Friday, November 25, 2011

visual representation





A graphical representation of the coordination of my mind, hand, and mouse pointer's 
online research on visual representation using IO graph.


A graphical representation of me blogging, tweeting, and researching on illustration.


And more searching.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

the enchanted



Illustration from the book, Ang Mahiwagang Kuba (The Enchanted Hunchback)


What was your inspiration for the children's book Ang Mahiwagang Kuba? How did you come up with the characters?

The original version of the story was set in European monarchy. Instead of adhering to the royalty look besides making the illustrations current, I got inspiration from fantasy comics digital artists. The story is very complicated and so are the characters. To challenge myself without illustrating too far, I also made some twists in the identities of each character. Some of them are borrowed from mythologies. Some characters are creature-like that are matched to each other so that the reader will be able to follow them along with the plots. The intriguing character's identities create back stories.

What medium did you use?

The illustrations were traditionally drawn in pencil on a 15x20 board. They were then scanned at a very high resolution image. All of the colorings, enhancements, and retouching were done in Photoshop. Texture was also added digitally.

I noticed the layout and composition seem to have a lot of whitespace and bare details on the setting, does it have any significance?

As the story of Lola Basyang is a classic, I wanted the illustrations to look timeless too. I like the reader to wonder if there's such a place or where can they be. It adds curiosity. Besides, the story is so complicated that I wanted the reader to focus on the characters since there are many protagonists and should fit on limited pages. I placed emphasis by placing more details on the characters rather than the background to make their identities colorful and easier to decipher.

Any significance on the ending illustration?

I ended the story with that illustration as my "postmodern" take on the moral of the story: a kind heart is more valuable than the physical attributes of a person. Taking a famous quote from The Little Prince, what is essential is invisible to the naked eye. This ending illustration shifts the point of view of the story from fantasy to reality.

What was your intention on the page that looks like a misprint? (the repulsive face of a character distortedly cloned)

It's intended to generate a visually uncomfortable reaction from the reader, relating to the character's annoyed feeling in the story.


The book launch and signing of Ang Mahiwagang Kuba (The Enchanted Hunchback) 
retold by Christine Bellen and illustrated by yours truly, published by Anvil 
together with other Lola Basyang stories of the same author and publisher
will be on November 26, 2011 3p.m. at the Bestsellers, Robinsons Ortigas. 
See you there!




welcome...home?




Welcome Home

The Ang INK: 20 Taon Exhibit at the Ayala Museum is extended until February 26, 2012!

The Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK, Illustrators for Children) 20 Taon Retrospective exhibit at the Ayala Museum lobby which will be on show from November 22 to January 15, 2012, had me pondering about the practice of illustration:

When illustration becomes independent of the texts, what are the possibilities of its context?

When these illustrations without texts are exhibited and properly curated in a museum, does that transform them automatically to "art"? Or only when placed in the context of art history?

When illustrators are also authors, their personal ideas are expressed through illustration. If personal intentions are validation of what define works of art, is the work of an illustrator-author an art?

While some illustrators does not merely depend on someone else's ideas or story, they also have their own take on an idea, they have personal vision in the expression of an idea. Is the work of an illustrator who interprets another's idea, artless?

A discourse on whether illustration belongs to fine art or commercial design is irrelevant. How come the presence of a silent repudiation from painters, the art scene, and illustrators themselves can still be felt?



how to make children's book illustrations interesting


Illustration from the children's book, Tight Times 



1. Texture is everything. Texture creates a personal connection to the viewer.

2. Misconception: children's book illustration has to look like drawn by kids. Most likely not everyone will appreciate kid-type drawings, children aspire to draw better than they can. It need not always be cartoony (anime/manga) or disney-like (although nothing is wrong with that also) but should always look delightful. Illustration should be easily comprehensible but not too literal, make it open-ended.

3. Lift from quirky but positive childhood experiences.

4. Draw unusual angles or perspectives of a scene.

5. Work on extra details, make up some back, sub stories or subplots not found in the texts.


***

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pretty in print



work in progress


rizal's humorous sketches


In the age of digital publishing, I think that any printed matter you create or receive today,
should deserve and evolve into something extra special than merely an ordinary printed story or message. Just like a polaroid print, a handwritten letter, or a typewritten message, the form or packaging should generate tactile and visual sentimentality to the point of keeping the print. Make printed designs collectible. Otherwise, it goes straight to the trash bin and pollute our environment, not to mention wasted human efforts, time, money, and some trees.