Hello again

No big blog relaunch, no bells and whistles for now.

I’m dusting off this blog (my last post was in 2015!) and moving in to this domain, RegSilva.com (all my blog entries used to be on wedgienet.net, which will now be a portfolio-only site). My primary aim is to get back into blogging. This blog is currently bare bones– I will be adding bits and pieces of functionality as I see fit and when the need arises. For now, just words 🙂

Stay tuned to my updates by:

1) Signing up for my email list here. In return, I’ll give you my sketchbook for free.

2) Liking my Facebook page, Reg Silva.

Hue Can Do It! Coloring book launch

Coloring books for adults are all the rage these days. Coloring is supposedly meditative and relaxing, but I’ve never gotten into the whole adult coloring book craze. I assume it’s because I already color as it’s part of my work as an illustrator, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to color outside of work for leisure. I can see how others would gravitate to coloring as a way to pass time and release stress, though.

Riding on the adult coloring book wave, Summit Media and Studio Dialogo extended an invitation to me to be part of a local coloring book publication, along with 40 other Filipino artists. I was honored to be asked and to contribute two pages to Hue Can Do It! and Hue Can Do It, Too!, which launched with a book signing last August 29, 2015 at the Philippine Literary Festival in Raffles Makati.

Poster - PLF 2015 Summit 829
booksigning

The coloring books:

books
regsilvaPLF

With fellow illustrators and contributors Jaime Bauza, Robx Bautista, and Pergy Acuña, all active members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang InK), the professional organization of children’s book illustrators in the Philippines. I’m an inactive member, huhu.

huecandoit
All the illustrators on stage.

 

My contributions to the books, with one colored in:

books-spread

Hue Can Do It! and Hue Can Do It, Too! are available in National Bookstore, Fully Booked, and Powerbooks stores nationwide, and in convenience stores (7-Eleven and Ministop) wherever Summit Media publications are sold. The books are available for P295 each. Thank you to Summit Media and Studio Dialogo for the opportunity to be part of this project!

Hue Can Do It! press release: https://www.summitmedia.com.ph/news/summit-books-coloring-books/
Hue Can Do It! on Instagram: http://instagram.com/huecandoit

Creative rut

I’m in a creative rut, and have been for the past several months.

creativerut

It’s the reason why I’ve missed uploading two of my monthly wallpapers this year and frankly, I don’t foresee myself posting the rest of the wallpapers for 2015. I’ll have to rethink my wallpaper strategy, sorry. I’ve been uploading wallpapers monthly for two years now and I think I’ll stop. I might start up the wallpapers again in 2016. Maybe, maybe not.

I haven’t been doing personal art for several months now. I’m going through creative brain drain. I’m just… stuck, I guess. For a long time now, client work has been dominating and perhaps I forgot how to “art.” I haven’t been in the mood to do anything creative at all.

I guess I’ll just have to wait out this rut until I feel like picking up a pencil/brush again. Who knows when that will be.

Illustrations for Igloo Books reward pack

Last February, I worked on a project for Igloo Books– a reward pack and wall chart activity book for children.

Reward charts are apparently a thing nowadays– they’re progress charts you use with your child to reward him/her of good behavior– such as doing their chores, eating their vegetables, doing their homework, etc. Whenever the child progresses towards a goal in the chart, they get a star or a sticker as a reward, akin to the stamps we got in preschool for a job well done.

Igloo commissioned me to illustrate some 50+ spot illustrations for this project– scenes showing various good behavior. Some sketches:

Reward Pack

Process shots:

Reward Pack

Some of the 50+ spots I illustrated:

Reward Pack

Reward Pack

Reward Pack

Reward Pack

I also illustrated the reward pack cover. Some process shots:

Reward Pack
Initial rough sketches
Reward Pack
Color draft 1
Reward Pack
Color draft 2. The client had me change some of the character’s poses and colors.

 

They also had me illustrate a scene for a wall chart:

Reward Pack

The entire project took me about three weeks from start to finish– a rush project considering I had to make 50+ illustrations in that span of time. I barely slept while working on this project as I was immersed in other projects at the same time. Despite the timetable though, it’s one of my favorite projects to date, given the subject matter (anthropomorphic animals wearing clothes!).

I received the published copy of the reward chart in the mail a few weeks ago:

Reward Pack

Reward Pack

Reward Pack

Big thanks to my agents at Bright for getting me this gig with Igloo!

