My work for Playing Arts. I posted previews of this before but I never got to upload the final piece. Playing Arts is a poker card set produced by Digital Abstracts. Each card is uniquely illustrated by an artist. It’s an honor to be part of it! There are so many amazing artists in the lineup that the experience felt elusive. My card is the 5 of Clubs. The printing and material is top notch — it’s waterproof, I think! You can visit the website to check out all the artists and to purchase a set. They ship worldwide!
Photos from my iPhone again. My sister celebrated her birthday on the 3rd. On that day we went to visit Free Comic Book Day at Fully Booked (incredibly mindless on my part that I forgot to pass by the topmost floor where everything important was happening), then checked out the Tintin Store and bought postcards. On Sunday the family went to Tagaytay. Spent most of the time with just my sister. If there’s a quietest-family-in-the-world contest, we would most definitely win the award.
Halo Halo and Mais Con Hielo. This was right after swimming. Nothing beats iced dessert. On the way back home we passed by Nuvali, a little south of Manila. My sister and I ate at Toast Box. It’s been over a year since I had Teh and Kaya.
Postcards from the Tin Tin Store at Fully Booked. They’re quite pricey, around P90 (roughly $2) per card but they’re well worth the purchase!
Monthly diary thing again! April is a bit different. It’s actually an uneventful month for me. I mostly stayed at work doing commissions and I also started my workshops. I barely had time for personal work besides occasional sketching.
Barely 2 weeks into the month, I’ve been to 6 different coffee houses. Which is insane. I’m actually acidic so caffeine is a no-no for me. I usually just order decaf, herbal teas or milk.
Subspace Coffee is still one of my favorite places to hang out in because the interiors are cozy and they put you in a drawing appetite.
There’s also Third District. It’s just okay. Not really my kind of place and their gelato melts almost too fast. I met up with an old friend here to catch up.
My family was at our grandparents’ unit and one of our aunts brought an album of old photos, roughly from the 50’s. The one wearing yellow is my aunt and I think this is a ting hun (engagement party).
That’s my dad in my grandparents’ store selling electronics in downtown Manila.
Me eating breakfast sausages.
Epic Cafe's Affogato is yum. You can even have it in decaf! Had it twice in one week.
Ate at Chez Karine after having dinner with my girlfriends. I was craving for ice cream but we ended up staying here instead.
One of my attendees working on a still life exercise.
Here’s another work of one of my students during portrait painting class.
Me and my sister on Siblings’ Day (according to the internet). She said that I’m her auntie cause I look old. LOL.
Last days of Coco’s nice fur. He vigorously shedded on the 2nd-3rd week of April. Right now his fur is back to normal.
This was at Scarsdale. I spent a few hours with Aleyn working. Their donuts are okay for me but their Croque Madame was fantastic. It’s a great place to work in. Not a lot of people and ample daylight.
This was at Toby’s Estate. Totally forgot what this dish is called. The bread tastes good but I think anyone can do the egg thing at home as long as you have an iron skillet. I was at Toby’s Estate Brooklyn a few months back. Memories!
My Playing Arts deck arrived!!! Yey! I’ll post about this soon.
Finally tried Kimukatsu. Their Katsu is prepared in Mille-feuille style (multi-layered). The one I got had cheese at the center. It’s SO GOOD. Served with unlimited miso soup, rice, and cabbage. Yes, apparently you can eat happiness.
I’m finishing up ASOIF’s Storm of Swords (so slow but I’m almost done). I’m looking for more books to read. This year has been pretty slow in terms of book reading. I used to be incredibly disciplined with with it a few years ago, like 10pm on the dot there’s a book on my face. Aaaand this ends my April post. Hopefully May will be tons fun.
You can see my work in progress here.
A sketchbook page. Not-yet-painted and then painted.
I had the opportunity to get a new hair color from Matrix Professional. They’re a brand part of the L’Oreal group that specializes in hair care and color. I know this is an art and wip blog, but please excuse my randomness for the meantime. :D
Some wip for Light Grey Art Lab's Animystics show.
I think the funnest part is the creation of our spirit animal. We’re tasked to provide a backstory and a history of our animal. I chose a wolf although I did a little twist and added a fictitious folklore backstory to it. I’ll talk about it when the proper time comes. For the meantime, wips behold!
