I keep these pages of unfinished business inside my work folder with accumulated client briefs, printed studies…that sort of mambo jambo. I like how they look so out of sorts and how every time I have to review some files, I have the itch to draw something.
I wonder if I should ink it and turn this into a comic of some sort while this project steeps. (or disappears into oblivion, more like it)
I had a free cut on my second week on the job so I thought of taking myself to the mall. It was the only place I knew how to get to and fro - safely at the least.
Around half an hour of popping my head inside boutiques to justify my trip, I decided I was tired enough to settle at the nearest coffee shop. To my disappointment, I realized as I was dabbing off the last bits of chicken turnover at the sides of my mouth, that when left to my own devices, I am but a lost sheep in shopping malls. Dear me. And a fat, lazy one at that. Without mom to send me to buy stuff or have my sister commanding me from store to store to try this and try that, all I know to do is geek.
Tzaddi Esguerra 2013. Coffee, pencils and acrylics
Because I have this odd affinity for musicians/artists who swear they have barely 10 tatty - and often sentimental - pieces of clothing but manage to exude so much style and pizazz.
JAMES BLAKE you sexy string bean (the man’s 6’5”!)
I went through my journals and notebooks earlier tonight hoping to find content that’s set relatively deeper into my psyche that I could rework into something wax poetic.
The search was in vain but I did come across this illustration of a librarian drawn somewhere in those first few months after I’ve been prescribed my glasses. I find this very haunting. I think it reverberates deep-rooted fears of becoming a young bitch-faced, four-eyed future cat lady exiled to a lifetime alone for romantic hypocrisy.
Which is silly, of course, because I don’t like cats one bit. That would make it groundless.
I don’t know if any of you ever had those storybooks as a kid that come in fun tiny sizes. I remember being given a bunch of those by my dad’s friend when I was little and I remember always bringing along that one on Jack and the Beanstalk everywhere because I liked how well it fit in my pocket.
Something about my younger cousin showing my aunt what a twerk was at my grandfather’s birthday dinner last night left me aghast up until my waking hours and still left me with an unsettling feeling today. I wish kids were all born to a childhood of storybooks and rollerblades, iron-on stickers and Bubblejug - not apps and social media.
I just realized that I’ve pretty much been into medieval stories and royalty even as a kid. I loved Lady Marian as fox and Prince John as a lion, and Arthur on The Sword in Stone. I also had liked that Macaulay Culkin film in that magic library…The Pagemaster, wassit? Admittedly, I also crushed on the blind Garrett on Quest for Camelot and Prince Charles. (My mother had this book on Princess Diana that totally led me to think Prince Charles and I were right around the same age.)
Seriously now, my point is, there is no denying that stories, make-believe and not to mention, actual, physically strenuous games teach kids important life lessons and skills. *Insert epiphany of baby lion cubs play-fighting*
I’ve been wanting to research more on Philippine fairystories and lore but I find them very hard to come by with because I think only very few ever made it to actual writing and publishing unlike English fairy stories which have been adapted into various literary and art forms.
In the meantime, I bought this old book of fairy tales half for posterity and the other half for a little change of pace in my reading. I may have put myself too deep in cousins war stories.
I also whipped out my old speedball and sketched some dropcaps I’m planning on digitizing to make my poems look pretty in this lifetime passion project of mine.
Take it from the Chinese
It’s funny my life’s “big” adventures so far always happen to coincide with the times in my life that I don’t have a camera with me. Last summer I had the chance to go to Laguna on my own for the first time and to Tagaytay with a couple of friends I just met over my internship and I didn’t even have a camera phone with me.
Over time I’ve developed the habit of collecting tiny bits of proof that those trips actually did happen; pressed flowers, notes, sometimes little bits of prose make their way too and if I’m really lucky — photos salvaged from friends’ mobile phones.
I never mean to be a sentimental packrat, I’m just one of the firm believers of the Chinese proverb that the palest ink is better than the best memory.
I guess it’s lucky that dad didn’t let me bring my camera that day we chased waterfalls in Dalipuga. The trip was pretty much a major thing for me that I actually tried to capture bits of it on paper.
I knew I had no reason to fuss because I was trekking with probably 10 cameras at the very least. However there’s something really obsessive about capturing something through your own eyes, the very viewpoint from right from where you stand. I don’t know.
Based on experience, it brings a much more vivid sense of nostalgia, sketches especially.
The one above is my quick sketch of the little stream connecting the three levels of Pampam falls featuring my friend Kate sitting in the middle of the stream after a cleverly concealed slip and two other friends in the background. Photo of the work in progress courtesy of Jeffrey Wong of www.gwapito.com
photos by Jam Jacosalem (traveljams.com)
For the last waterfall of the day I decided to attempt another quick watercolor while everybody went for their photo ops. We were really short on time because we had to be at somewhere before sunset so I guess I’ll get back to this when I’ll have a bit more than 20 minutes to sit down and paint.
I woke up early this morning because I really felt like I had to maximize my weekends. My part time job is slowly taking over my entire day on the weekdays, I wonder how it ever got to that.
The folks were out of town for the weekend and the sister was still sleeping the Sunday off so I had morning milk tea and breakfast by myself over documentaries of two great modern artists, Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali.
I actually did a little note-taking because I don’t know, biographical data and art insights from these kinds of people might come in handy someday. I know I will forever be hung up on not getting any kind of art education or formal training however there is also this small happy gratification in finding things out on your own.
I have this friend Vajeijei (thegreenerthebetter) who, too, is self-taught and I think he’s already at that sharp learning curve where he can already produce masterpieces. I’m not quite there yet with my art but his recent development has really inspired me to keep at it.
Henri Matisse just started at age 19, so I guess that’s something. I spent the rest of the morning changing my sheets and reorganizing my pens paints and markers. Setting apart watercolor pencils from plain colored pencils, reorganizing paints; gouche, acrylic, water-mixable oils and plain oil pigments - all in an attempt to make painting or making art more appealing.
Going through sticky paint tubes only to realize you’re missing a few colors that you need and the prospect of cleaning up afterwards usually puts me off. haha.
Tzaddi Esguerra 2013
Three key pieces from my first mini art series, Summers Ago. The collection took shape from a sudden nostalgia for deadbeat summers in front of the TV as a child when I used to fantasize about being a Discovery wildlife photographer.
We used to keep this encyclopedia set (another thing I rather miss as well) in a rickety cabinet that I was off limits to because I was deathly allergic. I remember always flipping to the same pages that had illustrations of the entire dog breed and drawings of odd looking critters like the duck-billed platypus that I marked every time I had an excuse to hit the books. I may have had a little influence on my illustration style for this series from there.
Also incorporated into the pieces are my personal collection of pressed flowers and quite possibly, shyly mature and porridgy sentiments from the more recent summers.
Available on Etsy.
Ohmigolly, I actually set up shop.
I’m not too sure how this all works really, I’m just really trying my hand at it, keeping options open, you know…one of the rad ideas I’ve had brought about by a week of living penniless.
This is my first large piece in the mini art series I’m making. It’s actually just 15 x 20 inches haha but compared to the watercolor paintings I’m used to makin, it is, relatively.
I don’t know when I’ll be putting the other ones up yet. Real’ soon, hopefully. Cross fingers for me if you guys aren’t too busy or anything.
A couple of drawings that didn’t make it to the issue (sadface) but I’m safekeeping here in case anything happens to my hard drive. Also, because I haven’t been posting anything at all in quite a while. haha. The second illustration is supposed to be for a book review on Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity.