just a few days ago, none of its followers saw it hehehe. Which is a good thing. I did tell a few people about it - those who have been waiting for me to re-open. One ordered a number of pieces and I had to orient him on how to order in my FB page. The first step is to post a comment to reserve the item to yourself, because, like I've mentioned, stocks are limited and I don't do print-when-ordered anymore. First to reserve, first to get the item. (But one can post a request if the needed size is not available). His purchase was like a trial in the process of ordering and I saw that I need to make changes on the page settings like putting the latest comment at the bottom of the thread instead of the default: new comment on top - which can be confusing to most FB users.

  Anyway, I have 5 new designs out for sale:

      The Los Anitos Tshirt, showing various bul-ol statues. Anito refers to spirits (ancestor spirits, nature spirits, and deities) in the indigenous animistic religions of precolonial Philippines. A bul-ol, on the other hand, is a carved human figurine into which a certain anito (such as the Ifugao rice god) is said to incorporate itself when worshiped. I've always been fascinated by the aesthetic culture of the indigenous people of the Cordillera Region. Maybe I'll design a lingling-o symbol t-shirt next.

     My Good Vibes Tshirt. Being a graphic artist that handles a lot of fonts, I became interested in fancy typography and saw a lot of gorgeous works on Pinterest. Why use just one font to present a phrase or short sentence, right?  So many beautiful words, so many beautiful fonts, so little time! Haha! I hope you like my first typography shirt. I will make this available in different colors.

   Eight Ball Tanktop. When one says he is "behind the eight ball" that means he's in an unpleasant situation.  Because in the game of billiards, when the cue ball is behind the eight ball, a player usually has no shot hehe. The eight ball has become a symbol of a lot of things including both bad luck and good fortune. The phrase itself has many different meanings. Do you want to be called an eight ball? Either you are that annoying person that people like to avoid OR the last person one should mess with? So you wanna a buy a tanktop? Hehe! Will make this available on shirts too.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

March Marches Through

This is The Life LOL!
   I'm sure glad I was able to go to the beach early this summer. I went to Calatagan, Batangas again on the second weekend of March with Shah and other riders. But I didn't go there on a motorcycle. Some of us went there in cars and that means we were able to bring a lot of stuff - hammocks, beer, FOOD! Hehe

I made new friends this month. =)

Finally able to catch a Calatagan sunset!

   But now March is almost ending *sigh*. I usually make a blog post on the first day of March since 2011. But not this year. I have a lot of things going on this month. March is special because in this same month 7 years ago I decided to stop being an employee, became a freelancing graphic artist, and created this blog Buhay Bohemio. So yeah, this blog is now 7 years old.

  How's the blog? Well through the years we can see there has been a decrease in the frequency of post. Haha! Though I'm more active on Instagram, I assure you, my dear readers (if you are still there) that I will never abandon this blog. For sure in the future there will always be something that is too long to talk about on IG hehe.

  And how's the freelancing life? Well I am soooo used to it. I really could't imagine myself being an employee again, waking up at 5 or 6 AM to get to work by 9 AM hehehe. Even if the pay is not as much as I get when I was a designer on a leash, working at home surely saves me a lot of money, especially time, which is often used on procrastinating haha. But I'd like to call it "creative contemplation" instead.

The Barcelona Tote by Customized Chic. Laser-cut design.
A collaborative work between me and Madam Yssa.

Customized Chic now has sleek black plexiglass items.

    I have been keeping one regular client and the rest are seasonal clients. My regular client Customized Chic, which I have been providing with artwork since its launch in 2014, has really taken off the ground. It has over 60 plexiglass houseware products now and I haven't counted the stationery, glassware, metal fashion accessories, and bags yet. Orders just keep coming in and it's beginning to feel like...well, routine. Because I do more of the production layouts than product design. I already hired an assistant - a friend I used to work with in an exporting company, but she's a new mom that is new to freelancing, which kinda affects her reliability so she's doing just a fraction of what I do for Customized Chic. My client also has another artist/designer working for her now, a cousin of hers and she does the stationery and other products that I used to work on. Still, I wish I would just do product design and have all the production work done by my assistant. That would give me more time for my own brand.

    If you have been a follower of my blog since day one, you would know that I have ventured into screen-printing and created my own line of printed shirts that I named Buhay Bohemio Shirts (I don't know what else to call it haha). I started with 4 designs and in 2015 I have around 30 designs, excluding those that I phased out. But something awful happened in the middle of 2015 that made me realize, while producing an order,  that there is something wrong with my methods and materials. I mean, I have been producing good quality shirts, but the procedure and the type of inks and screens that I've used made things quite inefficient and tiresome. So after the completion of that order. I took a break from printing and selling shirts for the rest of the year.

One of 5 new designs from Buhay Bohemio:
This is my Bul-ol T-shirt. Coming out very very soon haha!

     Early in 2016 I started salvaging and replacing damaged stencils and  tried a new type of ink. Then I started printing stocks of my old designs by the last quarter of 2016. But I didn't sell them haha. In fact I have been printing stocks of shirts (including new designs) all throughout 2017 and just kept them in a big box haha. Now I have 35 designs and around 200 stocks of printed shirt ready to be sold. But the thing is, I'm not ready to sell them yet haha sorry. I still have to upload them. I thought I will be able to relaunch my line of shirts this March but something came up. Aside from assignments from Customized Chic (while my oh so reliable assistant is enjoying a 2-week vacation out of town), getting my motorcycle registered for 2018,  I also have some construction going on here at home.

Under this pergola will be a lush garden with seating. =)
     I'm having a pergola made here at the balcony outside my room. I designed a simple, lightweight construction made of wrought iron square tubes. I'm still deciding on the roofing material. Maybe canvas or bamboo slats? Anyway this pergola marks the beginning of the creation of Hardin Bohemio hehe.

Korean BBQ!!!

    Well another thing that's special about March is that it's my birthday month hehe. It was on the 20th. Celebrated with my folks over lunch at Samgyeopmasarap, a Korean BBQ restaurant in Greenhills.

  *Sigh* 43 years old, 7 years of bohemianism, still trying to achieve absolute creative freedom.