Hey guys, non-art post but I just want to share that there is an absolutely wonderful thing going on in SM Aura (at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig) right now. It’s Magnum Manila! (In other countries, it’s called the “Magnum Pleasure Store” ~wink~) It’s a Magnum ice cream pop-up store where you get to design your own Magnum. Imagine a froyo/ice cream store except you’re concocting your own Magnum. Would you like some cheese and chili flakes with your Magnum? Pshhhyeah, you bet!
They’re opening to the public on April 8 and it will be there for ONLY 12 MONTHS. You only have a year!! Yes, I am pressuring you to go! Apart from desserts, they also serve meals. This is what we had earlier:
Salmon with mashed potato.
Marj and I were invited to the event. I took photos mostly of just the food. But I hope this is enough to encourage you to go and Instragram the hell out of those photogenic-looking dishes and desserts (You know you want to!). And of course, eat them.
Rainbow cake and white chocolate Magnum. THE CAKE IS THE BEST.
This one is Magnum with freshly baked cookie dough on a pan. The cookie tastes so GOOD! For some reason, the Magnum here tastes tons better than the grocery packs (which are already great as they are!). Maybe because the chocolate sauce is freshly dipped. Or maybe it’s because you are partaking in the pleasure of creating a Magnum bar for yourself. Yum!
The wonderful Tasha is my seatmate. I’m a huge fan of her illustrations!! She’s dreampod on Tumblr! Follow, follow!
Each bar you create is only P100 (that’s roughly $2.20). It’s really affordable. On April 8, the first 500 people in line can get to make their own Magnum ice cream bar for free!
(OK back to regular programming. Will post art stuff soon! :D)
It’s springtime! Been getting Snapchats from friends in NY that the weather there is great and they’re not wearing tons of layers anymore. Ahhh so jealous! My only experience of spring was in Japan 4 years ago. It’s a magical season. I’m in a tropical country where it’s summer 365 days a year. When we were growing up, our textbooks say “we have 2 seasons: wet and dry” Lol! Is this overcompensation or ‘fo realz?
It’s officially summer here. Classes are ending (our summer vacation is from late March to early June) which means, workshops start soon! I’m excited and nervous and I guess a little lonely cause I’m holding classes in a vacant location (the studio I used before had people residing in it. This one is completely deserted). /Hinting for friends to visit
Here’s something I worked on a few days ago. This piece is more of a learning process for me. Each section is trial and error and I had to redraw and repaint on some parts a couple of times while I was progressing—so many awkward parts and they still look awkward. Haha… I painted on a semi hot press paper so some things that I normally do on cold press can’t be done properly here but that’s okay. A little challenge is good! Not sure if it’s done or if I already overdid some parts to its disadvantage but I want to move on to the next.
Hello everyone! If you could recall from one of my previous posts, Crested Tees and I partnered up and they’re finally releasing the designs one by one! I’m paired together with the brilliant Carlos Lerma. A part of the sales will be donated to Covenant House Toronto, Canada’s largest homeless youth agency. I’m so honored to be part of this.
This shirt is also available for just $10 for a limited time. Visit the shop.
I was going through my phone photos and I’ve decided to make a culminating post of whatever happened in the past month or so. I haven’t been doing this at all anymore and I sort of regret not doing it while I was in New York. But then again I had too little time to write there. It was easy to just upload everything on Instagram. Microblogging is making me lazy! Anyway, here’s March 2014. I’ll make it a habit to post more of these in the future. Sometimes it’s nice to have a record to remind yourself that your month isn’t as uneventful as it seems.
My cousin gave me an Instax notebook sleeve so I was sorting these the other day. I sometimes wonder about the longevity of these films. I hope they never fade.
A few weeks ago my friends and I decided to give our pets a stroll. Chuchu (my classmate since kindergarden) and I brought our rabbits and Irene brought her cat. This is my sister and my rabbit at Fully Booked. Until now we’re still not sure if you’re allowed to bring pets inside.
Me + friends. 100% of the time, people stop and stare and kids ask to pat. Rabbits are fun to walk! You don’t walk them, they walk you. I’ve done this a couple of times in the past 2 years. If you have a bunny who likes walking with a harness and you want to join me when we go out, just message me!
