One of my goals this year is to update more regularly on this blog. I wish I could be more like some of my favorite illustrators who can get away with just posting pictures of what they’re working on and pass it off as a blog entry with hardly any text. But I’m a bit of a blabbermouth online and it’s always nice to have things in context, hence my lengthy blog entries (with weeks going by in between updates). Quality over quantity, I say.
But here’s my attempt at (hopefully) regular show and tell of new/recent/ongoing work. I’ll still have my occasional lengthy entries every now and then, but with more posts like this in between.
I’ve recently finished working on a London-themed collection for a couple of trade shows. Here are a few snippets from the collection:
I’m going to be honest here. I don’t like scrapbooking. Neither do a lot of my classmates from my Make Art That Sells class (side note: I was surprised to learn that a lot of my British/European classmates aren’t even the least bit familiar with what scrapbooking is. Apparently, it’s an American thing). I get scrapbooking’s appeal but personally, it’s not for me. Most of the scrapbooking work I see is just pre-made creativity (templates) collaged together looking like… pre-made work. Of course, there are standout scrapbookers who manage to create and manipulate these templates to really come up with work that looks beyond templated, but they seem to be far and few in between.
Scrapbooking has a tendency to be… hokey. And kitschy. I think those are the main reasons why this assignment for Week 3 of Make Art That Sells threw a lot of us off. I wasn’t feeling this market. Our brief was to make a camera and typewriter-themed scrapbooking collection, and I wasn’t hot about the theme either. I thought those two subjects were way overdone (thanks, hipsters) and I personally don’t like going along with whatever everyone else is into (um, like Speculoos Cookie Butter and ramen places mushrooming in Metro Manila) just because it’s trendy. But if you’re in a trend-driven industry like illustration, you have to be in tune with and work with trends or you get left out of the competition. Notice how the retail market is currently flooded with products with moustaches, hipster glasses, owls, and YOLO on them? The companies selling these products are making money because they jumped on a trend.
Hipster cat shirt | Hipster iPad mini case | Owl ceramics (cute!) | Moustache necklaces | YOLO card wallet
So cameras and typewriters it is! I thought hard about how I was going to interpret this theme and assignment. If I were to preserve pictures and memories into a scrapbook, what kind of memories would I like to go in there? The answer was easy– travel. In 2011, I resigned from my fulltime design day job and one of the things I wanted to do with my newfound freedom was to go out and travel, especially since I had spent the last two years working from home on night shift. I traveled alone, traveled with friends, traveled with family. I like how travel is good for your soul, mind (especially for creatives!), and spirit. I didn’t travel as much this 2013 as I spent my travel funds instead on taking this e-course (HAHA– but money well spent, nonetheless) but if you’re young and can afford it, I advocate traveling to broaden your mind and expand your horizons.
On my solo trip to Seoul, South Korea last year, I picked up a lot of VERY cute paper products. Seoul has them in abundance (maybe one day I’ll get a post up on all the adorable paper merchandise in Seoul… one day! Ten years from now!), and cheap, too! I bought a lot of stickers, notebooks, postcards, journals, sticky notes. “For research and inspiration,” I said (to no one who asked).
They proved to be inspiration I was able to draw from when I was making my scrapbooking collection. There’s a lot of simple, naive-style, hand-drawn art on Korean stationery and I wanted to emulate that look, while at the same time staying true to my style.
These are some of the icons I came up with in my attempt to fuse cameras, typewriters, and travel in one theme.
I don’t know about you but they remind me of planner/diary deco stickers, which is exactly the look I was going for. Or LINE (a Japanese instant messaging app) stickers, another source I drew inspiration from. And the girl looks Korean, doesn’t she? In my mind, her name is Ji Hae. Hehehe. Annyeong haseyo!
We were to present our work on a page as scrapbooking embellishments, brads, stickers, labels, and other stuff you might find as part of a scrapbooking collection. I presented my work as a scrapbooking kit with journaling tags and coordinating papers, too.
I thought the kit looked like something a pre-teen or a teenager might be drawn to, so I branded and packaged it as such to appeal to their teenybopper tendencies (do people still say teenybopper?): heart doodles, cheesy declarations I would never say myself (“adventure awaits!”), and the title of Little Miss Adventurer to drive home a sense of adventure and false independence. Hahaha. Parang Dora the Explorer.
