Personal Art

After Patrons of the Arts, I felt like I needed a break from con prep and make some personal art. Most of my works before are all for new products. But guess what, personal art is still flowers! ♥

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Above – I planned on making new washi tape designs. I made two designs – a rose and orchid combination, and a poppy design. I felt that I didn’t have enough roses and orchids, so I made some more. Eucalyptus leaves were also added just to have variety.

Below – I made the pink rose during our art tambay with discord friends. This was before our karaoke thing that night. The white rose is a practice piece on Baohong hot press paper. I didn’t liked it back then, but now it looks alright?

Above – you could see the difference in quality from the paintings. The middle one was painted on Canson 200gsm, and I really didn’t liked it. The magnolia on the left and the vanda orchid on the right were painted on Arches 300gsm cold press paper. Look at their details! The arches paper could really take a lot of water without buckling. I could detail a lot more as well.

Below – Left: Peony on Hahnemuhle paper. I don’t remember if I liked this paper – but I think I do since I’ve used it all up now. I still have a larger size that needs to be used up as soon as possible as well. Right: Poppies on my very old Strathmore watercolor notebook. I completely forgot about painting this one that I was pleasantly surprised when I found it again months later. Maybe I should hide my paintings? I end up hating most of my works and liking them months later after all.

I really loved this set of paintings. This was the pivot I think of using higher quality watercolor paper. I hope to paint a lot this coming Holy Week!

Patrons of the Arts – July

Our first gamble of the year is with Patrons of the Arts – a new art market event from a new organizer. I learned about this from convention friends last April. I discovered their IG account when they still didn’t have a lot of posts. It was suspicious at first, but I asked my convention friends about it. They already registered HAHA. And with a 500php discount for early birds for a 6 feet table I felt like it was worth the risk. I didn’t have a lot of products with me at that time, so I invited Inggo to join me. This was his first convention as a crochet artist!

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POTA organizers promised some features for this event – an art wall showcasing the artist’s works (we got to take home our framed works after), artist lounge on both ends (who knew there were 2 hidden rooms in this venue?!), discord for communication, and I guess a lot more that I cannot remember. Ingress was impressive. The organizers were very accommodating and really nice. You could feel their passion for this event.

We bought a lot of things for the event – an acrylic display rack for me, mesh wires for Inggo, our very own QR code display, and behind-the-scenes things that you need for a convention. I also brought some of my original paintings for sale. Inggo brought everything he has worked on since we registered for this event. We had no idea how to price crochet works, so he kind of adjusted the prices along the way.

Some highlights posted on my social media: some customers wanted me to sign my postcard prints, my original paintings were sold whenever I’m not manning our table, a customer recognized my katmon sticker so I gave her a freebie of my hoya sticker (she even knew the scientific name!), we saw Inggo’s hats worn throughout the event, one girl even commissioned him on the spot for a penguin coaster, and so much more. ♥️

They even had an official photographer, and the two photos above were taken by him. Thank you so much! That’s the artist lounge behind us HAHA.

This was my first event that I wasn’t with my original artist group January Makers. I felt that after StickerCon 2022, I needed to go solo. Thankfully it wasn’t the case here – as I had Inggo as my new permanent tablemate. It was nice to see everyone – most of my convention friends were in PotA. It was like a mini reunion with everyone and all we did was chika all day. ♥️ Our server friends also visited our table! It was chaotic and fun. We could feel the love.

The first Patrons of the Arts was a successful event. We were raving all day to other artists about this organizer. What a game changer. When they announced a 2024 event, we immediately signed up. Look forward to that post in a couple of months HAHA.

Urban Sketchers Kyusi – Bantayog ng mga Bayani

The next Urban Sketchers Kyusi we attended was at Bantayog ng mga Bayani last July. I was with Hannah and Mico. Shine also attended but she was with company. I never knew that there was a place like this beside Eton Centris.

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These two didn’t bring any folding stools and were complaining about the heat. So after sketching the subject, they proposed that we go to Starbucks and finish our works there. This is not the correct way to urban sketch by the way!

I sketched the statue but realized that my proportions were wrong! I didn’t get to include the head! Oops. I brought my Berkeley paper this time. Its a beginner paper but I really liked painting with it. Especially when creating dry brush marks on the paper to depict stone or metal. Hannah said that was my habit whenever I get tired of painting and wanted to finish it immediately. Really?!?!