Irene and Echo (Bombay Cat).
This is my workspace at around 7am.
My windows face east and my curtains can’t be drawn to close. In the morning I’m forced to wake up at sunrise. On the day I posted this, Time posted this article stating that Makati and Pasig (where I live!) in Manila rank the #1 selfie-est cities in the world. ‘Fo shame, Valerie!
A friend passed by and got me Ben & Jerry’s. Thank you! I love Cookie Dough and the slightly powdery Peanut Butter.
It was my mom’s birthday 2 weeks ago. It’s the 1st time I bought a cake for her (thanks Irene for recommending!). We’re not really close so I rarely give her anything and I guess some people would find that weird or that I’m such an ungrateful daughter. I’m in one of those Chinese families where nobody says I love you or nobody hugs each other. it’s such an awkward thing to do. Recently I came across an article about it. I’m not alone.
Oh the wonders of dark lipstick! Erik's girlfriend gave me Vincent Longo makeup. The purple lipstick is my FAVORITE. Inner vixen unleashed! Everytime I wear this lipstick in NY, a guy calls out to me to tell me I’m pretty. It’s magic. I think every girl should get at least 1 dark shade in their lipstick collection.
Watched Wicked in Manila. I’m not a fan of theatre at all. I had zero knowledge of the plot. Surprisingly the plot is far more complex than what I have anticipated, and of course the entire performance was exemplary. Great show! I’m actually glad that I was coerced to watch this.
When I was away from Manila, a dozen of ramen restaurants started opening back home. Eating ramen is often a disappointing experience especially if you’ve lived in Japan for a substantial amount of time (well just a month but I was in Fukuoka, which is the ramen hotspot of the country, and we had ramen twice a week), and of course the price is no joke. And you know what they say, if you can’t finish it, it’s not good enough. So a week before I came back to Manila from NY, I had Ippudo Ramen, a benchmark name for a lot of ramen lovers. Now I’m back, my friends took me to Ramen Nagi. Hands down, this is the best that I’ve tasted in Manila.
Aleyn gave me this tiny table last year. It has lucky characters inscribed on it. I’ve been on a bad luck streak these past few weeks, I felt that this needs to be somewhere proper. I was able to rearrange my shelf just recently and there it is!
I’m moving my work area to a separate studio on the last quarter of the year. It’s difficult to work and sleep in the same room. I’ve been stretching out this whole setup for the longest time just because it saves money. Despite the inconvenience (omg commuting!), I guess it’s about time I move. Then again this has always been an issue for me because I always have long term travel plans and I might end up not using the space for months.
Coral lippie for summer! I’ve been getting into lipsticks lately. I started buying lipsticks just last year. I never cared much about how I looked until now. Maybe I’m getting old.
This was at the Type Kita exhibit and art fair. It’s amazing that there are so many great typography artists here. I bought a small sticker pack from Abbey (check her stuff out!). I went there together with Aleyn and Anjo. Our birthdays are nearing, which means we have something art-related planned for the month of May. I’m excited!
Went into a Korean cafe called Cafe de Seoul along Taft and waited for my sister to finish school. I passed by my suppliers earlier today. Ah prices of everything increased by 8%. Inflation is painful! I have a weird relationship with cafes. Apart from overpriced drinks, my stay in cafes are always about waiting in contemplative misery. I love it and hate it at the same time.
My sister tried out our grandfather’s Nikomat and got the photos earlier. Half of the batch turned out severely fried like these. We don’t really know the cause of it (we probably need to have the camera checked because it hasn’t been used for 20 years or so). That’s it for now. You can follow my Instagram for every-other-day updates.
We watched as you poured water to the brim… And we were all right about it.
I was going through my files and I noticed that I never got to upload this properly (just an instagram shot and a poster). This is an old painting. It was supposed to be included in an exhibit in 2012 but after the initial layers, the piece felt lousy and weak. So I abandoned it. I was sorting through my uncompleted works in 2013 and I saw this one and continued on where I left off. Sometimes, I think it takes a while before you can properly approach a piece. I personally feel that my current skill can’t execute what I have in mind and it takes a year to do it properly.
I don’t really know what this painting is about. Maybe it’s about children and how much they take in without saying anything.