Two weeks ago, I worked at PaperCon under Abbey’s booth with two volunteers: Trina (who so happens to be a friend from college) and Nice (a new friend, yey!) It was ultimately a rewarding experience—we had so much fun manning a booth and talking to the customers! Before it got too busy, I was able to take a couple of photos of the event:
It still amazes me that people lined up around 2-3 hours before the event itself to get a hold of the VIP ticket (which was limited to 200 only!) Salute to you guys for bracing the hot weather and standing up for so long, haha.
Just look at that line!
Setting up (a.k.a. the calm before the storm.)
At 10:00AM on the dot, the doors officially opened, and a swarm of people entered. We were selling stationery and books left and right, and we didn’t realize how much time has passed until one of us called for a lunch break!
Team ABC! (L-R: Abbey, me, Trina, and Nice + special mention to Auntie Z for helping us out!)
We took turns taking breaks and going around when it wasn’t too busy. Actually, before PaperCon, I already had an idea of what I wanted to buy (from stalking the online shops of each seller, haha!)—and I’m proud to say that I stayed within my budget. Now, on to my haul!
Lately, I’ve been busy with work (a welcome thing compared to earlier this year when I was uninspired to work or do anything really)—but the next few months are full of adventure and events, which I’m excited to share with you! For now, I’ll share with you my MIBF (Manila International Book Fair) haul this year. I’ve posted my haul every year since 2015, and it’s nice to see how my tastes have evolved. I’ve been more and more conscious of book-buying every year. I ask myself questions like “Will I read this more than once?” “Will I want this to be on my shelf for several years?” “Will this book add to my being or not?” Armed with these questions, I went to the book fair with a list of book-investments I’d want to purchase.
First, I got the 75th-anniversary edition of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. I first read this book in my first or second year in high school (nearly 7 years ago?!) and fell in love with the stories. I got myself a copy at a local second-hand bookstore and reread it once every so often when I get the urge to jump into the world of gods and Greek tragedy.
Look how beautiful the cover is!
Gorgeous illustration inside!
I can’t wait to re-read the stories one of these days!
I finally had my latest instant camera film developed and scanned. As compared to my previous roll, this one lasted me almost three months before I finally finished up all the film inside. I was able to bring it with me to Japan during my “hooray-we-finally-graduated” trip last March and my trip to Seoul last April. Shockingly, I didn’t even use it up during the two trips (mind you, this camera had just around 30 shots, too!) I was surprised with how sparingly I was using the instant camera. Maybe I’ll use it more generously next time.
Anyway, here are some of the best/cleanest shots from the roll!
(Note: None of these images were edited/color corrected aside from resizing it + adding my logo!)
Some shots from my Japan trip:
Alecca took this photo in our Osaka hostel—we were in the lobby/common room for hostel guests.
Alecca took this photo of me in USJ, behind the Flying Snoopy ride (which was closed for the day.)
Took this quick photo of Alecca (L) and Nicole (R) while we were waiting in line at USJ!
Here’s part two of my “That’s a Wrap” blog post; to read part one, which is about my thesis, click here! (Also, by the time you’ll read this, I’ve been “unemployed” for a little over a month, haha! Quotation marks on “unemployed” because I technically work for the family businesses + freelance for now…so…sorta unemployed?) If you’ve read part one and are here for part two, thank you for sticking around!
GRADUATION – October 13, 2018 Just like that, I’m done with school. I admit it’s been difficult for me to grasp that I don’t have to write papers, study for exams, or do projects anymore. I’ve always enjoyed learning and college brought out the nerd in me; I loved taking notes, buying stationery, organizing my thoughts into an essay, graded recitation, the readings. When I first entered university, I remember one of my professors telling me, “Life in college is like a fantasy or even a utopia.” Only now, when I don’t have classes to attend or schoolwork to do, did I understand what he meant.
In college, I felt like—for the first time in my life—I am my authentic self. I studied hard, made mistakes, pursued my interests, and made lifetime memories and friendships. I was so used to living in this bubble in high school; what we’re required to study and do regardless of our interests. I was such a frustrated artist in high school—I wanted to pursue writing and arts, but I didn’t get the opportunity to really get into either until I got to college. I was surprised by the amount of freedom I got and, for the first time in my life, I met people with the same goals and ambitions in my course. I felt like I belonged.
Finally finished all my required units!
I was able to achieve so much in the short four years I’ve had in De La Salle University. I was able to write stories and see it as a short film, study abroad, take part in internships, write a book, and so much more. I am incredibly grateful for my experiences.
It’s been less than a month since graduation and I feel that it has finally sunk in that, after spending the majority of my life in school, I am finally finished (for now, at least.) Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this, I’d like to share a story or two about my last two semesters in university focusing mainly on my thesis and graduation. I’ll be splitting these into two separate blog posts, so brace yourself for a lengthy read!
THESIS I know I’ve been hinting this post several times in the past when I was still working on my thesis, and I’m happy to finally share my thought process on the entire thing: the concept of the story, the writing, and, finally, the illustration process.
It was in my second year of university when I decided two things: one, that I would like to write and illustrate a children’s book for my thesis. And, two, I want to do my thesis alone (I guess I was too traumatized by group work and I know that I’m too much of a perfectionist, so I worried for partnerships when it comes big projects, like a thesis.) Seeing that I had around two years before I would reach the thesis term, I prepared hastily for this in order to have the skills for it. I went to talks and took writing classes to improve my storytelling, I practiced my brush lettering, studied more watercolor techniques, and read + reread a lot of children’s books. I wrote a lot of stories and articles to practice. (I also stocked up on art supplies!) Eventually, the thesis term arrived, and I was ready to face the long road ahead.