Out of all the assignments we have had for this class (I’m writing this post a little late– we’ve just finished the fifth and final week), this is the assignment I enjoyed the least. I mean, it’s ok, but this won’t be going into my portfolio– not like this, at least. I will need to tweak it (probably for a different market) as the vibe I’m getting from this is that this is something you’ll see being sold in mass-market retail stores– like Claire’s (accessories for tweens and teens), perhaps? It’s a little kitschy, a little hokey… just like scrapbooking. So despite my initial aversion to this market and the theme, the end product seems to have achieved its purpose!
Next up is Week 4, Editorial. I’m excited to show you the work I did for Editorial week, as unlike this assignment, it tackles a theme and subject matter close to my heart <3 🙂
Some of you might’ve noticed that going to my URL, Wedgienet.net, now brings you to my portfolio page instead of showing you my most recent blog posts, as was the case previously. Annoying? Very.
I myself don’t like the extra step of clicking on the blog link in the menu bar above just to get to the recent entries. However, if I were to send my website link to an art director for her to check out my portfolio, my work is what I’d like to be seen first and foremost, not my blog.
“So what about me, your average reader?” you complain. “Do I really have to make an effort to click a second time just to see your posts when I type in your URL, and then not find any new blog posts after all that work?”
First of all, welcome to 2013! Where are you from, 2001? You’re still manually going to my website just to check if I’ve updated or not? Haven’t you heard of RSS feeds?
To be honest, I don’t know/have forgotten what RSS stands for and I’m too lazy to google, but let’s just say it stands for Reg Silva Subscriber. Basically, enter my feed URL, http://www.wedgienet.net/feed/ (link not clickable; it’ll show up as code), into an RSS reader (I use Feedly. Other RSS readers include Flipboard, Reeder, Digg Reader). What happens then is that every time I type up a new blog entry…
…and hit PUBLISH…
…the new blog entry shows up on your RSS reader on your computer and mobile phone (if you opt to install an RSS reader app).
No more manual checking and typing my website URL to check for blog entries. And you can do this with other websites and blogs you want to be updated on, too. Just subscribe to their RSS feeds (you can find it by looking for a button or icon (usually orange) on their site which looks like a wifi signal lying on its side— scroll up the top of this page to view my site’s RSS symbol among my social networking icons) to get new updates delivered to you, all in one place. You’re welcome.
No, seriously, I don’t know why I know very, very few people (in real life) who know what RSS is for. But then after writing up this post and drawing those doodles to explain the portfolio-blog page switch and get people to read this without falling asleep, I remembered there’s Facebook pages and they’re kind of the same thing as RSS.
So bottomline, to avoid that second click to see my newest blog entries, either subscribe to my RSS feed, wedgienet.net/feed, or become a fan on my Facebook page. Or do both. Either way, you’ll get updates as soon as there’s something new on this site. And here’s a little hint: sometimes I post micro-updates on my Facebook page that I don’t post anywhere else 😉
After a few years of trying to get some illustration experience (having none after coming from a graphic design background), finding my style, figuring out which areas of illustration I want to specialize in, and building up my portfolio, I finally feel like I’m ready to take the next step: sending out a promo postcard mailer to potential clients (companies I want to work with).
Before I even finished the illustration for what-would’ve-been-my-first-postcard-mailer, I already had a better idea.
This is my quick and lazy concept sketch. I’m almost embarrassed to show you this. I drew this slumped over on a couch, and it shows 😛 My intent for this introductory postcard is to introduce these three things to new clients: 1) myself, 2) my illustration style, and 3) what I like drawing (to get similar work).
My concept was “do more of what makes you happy.” It’s a phrase I first encountered on Pinterest about a year ago, and it’s made an impression on me since. It’s an idealistic and somewhat indulgent thought I believe in, having done exactly just that a few times by resigning from stable design jobs to do more of what makes me happy (which is illustration).
I didn’t intend to include the actual phrase in the design, just the idea behind it. I set up the illustration to have my cartoon self working in my studio, surrounded by little things that make me happy: drawing, my cats Sushi and Tiger, cake and candy, taking pictures, my work and my computer, arts and crafts, coffee and tea. I had to limit myself to include only things that would make sense in a work (from home) setting, otherwise I would’ve thrown in a giraffe in there or a suitcase and passport (travel makes me happy, too).
Art imitates life: most of these objects are an illustrated version of their real-life counterparts.
I don’t have a red and white striped mug though, or a yellow polka dot teacup. I wish I did.
I compiled all my elements into a 5 x 7-inch portrait layout.