Painting with gouache

I started painting with gouache recently. I’ve been thinking ahead (way ahead) and figured I can’t (and don’t want to) do digital art forever, especially in my old age (LOL). I’ve been an avid computer user since I was around 14, when I first started playing with Photoshop (starting with Photoshop version 4.5). I’m not at all ashamed to say I am quite the champion when it comes to staying in front of the computer for hours on end. It’s probably why my eyesight is so bad.

Digital gets tiring though, and all those hours spent in front of the computer takes its toll on me. Sometimes I just want to get away from a screen and do my art by hand, with traditional media.

Last month I took a bit of time off from my client work and experimented and played with various traditional media I can make a transition to in the future. I recently busted out a set of gouache paints I bought a year ago; it’s only now that I found the time to play with them. Right now I’m really liking gouache– it’s very forgiving, easy to work with, and easy to clean up. Here are some quick things I painted recently.

Gouache kitty
Gouache on brown paper

Ice Cream Truck

Ice Cream Bear

Flower bear
A 15-minute doodled painting on the left and 1-hour output on the right.

I’m still starting but hopefully this will be the beginning of a working relationship with gouache.

In creative exile

For personal reasons, I’ve been on leave from all my work for a month. Without client work to fill up my days, I’ve been using the time to organize my closet and studio, to read books, and to do things I never had the time for, like my personal art. I’ve been so busy on work projects and hitting deadlines (sometimes working on three at a time) that I’ve neglected simply playing around and doing art for art’s sake, like I used to do.

So in the month I’ve been off work, I’ve done the following:

Made shrink plastic art:

shrinkplastic

shrinkplastic2

Worked on my travel journal:

journal1

journal2

journal3

Painted:

painting

Carved rubber stamps:

stamps

Written letters to friends (#oldschool):

letterwriting

Doodled:

drawing

Worked on my #365DoodledNotestoSelf project on Instagram:

doodlednotestoself

I’ve been enjoying my leave doing random art stuff. And look, I even set aside time to write in this neglected blog. I hope to make writing in this blog more of a habit.

Book find: Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever

Recently, I was at a mall I don’t usually frequent and having gotten lost trying to find a restaurant I was supposed to be at for a Christmas get-together, I chanced upon a secondhand bookstore. I went in to browse mindlessly, not looking for anything in particular.

I was at the children’s section and I was made aware of a thought and a feeling; like a gut instinct kicking in: that I was going to find something special. I didn’t know what, but a few minutes I later, I spotted a 1970 edition of a Richard Scarry book. Bingo!

1

When we were kids, my brother was given a large, hardbound copy of Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy World.

 

It was a book about animals who lived in different parts of the world. I loved that book and often borrowed it from my brother to read and look at the pictures. Richard Scarry’s illustrations were rich and dynamic and his characters were so fun and quirky. I spent hours looking at the pictures more than reading what was written for the pictures told stories independent of the words written on the page. That was the only exposure I had to Richard Scarry’s work, but he’s made an impression and an impact on my own work as an illustrator ever since. Why do you think I often draw animals wearing clothes?

From The Big, Busy World of Richard Scarry:

“Another positive aspect of the titles is his use of animals. While they are certainly cute, they also serve to be much more enjoyable and identifiable to children. One of the reasons his books have done so well throughout the world is the fact that animals do not have racial characteristics, which allow all children to connect with the little girl bunny or little boy cat. He explained “children can identify more closely with pictures of animals than they can with pictures of another child. They see an illustration of a blond girl or a dark-haired boy, who they know is somebody other than themselves, and competition creeps in. With imagination — and children all have marvelous imagination — they can easily identify with an anteater who is a painter or a goat who is an Indian.” (source)

Unfortunately, we don’t have a copy of my brother’s book anymore. Maybe it was misplaced or given away by mistake, but if I ever happen to chance upon a vintage edition of that book at a secondhand bookshop somewhere, you can be sure I’ll buy it right then and there (there are a few copies on eBay but they’re too expensive (one is $200+ USD!) and besides, part of the fun is coming across it randomly at a secondhand bookstore or at a neighbor’s garage sale). In the meantime, I have my P178 (around $4 USD) copy of Best Mother Goose Ever to ogle at and enjoy: