Friday, December 7, 2007

Tee Graphic Design: “Poetic Synergy” (Threadless)

It's been a long while since I submitted a design for Threadless due to work and other creative projects. Well, I recently created a design and I need you guys to show some support. How? By visiting my design's page over at Threadless and give it a high score (of course, only $5 will count for me, haha). Don't forget to leave some nice comments there, because I would love my design to get serious approval! The only way my design's going to get printed at Threadless is if it scores so high and gets so popular that the people at Threadless have no other choice but to print it (that's crowdsourcing at its heart, you sell what the people want.).

My Threadless submission: "Poetic Synergy"

My design is entitled "Poetic Synergy" which is meant to represent harmony in nature… harmony even with the seemingly unceasing chaos… the infinite of the sea, the freedom of the sky and the heart of the land… You can draw your own interpretations. It's visual poetry. Some of you may recall my Moleskine entry "H2Om", well this is a variation of that, a more detailed nature-based version of the subtle Om. It may be too artsy for Threadless (whose catalog includes a lot of "visual puns" and comedic designs), but sometimes, they get these type of designs printed.


The original moleskine entry: "H2Om"

The linework of "Poetic Synergy"...

So there, I am really determined to have one of my designs printed at Threadless (let's say it's one of my creative goals) an I hope this is the one… So click on these banners and show some LOVE!

My Submission

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Limoncellos, Crocs, Fitness First in Mall of Asia and Beowulf in IMAX 3D…

Limoncellos. I recently uploaded pictures from our lovely dinner at Galileo Enoteca. If you love cold cuts (I do! I used to eat sausages directly from their packages when I was in Sweden, and my godmother will send me occasionally cold cuts from Germany) and cheese, this is the place for you. They also import high quality Italian wines and liquors. This prompted me to ask whether they sell one of my favorite liquors, limoncello. Limoncello, pronounced [limon'tʃɛlːo] (thanks for the correction Zen) is lemon liquor made from lemon rinds, alcohol, water, and sugar. It is usually bright yellow in color, sweet and lemony, but not sour since it contains no lemon juice. It is a digestivo, so it's best taken after a meal. If you haven't tasted it yet, you should! My brother Archie always brings home from his travels in Rome bottles of Villa Massa Tradizionale Limoncello di Sorrento and the last time he came home, he brought home a variant with cream (imagine irish cream, but with lemon). Unfortunately, Galileo Enoteca is currently out of stock of limoncellos. But I'll be constantly on the lookout. So if you know where I could get these, please do tell!

SM Mall of Asia. A few days ago, I went to SM Mall of Asia for the purpose of looking for a pair of Crocs sandals (this was the last shop I could ask, the other shops have ran out of available sizes!), and not to waste my time there just for the sandals, I also brought along my gym bag to experience the newly opened Fitness First there. Now, everyone should understand that SM Mall of Asia was designed for casual shoppers, who have the whole day to walk around. It is so huge it would be impossible to memorize the locations of all stores after a few visits. I had only one store to visit, and it was located (after inquiring at the concierge) at the entertainment block, far at the back of the mall which is a few minutes walk from the façade. It was already a good warm-up for the gym. I found the Crocs shop, but I was in for a disappointment. They have all the available sizes for the model (Brown Off Road size 10) I was looking for, except mine! I thought it's not yet time to buy myself one. As I left the store and headed to the gym (which was located outside the mall, in the newly constructed building), I passed by the IMAX 3D Theater and saw that Beowulf was showing. I haven't seen Beowulf yet, and I wanted to see it but just couldn't find the time to do so. So I inquired, and booked for the 5PM show. It was expensive, the ticket costing P400, but I thought, better experience IMAX with a film I wanted to see. I thought, it would be cool to watch a computer generated film in 3D. I went to the gym for a 2 hour workout session before the film starts. I thought, after the film (which would finish around 7pm), I would still be able to catch the Body Combat class at the gym.

Fitness First Mall of Asia. The new Fitness First gym is located in the building just outside the IMAX theatre, so it was a short walk. I went to the reception and showed my member's ID. I was surprised that they replaced my ID (which doubles as a card key for the locker rooms) with a similar plastic card but without the hole, the reason for which I will realize later. The first thing you'll see is the cardiovascular area (3 rows of treadmills, steppers, cycling machines and elliptical) with the standard TV screens. The member's lounge is very small compared to other clubs, and I actually have to squeeze through some of the chairs to reach the drinking stations (standard soda dispenser, coffee and water). I peeked inside the Mind & Body Studio and it was huge! The cable machines area was filled with new TechnoGym machines, with some of them fitted with digital monitors that would tell you how many reps you have already made and also the range of your movements as well. The strength and free weight area is located on the second floor. What amazed me is the new automatic locker system they have installed. The plastic card they gave me was actually the key card – all I had to do was to place the key card near the locker, and it would open and close – like magic! Amazing! After playing around with the locker door for a while (the other club goers who saw me do this are already giving the weird look), I proceeded to cardiovascular area to look for the ergs (rowers) to add to my Concept2 Holiday Challenge mileage. I couldn't find them, and I was beginning to worry that they decided to remove the rowers since after all they were not popular machines in the gym. But a personal trainer ushered me to the indoor rowing area, which is nestled in an elevated corner of the gym. While rowing, you get a nice view of the cardiovascular area. The ergs there are already connected to the TV systems so you can already plug in your earphones to listen to the shows (unlike in other clubs). The air conditioning was in top condition, so good that it was freezing in the cardiovascular area. I somehow wished they had the room temperature lower because it was quite difficult to sweat. On the other hand, I found exerting more to feel that I was giving an effort (I was running at a rate of 10.5-11 km/h at the treadmills, compared to my usual 9.5 km/h). The GX Studio looks spacious (in width, not length), but immediately I noticed how small the stage area was so it would be difficult to have more than 3 instructors at the same time. Another thing were the 2 huge structural pillars in the studio. Good thing they're located at the sides, but they could be quite a big distraction if you're moving from side to side. I have yet to experience a class in the Mind & Body and the Cycling Studio. But all in all, it was a satisfying experience (too bad it is quite far from home…).