Because we went to Starbucks, we weren’t included in USK QC’s group photo. So Hannah, Mico, Shine and I had our own latag session. I missed Shine, and I hope we could do more art tambays in the future. ♥

SW May – Brush Lettering Workshop

The 2nd top choice of our art club survey last year was calligraphy or brush lettering. This was scheduled to be the weekend before Mother’s Day (so they could write their letters fancy). Unfortunately I got sick and had to reschedule to two weeks from the planned date. Thankfully the workshop teacher is a very close friend of mine – Clair Colors.

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I asked the members to bring a marker with a brush tip since this is about brush lettering. Those who didn’t get to bring one, we brought our personal stash that they could borrow instead. Clair also provided workshop sheets that we needed to print out. These will be used for practice drills per stroke and letter. The same as last time – I opened this workshop to all employees, on site and in zoom. A lot of people joined this workshop as well. I hope those who joined got to practice some more after this!

How was the workshop? It was a new and interesting experience. I know there are different kinds of lettering out there, I chose brush calligraphy because I think this is one of the beginner friendly ones. Clair did a demo on all of the common strokes. She also did some flourish to make your letters fancier. It looked really easy at first – but like every other mediums, you need to practice. ♥

May come back

I finally had time to write! January 2024 was full of events and challenges it wasn’t even funny. I hope to write everything so I could finally catch up this blog. So around April, I discovered a new event by a new organizer and took the risk of joining. The event was Patrons of the Arts, last July 2023. I knew I had to make more sticker sheets, so I did more food illustrations.

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If I remember correctly, I wanted to even out the number of sticker sheets that I have. Last 2022, I had 5 sheets (2 flower related and 3 food related). I needed to produce 2 more sheets to make 5 food related ones, and 3 more for flowers. People wanted more food or dessert-related sheets, so I happily obliged and made more. I really love painting berry-related desserts. Something about their shine.

I wanted more variety so I made some chocolate and tart desserts. I like the detail on the left chocolate cake – the chiffon really stood out. The small plain tarts below is one of my favorite desserts – Portuguese egg tart! Lord Stows make the best ones in Metro Manila. ♥

The strawberry artworks was for the monthly prompt of PGW. I really love painting strawberries – they’re challenging, drawing those seeds need some planning/sketching to get it right, making them realistic and shiny! I had a hard time with the rainbow cake, it doesn’t really look that appetizing to me, and I should have sketched with more patience to get the details right. But oh well!

I’m feeling a little rusty with blogging. But I’m determined to really finish all of my 2023 posts! Let’s do this!


It’s still November 2023 when I started writing this, but I wanted to get some thoughts in order. So, yes, it’s that time of the year again. What’s amusing is that I still posted it late.

I wanted 2023 to be a continuation of more learning, experiences, and events. I really believe that I kept my word on these because I feel exhausted whenever I backread on all of the things that I did this year. The plans that I wanted to do this year (move out, open a shop, etc.) did not push through. So I said, fuck it, I’ll do whatever I want this year – every event, exhibit open call, convention. I’ll do them all even if it exhausts me. Burnt out. In a different view – I think I spoiled myself a lot this year due to the same reasons. I thrived as an artist.

I joined these events this year – 8 USK QC events, 2 PGW events (Daniel Smith launch at Art Caravan, PGW National Convention), 4 conventions, 8 Where WIPS Get Made discord meet ups.

USK QC – What’s surprising about this one is that its still not my favorite subject to paint. But I attended because my friends were there. The community is also friendly and it feels safe. I LOVED painting while hanging out with friends. You could consider this as an outdoor art tambay, I guess? So while its still not a favorite, I still added specific colors in my watercolor palette so I could paint more urban scenes. One of the most memorable sketch walk was the Taal Heritage town trip. I hope we could go back there to paint the rest of the heritage houses, and I hope I could attend more events this 2024.

PGW – There was an attempt to be more active this year. I participated in the monthly challenges in the first quarter, but quit eventually because I wanted to focus on convention prep for the rest of the year HAHA. I loved both events – the DS launch at Art Caravan because I won and splurged money on Daniel Smith watercolors, and the PGW convention because I finally joined the group exhibit.

Conventions – I joined the following this year: Patron of the Arts July, PaperCon, Art to Cart, and PlannerCon. 2 of those were new organizers that we took a risk joining, 1 was a sought after con, and the last 1 was a sought after organizer but they rebranded their Day 1 to accommodate a specific crowd. I have accepted the fact that I would go solo as an artist last year, but I only managed to truly go solo without an assistant on my 4th con. Because one of the plot twists of the year is that I now have a constant convention tablemate – which is Inggo! He started crochet last March. We bought so much convention stuff this year to accommodate our needs – mesh wires, mesh baskets, a camp wagon. I hope we could participate in more cons this year! We already have 2 confirmed conventions!