I was pretty happy with the first output (left). But after some thought, I decided to stick to a cream, red, and turquoise color palette (right). I thought that while there was nothing wrong with the all-color version, the second version shows more thought and restraint, color-wise. It also reflected the color scheme of my real-life studio. Potential clients won’t know that, but I have every intention of having this design printed as a poster for my studio walls so it’s nice to have them match 😛
The red/turquoise color scheme also matches my business card, which I got printed a few years ago.
I was ready to take my design to print, but decided to play around with the layout a bit more. What if I actually added the words “do more of what makes you happy”?
The Internet is on a quote kick. It’s all about empowerment, feel-good mantras, witty one-liners. These are what get pinned and re-pinned, hearted, favorited, reblogged, liked and shared, and printed and tacked on to bulletin boards and inspiration boards. With that in mind, I decided to include the phrase to give more meaning behind the design of my mailer. By doing so, it became the design’s new focal point, and me-the-illustrator was now secondary. Which is fine because with the new design, it then had a new purpose. I hope that when an art director receives it in the mail, he relates to the message and tacks it up on his bulletin board beside his computer as a daily reminder, instead of filing it away together with the other mailers he receives on a regular basis from other illustrators. That way, my name and URL is constantly in his line of sight. Haha, at least that’s what I hope happens 😛
The final design that went to print, with the red/teal/cream color palette:
I also added that word balloon at the bottom. Now it kind of suggests that working with me makes one happy. Hahaha. That was totally intentional ;P
This is the back of the postcard.
There’s space to write a short note on the left, if needed. The pun-ny tree stump stamp (*insert canned laughter here*) didn’t make it to my final print file as you’re supposed to leave that space blank so as not to violate USPS regulations, but it’s a fun element nonetheless.
I just sent my file off to the printer (Overnight Prints— same company that printed my business card above)– hoping to have my postcards out to potential clients by the middle of the year 😀 I’m excited 😀
I don’t remember what I was thinking of that prompted this quick, warm-up drawing I made last week. But it’s a true story and during my last trip to the US almost a year ago, I got asked that question more times than I can count in a span of two months. One such incident was when I visited my cousin at her college dorm in Irvine and I was introduced to her American roommate.
“Your English is so good!” the roommate exclaimed, after I answered the requisite questions on where I was from and how long I was staying in the States. She wanted to know how I learned English. Now, I’ve encountered questions similar in nature every time I go to the US so I already had a ready answer, unlike the very first time I was asked how I knew English (I was 12 years old at the time) and all I could say was, “I don’t know.” But back to the roommate. Before I could launch into my canned answer (“English is the language of business in the Philippines and school is conducted in English as well”), my uncle spoke for me, winking. “She learned English on the plane on her way here.”
Here’s a small detail from an illustration I’m working on. It shows a good visual step-by-step process of how I draw in Adobe Illustrator.
I draw my outlines first then fill them up with color. Color is not my concern at the earliest stages, but getting the form and shape right. Nothing too refined or perfect (unless the project calls for it)– for this, I drew freehand on the computer with a pen tablet and I wanted to retain the hand-drawn quality, hence the uneven lines. Once I get my shapes in, that’s the time I change the colors and see what works best. I add details then shadows and highlights last.
I watched Oz The Great and Powerful yesterday. I knew nothing about the movie other than the fact that it had something to do with The Wizard of Oz story we’re all familiar with, and that Rachel Weisz is in it. I’ve loved Rachel Weisz ever since she appeared in The Mummy with Brendan Fraser. I try to watch every movie she’s in.
With no expectations before going in to see the movie, I ended up loving every bit of it. Well, most of it. I did not like Mila Kunis’ one-trick-pony portrayal of her character and James Franco’s greasy hat hair and unstable acting. I thought that perhaps Johnny Depp would’ve been better for the role. But that’s not really what I want to talk about. What I LOVE about the movie is how much of a visual feast it is– from the motion graphics opening title sequence, to the set, the costumes, and most especially, the backgrounds.
The visual effects were beautiful, whimsical, and at times a bit garish and over-the-top, but it’s Oz. Maybe it’s supposed to be. Oz the Great and Powerful is an enjoyable and entertaining family film which I think I will be catching in the theaters again, for another look at the visuals.
(Sunday Snippets is a new, semi-regular Sunday column on my blog, a disjointed, catch-all entry for the little random snippets of art, random thoughts, interesting links, and whatever’s catching my fancy at the moment. It’s my own kind of microblogging.)
I’m currently looking through my recent work in preparation for overhauling my illustration portfolio, which badly needs to be updated. Here are some exploratory pencil roughs and sketches for a project I did last year for an online game targeted for very young children.
