Maker’s Festa and Thingamajig

November – these two events happened one week apart from each other. Makers Festa was held at Gyud Food park at UP Diliman. Another discord member wanted to try selling at conventions. He’s my second con baby. He specializes in collage art, and has turned his products into prints and stickers:

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I was pleasantly surprised that Alyanna, or alfajone was physically there for Maker’s Festa. I thought she moved overseas! I bought some of her merch as well. Another seller that I found and liked was avonlii, I bought her A4 print of camellas last ATC – this time I bought her morning glory one. Makers Festa haul below.

Thingamajig was held at Tierra’s at Maginhawa. It was a small but cozy event. I wanted to return the favor to Niao because she was always there whenever I held events. Below is my small haul from the event:

I didn’t paint as much this time as my hands are still recovering. I’m pretty happy with my haul from these two events.

PGW 6th National Convention

This post is about the preparation and the exhibit itself: September was a busy month! After painting the PaperCon commission, I painted a 15″ x 15″ watercolor painting for the PGW 6th National Convention the weekend after. It was the annual open call exhibit for PGW members.

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Of course I wanted to join! I didn’t last 2022 for reasons I cannot remember anymore. And the members are starting to remember me because I kept on winning raffles. It was time to change that! The theme for the member exhibit was Lakbay+Diwang. Travel and celebrate.

My concept was pushing itself too hard, but I really wanted it to work. Below is my artist write-up that I’m very proud of:

Banaba, scientific name Lagerstroemia speciosa, is an indigenous flowering tree native to our beloved country, the Philippines. It is also known as the “Pride of India” or “crepe myrtle” in other parts of Southeast Asia. The Philippines, as a megadiverse country, has an abundance of flora and fauna—natural wonders that I believe are needed to be represented more in our medium. This is aligned with the advocacy of Ms. Bing Famoso Tac-an, founder and current head of the Philippine Botanical Art Society, which I am also a proud member of. This group aims to showcase endemic plants of the Philippines through visual arts, specifically via botanical art painting. Our group hopes to educate and create awareness about the conservation of these indigenous flora since most of them are now endangered.
I chose Banaba as the focal point of my composition because it was one of the first flowers I encountered outside when it was safer to go out during the pandemic. I wanted to show through my work that we have a myriad of beautiful endemic plants which can be subjects to choose from aside from the more popular but foreign flower subjects like peonies, roses, sunflowers, etc. My piece is inspired by the botanical art style with a white background, a requirement for the Philippine Botanical Art Society as well as its international counterparts for portraying such works, with the aspiration of scientific accuracy to the best of my abilities.
Indeed, our local endemic fauna—Katmon, Waling-waling, Tayabak, Hoya, and, of course, Banaba (but ironically, not Calachuchi and even our own national flower, Sampaguita), among others—must be celebrated. Through painting these as subjects, one can inspire and instill the knowledge that one must simply look around, even in our urbanized Metro Manila, near our homes we live in, and all round our own barangays, to see that such beauty exists around us. What more can we see and appreciate once we travel around our own beautiful Philippines.

I was really satisfied with the details. Look at those folds! ♥ The convention kick off was also the day of the exhibit opening. I attended the convention kick off first in the morning. Inggo waited somewhere in Estancia. During the exhibit opening, my Ragnarok friends from wayyyyyyyy back came and visited! We had dinner afterwards and reminisced about the good old days.

I didn’t have any time to retrieve this painting for egress so I donated it to PGW. I sort of miss it, but I can make another one anyway! I loved the experience of being part of this community. I hope I could be a bit more active this 2024.

Art to Cart

What can I say about Art to Cart?

Days after the relatively successful Patrons of the Arts, another new organizer popped up from the convention gossip grapevine. We were curious and attended their presentation. Impressed, we signed up. It was another gamble with a new organizer that we could afford, so why not? Their first event happened around mid-October.

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Above photo is our Day 1 set-up. Let me just say that I got injured on the first day of the event. It was so bad that I couldn’t hold a pen or draw for a month. I had a wrist brace most of the time. Lesson learned – don’t run, let people wait for you.

The organizers were alright? We were forgiving because it was their first art convention. We were impressed with the writeups they made of us that was obviously well researched and well-written. On the day itself however they had a lot of mishaps. The floor plan and map in particular. Artist aisles were too narrow (they fixed it on day 2). The program and host was boring.

One good thing about this event is that Inggo sold a lot of his works on this event. He even had a fan who bought A LOT of eevee merch. Super happy for him! We also had a stamp rally with our server members as well – where supportive server members completed the stamp rally lol.

This was also my first convention baby – or con bb Ret’s first event. She’s a server member as well, and she said that she has always wanted to join a convention but never had the courage to or doesn’t know where to start. I offered to help her from application, financial help, merch production, up until ingress and even lent her our extra table displays. I’m really proud of her as well! I made her pair with Shine, one of the January Maker PH girls, on a full table so she could be with someone who has experience with conventions. I’m glad that they matched personally. The photo below is a jeepney sign custom made by one of the server members. Its our informal nickname to fellow members. I loved it so much I had one made for Inggo and I for future conventions. 

Above is my humble haul from Art of Cart. This was my lowest selling convention of 2023, but I wasn’t in the red. I had a good time hanging out with my friends. One of the notable conversations during the event was with a customer who complimented me – “Your works should be in an exhibit”. Me, flexing, “Oh yes, I have an exhibit with the Philippine Guild of Watercolorists at Estancia Mall next week”.

And that is the next blog post! ♥

PaperCon – Commission

One of the most surprising experience during PaperCon was one of my customers wanted to commission me for a painting. I didn’t offer A4 prints of my works, but I’m planning on making small amounts for the next one this 2024. At first, she wanted it A4 size, then A3, and after PaperCon she wanted a 2 feet x 2 feet watercolor painting of cattleyas.

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I rarely take commissions because I’m not fond of doing them. I always offer a higher price for these. But she accepted my rates, so my weekend was spent making the painting. My usual commission process now is at follows:

  • Get all the info I need to create sketches. Offer 1 to 2 concept sketches before I start on the actual piece. Explain my materials – paper quality, watercolor quality, hence my prices. For commissions, I always use Arches 100% cotton 300gsm paper and artist grade watercolors. Always the best quality for client work.
  • After approval, request for 50% down payment before start of work. Always do this to protect yourself.
  • Explain my process to the client – 2 weeks lead time of work, progress photos will be sent per day, and delivery will be shouldered by buyer.

After that I start prepping my work area. I don’t have a large table at home, so I use our dining table when I do bigger paintings. That means cleaning the dining table and trying to remove as much oil on the surface as possible. After that I lay my watercolor paper, measure it to size using a T-square and cut the paper. Then we sketch.

If I’m finally happy with the sketch, it’s time to start painting. It usually takes me a day or two to completely be satisfied with a painting. I finish the painting on day one, and check another day with fresh eyes to see if it still needs improvements. The second day is where I take photos or scan, prep the painting for shipping, and informing the client that its done.

Really happy with this piece! I hope the client is happy as well.♥