My thesis was divided into two terms: the research term and the thesis implementation term. The first term focused more on the story development and research, which went by rather quickly. (I enjoyed writing and researching—I’ve learned so much!) The second term is when I got to apply what I’ve learned…and have fun with it!
The story conceptualization for the book took a while until my mentor and I found a story that worked. Basically, my end goal is to write a book that I know my little sister would love reading. The story is simply about a little girl named Hannah (yes, I named my character after my sister) and her dad. So Hannah is sick in bed with a cold and wants nothing but Alphabet Soup to help her feel better. Her dad does his best to make it—despite not really knowing how to. He misinterprets Alphabet Soup as a soup with 26 ingredients from A-Z and adds in strange and fun things to make a funny soup. The story inspiration was directly derived from the fun and silly relationship dynamic between my sister and my father.
The writing process of my book was frustrating, to say the least. I took me three months (and ten drafts) until my mentor and I were satisfied with the text. I wrote the book in poetry to make it fun (and somewhat more difficult for me, haha.) It was also around this time I gave my book its title: Silly Soup Day.
After I fully grasped what I wanted to write, I jumped right into illustration and did a few pages of character and color studies:
I also roughly painted the cover design of my book:
While I prepare for the Hobonichi wrap-ups I’ve missed (click here to see the latest one), I’d like to share my Hobonichi haul for next year! It took me a while to decide on what cover I’ll use for the next year, but after weeks of indecision, I’m happy with what I chose. When I got the package, I ran to my room to open it up right away (then I placed everything back to take a photo of everything, haha!)
The box is so cute! Happy 20th anniversary, Hobonichi!
When you open the box, this is what welcomes you. I feel encouraged already!
A little background: on my trip to Osaka earlier this year, I bought two instant/disposable cameras. I gave one to my little sister, Hannah (who is 7-years-old) and kept one for myself. I challenged her to take photos of what she found interesting or moments she wanted to keep. I followed this prompt and excitedly took photos carefully. I watched Hannah take photo after photo of everything. It wasn’t long until she ran out of shots. Not wanting to buy a new one, I gave her my camera to use up the remaining shots available.
After the trip, I was curious about the outcome of our photos and finally, finally after several months, I got the photos developed and scanned. I picked the best ones from the trip and wanted to share some of them here. [Note: none of these photos were color corrected.]
I took this photo just outside the Fushimi Inari Taisha—I love how the colors just pop out here!
Hannah took this photo— I love how warm the photo feels and I like how the color pops out on the hair of the lady on the right!)
Last month, I’ve been invited by Sakura PH to teach a journaling workshop under Scribe PH’s event, Dear Diary!
My students + the event organizer!
It was such a milestone for me because I’ve never imagined that I’d get to teach my passions this way in the past. I’ve been unconsciously journaling all my life, and have only recently placed more effort into it through my Hobonichi (you could see my January spreads here!) It gives me such joy teaching people my passions and seeing them express themselves in different ways through journaling and writing.
Can’t wait to meet my next milestone. In the meantime, I’ll work hard to reach it.
[Also, (shameless plug hehe) I teach basic brush lettering and journaling by groups or even one-on-one! If you’re interested, kindly shoot me an email at email@example.com. Thank you!]
Hello, everyone! 💖
It feels great to write here again after so long! As usual, I’m busy with my academics and my thesis (so excited for this!)
Aside from those, I’ve also been busy filling up my Hobonichi every day! What is a Hobonichi? Well, it depends on the person using it, but for me – it’s my ‘life scrapbook’/ art journal. 🙂 I record the day’s highlights on it and practice my calligraphy, lettering, and illustration in it, too. As the title suggests, here are my January spreads!
First spread of the year! I wrote a letter for 2017 as a good-bye and my resolutions for the new year.
On the left, I wrote down some encouragement for the month. The right page officially starts the first Hobonichi day!
They say a picture speaks a thousand words. While I might be a better writer than I am a photographer, I agree with this statement. If you’ve been following my blog (or even if you’re a new reader), you’ll notice that I love including photos in all my posts – I think it helps tell my story the way I want it to be told through photographs. I sometimes let the photos do the talking to get my point across or for appreciation’s sake.
In participation with the #VantagePoint project, I want to share with you some of my favorites photographs. (The #VantagePoint project is by a startup company called light.co and they sell these really awesome compact cameras, which is unfortunately sold out (for now). As part of their marketing campaign, they shared the #VantagePoint project with me, which is basically me sharing a photo of my favorite location and the story behind it – which is what I love doing anyways.)
Since I took so many photos over the year, I thought that I’d showcase my top three photos from my travels.
(Disclaimer: please note that these are the top three best photos not because of aesthetic’s sake, but because of the memory that goes with it.)
1. El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)
This place took my breath away when I was physically there. Without a word, I made my way to the front of the boat and bravely took my phone out (despite my fear of it falling down the boat). I made sure the lighting was just perfect and waited for the moment to capture it. I assessed the positioning and symmetry with the grids. I made sure that there were different kinds of action happening everywhere that would make people want to look at this photo again and again. This was the highlight of my trip.
2. The National Museum, Manila (Philippines)
It was Independence Day when I took this photo and I went to the National Museum (one of my favorite places in Manila) to celebrate. When I left the museum, it was really windy and I looked up to see several flags proudly displayed out in front. It was really sunny as well, so I squinted, aimed my camera at the highest flag, aligned it to my grid, and shot. I waited for the right moment so that all the flag would show it’s entirety. I loved how the blueness of the sky made the colors of the flag pop out! I think this photo shows peace and nationality together.