One of my proudest moments this 2023 was helping my friends start out on their convention journey. I helped them from registration, artwork layouts for printing, production, table set-up, and up to convention opening. I helped 3 people last year. I really am willing to help, but please don’t treat me as your google search engine. I was also accused of gatekeeping information lol – I still feel bitter about it. It hurts to be accused when I really am passionate in helping people with their con journey. Look at who I helped and how they are thriving right now. I feel like their successes are my proof that I did my best.

WIPS – I feel really blessed to be a part of this artist discord server. I’ve met so many wonderful people here. We hang out everyday on voice. We do art challenges every month. They supported us during our conventions, so I try to return the favor by supporting their events as well. I get inspired whenever I look at their works. We even had a Christmas party – where 22 people attended! It was so much fun. I hope to have more events with them this 2024. More chika please!

Based on my art folders, I created around 120 drawings this year. I felt there’s more artworks somewhere that weren’t scanned. But that’s still a lot of artworks!

There were some splurges this year. My laptop died around March because I forced it to play Diablo 4. We bought a new one and by luck, got a really good price for it on the last day of their promo. I also bought a drawing tablet around September because I felt that I needed one just in case I want to create foil stickers. I still haven’t gotten back to it yet after my hands injury. I hope to practice more digital this year.

Ahhhhh. I tried so many art-related things. Going to events isn’t lonely anymore. I feel content at the end of the year. Used to plan everything but this year proved that its okay to just enjoy the present and the unpredictability of life. ♥

What do I hope for 2024? I would like to be greedy and still continue my wants – more learning, more experiences, more events. Whatever the writers have planned for this year, I’ll face it head-on!

Urban Sketchers Kyusi – Taal

One of our most memorable trips this year was with Urban Sketchers Kyusi at Taal town, Batangas. In celebration of the 450th anniversary of Taal, the municipal government invited USK QC to “Guhit ng Pamana“, a sketch walk of the heritage houses during their El Pasubat festival. The heritages houses were all open for viewing. This was a delight for us interior designers (Hannah and I).

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Hannah and I weren’t supposed to go actually. But when they said that the budget for the weekend trip was around 3.5k per person, it wouldn’t really put a dent on our wallets, so we went. Inggo was also there to accompany us but he slept all day at the hotel. Some sketchers opt for the day tour and went home after all of the activities. We booked a hotel named Paradores del Castillo for us three. We’re also thankful that USK QC rented a van so the travel time was smooth sailing. The photo below was one of the first architectural elements we found at Taal. Beautiful wrought iron gate!

We first had a brief introduction of the Taal town at the second floor of the city hall. They provided some local snacks – the one below is called tamales (but not the Mexican kind!). It was really good. The coffee they provided was barako coffee – also known as the liberica variant of coffee beans known in Batangas. We immediately asked the staff where could we buy this. They said they just bought it at the nearby palengke.

After that was sketching time! The photo above is my first painting for the day. This is Casa Maria near the plaza. Take note that we had around 16 heritage houses that we could visit and sketch. Hannah and I liked the striking blue color of the windows and the upper part of the house. We only had a few hours to finish to sketch because we had our first latag at Escuela Pia – the Taal Cultural center. This was also the venue for lunch. They served us local specialties for lunch – specifically tawilis. 

Above is a photo of the largest church in the Philippines – the Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours, also known as the Taal Basilica. We did not get to view the interior as there was a wedding. The rest of the day, Hannah and I explored the town with the other sketchers. We got to tour the Diokno ancestral house and managed to sketch the exterior at the karinderia in front of it. Mine was not perfect, I only noticed it after the photo.

A funny moment during this sketching session was when we managed to attract the attention of the locals. They were intently watching us and some even did a blow-by-blow of the painting process. They also said some morbid jokes, that some houses are haunted because someone was stabbed by a balisong. We heard that a lot on this trip HAHA.

As an interior designer I really appreciated the preservation of the heritage houses. We have so much culture that needs to be protected. We had our second latag of the day at a museum, then went back to the city hall after. All sketchers received a balisong from the local government. How cool is that?! After that, we went back to our respective hotels to rest. We had dinner at Don Juan Boodle House. Everything was delicious here!

Above – is the the second floor of our hotel. These are just displays of Philippine furniture. Sitting was not allowed sadly. Below – after our delicious breakfast and our trip to the palengke for pasalubong shopping, we still had time before our meetup with the van group. Hannah wanted to sketch another house, this was Villavicencio house. I didn’t bring any art materials this time around, but Hannah lent me hers anyway. So I had no choice but to sketch!