These first four pages is me throwing out ideas to come up with game characters very small kids can relate to. I start all of my work by sketching with a 2B mechanical pencil and scanning the page in. I write notes to myself and pick out bits and bobs which I think can be developed further and add color in Photoshop.
I liked these monsters but they didn’t make it past the project pitch (RIP). No worries, they will be revised and recycled for other projects (personal) as they’re eco-friendly like that.
When I’m pressed for time, I skip the pencil drawings and sketch/doodle direct on the computer using my graphics tablet. It’s faster that way.
Made some very rough sketches of game backgrounds, too.
I really love seeing other illustrators’ pencil roughs and sketches, sometimes even more so than the finished image. It’s interesting to see the transition from sketch to final. Unfortunately, I can’t show you the final product just yet as the project’s still in production. But I’ve seen the characters move around and jump as they’ve been animated by the team I handed my files off to, and it’s mind-bogglingly cute (I’m just a tad bit biased)! The final characters look nothing like the initial sketches you see here, most of which were for the project pitch. Can’t wait to show you the rest of it when it’s done 🙂
When I saw the week’s Illustration Friday prompt, this scenario immediately came to mind and I just had to draw up a quick doodle. It’s based from a compilation of hilarious and supposedly true Filipino beauty pageant answers I read years ago. English is widely spoken in the Philippines, but with over 150 local dialects (and accents), it still gets misheard, mispronounced, and misinterpreted quite often 😀
Check out some other hilarious, laugh-out-loud beauty pageant answers here! (note: some of it is written in a mix of English and Filipino)
Let’s get this out of the way: I am a crazy cat lady.
Some of you might have noticed a brown tabby cat in my recent Wordless Wednesdays. That’s Tiger, just one of two cats I have. The Illustration Friday drawing prompt for last week was WHISKERS, and while I missed the deadline (hihi- didn’t have time to blog then), I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to my cats as they will be showing up a lot in my work (they already have, actually).
This is SUSHI (7 months old). A few months ago, my family and I moved to a new house. Sushi lived in that house; a stray born on the construction site. She never left because the construction workers kept feeding her their leftovers. They named her Maria with a Filipino accent (pronounced “Mar-ya”) and I would see “Maria” hanging around the workers and trying to play with the tape measure when they were measuring stuff. When we moved in and the construction workers left, Maria stayed behind and I changed her name to Sushi (well, it was Susie for a few weeks before I remembered I wanted to name her Sushi). I was happy to finally have a cat I can call my own 😀 Sushi is very affectionate– she likes to sit on laps and will sit there until you push her off, but she also likes to scratch and bite if you pet her for too long.
Then there’s TIGER (6 months old). I got Tiger from a friend a month after I adopted Sushi. I came home one day with a new cat, then sneaked her in upstairs to my room (like a 7-year old!) so my cat-hating family (my dad, especially) won’t throw both of us out into the street….. Now my family doesn’t hate cats anymore, and in fact they’ve taken a liking to Tiger in particular as she is super sweet and extremely well-behaved. She’s not a lap cat like Sushi is, but you can pet her as much as you want and she’ll neither bite nor scratch no matter how annoyed she gets. Hahaha.
Before Sushi and Tiger came along, I’ve already made a number of doodles and sketches (see my Tumblr sketch blog) featuring cats:
I love cats– they’re so entertaining and amusing and I like how, unlike dogs, they only do things because they want to, and not because another person expects them to. They have a mind of their own and don’t care what others think. Cats probably appeal to me because I’m like that, too (also, I like sleeping). When I grow up, I want to be a cat. All they do is eat, sleep, play, poop, and sleep some more. Sounds good to me!
It’s been 3 months since I’ve been an cat owner (cat slave? I clean their litter box and flush down their poop and spend my money on cat food and vet expenses) and more and more, cats have found their way into my sketches, doodles, Instagram photos, and even finished work.
Some illustration advice I received recently which I’m passing on to illustrators, designers, and other creatives who happen to be reading: “If you want to do _____, have _____ in your portfolio.” Makes sense. Personal work also leads to paid work, so here’s to more doodles and drawings of cats (cat haters be warned!), for fun and profit! :3
Do you have cats, too? I wanna see! Post a link to a picture below or share a photo of your cats on my Facebook page 🙂 (Note: my cats are spayed, so don’t bother matching up your tomcats with mine– we’re not accepting kitty suitors :P)
It’s been a year since my Japan trip, and I still have not finished my Japan travel journal. Seeing its been a year and there have been other trips since, I am giving up on ever getting it done and just posting what I have so far. Hihi.
My washi tape loot. See related entry about washi tape here.
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