Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Peranakan Kites

The Peranakan Museum in Singapore asked me to draw a pair of kites depicting everyday scenes in Peranakan life.

The museum wanted their young visitors to color the kites themselves so I had mistakenly assumed that inking the drawing would be quick and easy.

I now realize that drawing the Peranakan lifestyle is never simple. A mix of Malay and Chinese culture, Peranakans are known for their elaborate clothing, intricate porcelain and complicated beadwork. I hope the kids don't have too hard a time with this coloring task!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Illustration Friday - Instinct

Planet of the Robots, 2009

Her mother's instinct told her that another toy was not a good idea.

The latest cartoon for the March issue of What's Up.

Project George 2

Project George, 2009
Photo by Kara. Photoshop by Selena.

A continuation of the Bigger Picture series for What's Up. After drawing so many "cute" illustrations, I was eager to see if I could do something a little more serious. Good job to my siblings for bringing everything together!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another way to celebrate

Chinese New Year, 2005

While sifting through my old works for this week's Illustration Friday, I came upon another drawing that seemed perfect for the theme.

I used to hate family events. Red was the color that represented good fortune and was therefore the required theme for birthdays and new years. For some reason, my adolescent-self thought it "made me look ugly" and proceeded to give my mom a hard time well into early adulthood.

Now, I realize that such events were not about dress codes and food but the fun of being with family. Drawing this art work was also process of looking back at childhood memories - from watching the cooks catch shrimp in the restaurant's aquariums to lining up to receive am pao from Kong Kong.

So while I still don't think that red is "my color", I now have a few shirts tucked away in my closet for special occasions ;)

Illustration Friday - Celebrate

Live, 2006

This week's theme reminded me of an old drawing inspired by the annual concerts at the University of the Philippines Fair.

Music, food and fun with friends. What better way to celebrate life?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tea series




A continuation of a series inspired by the different kinds of tea. I don't know if it's noticeable - but all works in this series come in pairs (Oo-long's partner is found here). I guess, for some reason, it was hard for me to imagine someone drinking tea alone. ;)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Back home

Photo by Marvin

Unfortunately, this is not where I live (although it's only a short plane ride away in the beautiful province of Bohol). But it's a good mental picture to have as I sort, pack, and navigate my way through stuff which have been gathering dust since I left home 4 years ago.

Moving back for an extended stay can be quite complicated. My bedroom is a bodega, my old Nissan Sentra has been "handed down" to my sisters and I don't have the CDs to install the scanner or the printer.

However, I get to share the newspaper with my dad in the morning, have lunch with my brother before he leaves for work, chat with my sisters as I finish up my drawing for the day, and help my mom do the grocery.

It's nice to be home :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Illustration Friday - TIME

This week's theme made me think about the things I would do if I had "time".

The first thing that came to mind was enjoying a cup of Japanese green tea and a piece of cake at the local coffee shop.

The second thing was being able to spend an extra month with my husband without worrying about stupid things like paychecks and future plans :(

Introducing Project George

The Bigger Picture by Project George

My siblings and I were hired to do a series of artwork for What's Up. Entitled "The Bigger Picture", each work aims to show the "invisible" effects of things we tend to take for granted.

In a society so used to associating value with money, it's amazing how something as cheap and available as bottled water could actually be a big waste of resources.

We've nicknamed these collaborations as "Project George" - in tribute to "George", a name our dad used when he got our names mixed up and forgot who among his four kids he wanted to talk to. My sister posted some of our first works in her blog. Check it out ;)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thank you Maurice Sendak

I was chatting with my cousin the other day and she brought up the topic of how hard it is for illustrators to develop a personal style. I was quite surprised because unlike me, she had majored in Fine Arts and is currently a full-time graphic designer in Singapore. She does art everyday! Why would it be so hard to develop a personal style?

Her answer was simple. Unlike the fine arts, people tend to treat illustration and graphic design as a “visual solution”. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t give the artist much time to think about her work and develop a style that is truly unique.

After this conversation, I started to think of artists who have heavily influenced my own work. The first person that came to mind was Maurice Sendak.

I will always admire Maurice Sendak for creating the most wonderful and unique monsters at a time when children’s books only had characters like baby ducks and Peter Rabbit.

Where the Wild Things Are

So every time I try to draw my own whimsical take on everyday life, I always feel like a Sendak-wannabe.

SingTeach notebook design

Mixed media collaboration with my siblings
Photo by Kara. Photoshop by Marco and Sel.

See what I mean? :) Imagination is harder than people think.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Illustration Friday - FLAWED

While the invaders had the element of surprise, their plan had one fatal flaw. They had launched their attack at the exact moment that Bernie, alone in the office, was wondering if his job had a higher purpose.

View it bigger here