I really liked this house and the white bougainvilleas in their garden. Would have loved to see the interior but sadly it was closed on Sunday.

I only had one photo of our latag session and it was blurry! But most of the photos and artworks are available at Urban Sketchers Quezon City IG page. I could say this is one of my highlights of the year – travel, sketching, culture, food. I loved everything about it. Hoping that we could go back again next year so we could sketch the rest of the houses.

Holy Week Art Camp

Holy week was scheduled on the week of my birthday. I took a leave on my day and decided to paint for the rest of the holidays. I remembered that I haven’t watched most of PGW’s 5th National Convention videos on FB. So I decided to do my penance and finally watch and learn from the masters. This is one of the benefits if you join the convention – you’ll get lifetime access to the videos so you could look back and rewatch if you want to. 

I would not judge the quality of these paintings, nor compare it to the masters. I know these are my first attempts, and they should be celebrated because I tried something new. You wouldn’t always be the best on your first try. 

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Above – Frank Liao Xiao Ping Demo’s on Florals. I really liked his loose way of painting. He wanted to show the flow of the subject and not focus on the details. I tried my best – I even used masking fluid to protect the whites. I think I did good. The portrait painting is my paint along piece from Dan Macapugay’s Demo. Portraits are my weakness, I haven’t learned anatomy properly, and just relied on feeling most of the time. The face looks wonky as I wanted to paint this as soon as I can. I learned a lot with color mixing on this one. Now if you ask me what I learned, I’ll get back to you HAHA. ♥

Below – Rene Canlas’ Demo on Koi fish. This demo was 4 hours and 30 mins long. Lots of wonderful insights from veterans in this industry. But my attention span only lasted up to 2 hours. This would have been better I think if I used a larger paper to really capture all of the ripples and details.

Above – Yeye Calderon’s demo on landscapes. I learned the scratching and splattering techniques for the branches here. This was fun. Below – this photo is from a friend and I wanted to apply what I learned from Yeye’s demo here. Wasn’t really satisfied so I added gouache and pencils here.

Really happy with the results. This year was the 6th National Convention and guess what? I didn’t get to attend the demos again HAHA. Looks like I’ll be doing the same thing again next year! ♥

March Hiatus

I’ve been wondering about this one for a while. What triggered this hiatus? Even my Instagram post at that time was cryptic.

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So there are the paintings that I did while on hiatus on social media. Below – Waling waling orchid painted on my Etchr watercolor pad and rose paintings using my new Daniel Smith paints.

Above – Amaryllis painting requested by Ruth, an art jam painting. Below – I wanted to paint cattleyas. Did you know that cattleyas have different colors asides from white? I liked painting the frilly petals.

And then I painted food for some reason? I think I was preparing for StickerCon summer. But we didn’t get in. Looking back, I think I have an idea what my drama post was. We were “callunteered” into making the crafts for an office event. We had no choice at that time. It was a stressful month.

SW March – Watercolor Workshop by Thea Ong

I find it amusing that I’m just writing about this workshop now when I’ve emailed my resignation as club head last week. This year, the office clubs received some funding so we could hold our own events within the office. I did a survey on what topic are the members interested in – and watercolor basics was the top choice. So I asked a friend, Thea Ong, to be our workshop instructor.

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Thea Ong is a watercolor and mixed media artist, crafter, and art teacher. She’s a great art teacher that holds workshops of different subjects for all ages. I offered the workshop to all employees instead of gatekeeping this to our club members. Thea conducted the workshop online. We streamed the workshop in our office pantry for those who are in the office, while those working from home can attend the workshop via zoom.

I brought all of my watercolor sets and some watercolor paper for those in the office. Thankfully they also brought their own, mostly Prang and Seamiart sets. How nostalgic! I still keep my old prang at home. One thing that I didn’t expect on this workshop was that I was also the host. I would ask Thea questions or supplement her statements with additional info. Also, we were supposed to print the workshop materials but all of us just drafted the shapes. Just architect/interior design things. ♥

How was the workshop? It was my first time attending one as well! Thea taught us how to take care of our art materials, the basics of watercolor, some tips, and finally a workshop piece which was a landscape artwork. I think all of my members did great! They had some funny questions for Thea, one that I remembered was “What do I do if my paper already has a hole from too much water?”. Thea laughed so much on this one and suggested to please do not put a lot of water on your watercolor paper.

This was also the first workshop of all of the clubs in the office. More than 30 employees attended this one. I think it was a successful one! I got feedback from officemates that they learned a lot from that 1 hour workshop. It was a lot of fun that I actually planned the next one for May.

How time flies. I was really passionate that time for this club.