Beowulf IMAX 3D. After 5 km of indoor rowing and another 5 km on the treadmills, I went to the theatre for my virgin IMAX experience. I had to feed myself but found that the snacks area in the IMAX are closed (Imagine no popcorn!!! Well, I'm not really a popcorn person when watching movies, but a movie watching experience is not complete without a whiff of buttered popcorn), I had to buy food outside (I had to settle with hotdog in a nearby stall). After devouring my snack, I proceeded to the theatre area (yes, I watched alone… loner ba?) where I was greeted with usherettes who distributed these special glasses you have to wear to create the 3D effect that IMAX is renowned for. The theatre area is huge! I picked a sear smack in the middle of the theatre, and looking straight ahead, the screen effectively covered even my peripheral vision. After a few minutes, the trailers rolled in, and they showed previews of upcoming IMAX shows. The 3D effect is really compelling! It's funny, I noticed some grandmothers beside me who were actually dodging at objects that really seem to fly towards you. After the trailers, the opening credits for Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf came in. It was amazing to watch the credits actually float on top of the background, and fly past your shoulders. Combine that with amazing sound effects. I knew I was in for an unusual experience, because I was stupidly grinning in sensual delight as I watched the film... The initial scenes were designed to make you get used to the 3D effects, and I specifically enjoyed the scene where the people were singing in the mead hall, and a flyby ensues… you literally find yourself flying away from the hall, from the kingdom, and into the forest (with the tree branches ) and into the cave of Grendel… and this was just the start...

The movie was great. I actually debated with my brother Oggie, who by the way writes amazing film critiques in his blogs, about this film. He claims that it was a waste of talent to bring Beowulf into life as a computer-generated film. Why not film the actors themselves as they are? I told him, it could have been a waste of talent, but the way I see it, this is a landmark film that celebrates how advanced the technology in film-making has reached. The technology this film has used to capture the performances of great actors such as Anthony Hopkins is so convincing that oftentimes, you actually feel you are watching the very actors themselves! The male characters looked very photorealistic; however, the female characters still looked like moving mannequins. This technology has great potential, and the way I see it, if motion-capture becomes so advanced and precise that it could even capture the smallest nuances of an actor's performance, this will open up a new concept in role-playing, rendering make-up and costumes obsolete. How else could Ray Winstone transform into the perfect-bodied Beowulf! Of course, Angelina Jolie is Angelina Jolie... (nosebleeding...)

Ray Winstone as Beowulf (which according to him looked like him when he was 18 years old)

Angelina Jolie as Grendel's Mother. Even though it was animation, she never expected she could feel so "exposed"

Although the story deviates from the original plot of the Beowulf epic, the screenplay by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary was an exceptional reimagination focusing on how humans themselves could turn out to be the very monsters they have sought to fear and destroy and how the seduction of evil could overthrow even the noblest of men. Some who are faithful to the original epic might feel the changes weakened the power of the Beowulf story, but I feel the more human treatment of the main character, showing his flaws and weaknesses provides more opportunities for reflection and introspection than just entertainment.

The film I feel is best experienced in IMAX 3D (although I haven't watched it in ordinary theaters yet), so if you're planning to watch it, watch it in IMAX 3D format. It's worth the price.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Freeing the Body in Water: Watsu 1 Course

I just recently completed an intensive week of Watsu 1 and I must say it was a rich learning experience. Not only was it all about knowledge and skills but focused also on connection with the "receiver" of a Watsu® session. And since I intend to apply this newly refined skill as part of my own personal and professional development, my clients, be they abled or differently-abled will truly benefit from Watsu®. Here's Harold Dull, the founder of Watsu® presenting an introduction to this unique form of aquatic bodywork.

The course ran from November 19 to 24, 2007 at Quality Life Discoveries (Special People's Hub) and was supervised by Karen Neff, certified Watsu® practitioner, instructor and owner of Mandala Spas and Villas of Boracay. She was assisted by her husband, Tom Neff, also a certified Watsu® practitioner. There were only 6 of us as students and close guidance and supervision was provided. It included mostly hands-on sessions in the warm pools, a few didactics and land exercises. But generally, it was an intensive and exhaustive week, but at the same time a liberating and relaxing experience.

I have always been passionate about Watsu® ever since I received a basic introduction to it when I took a certification course in Sports for Physically Disabled Individuals in Tokyo, Japan (JICA sponsored). Ever since my professor lent me a training video, I've been integrating it if possible in my aquatherapy sessions, and demonstrating it in Aquatherapy classes. After receiving a Watsu® session, I'm convinced that this is something I could (actually, should) share to others. I saw it's potentials as a therapeutic modality among patients especially those suffering from pain, spasticity and other conditions. And since then, I've been looking for opportunities to further my knowledge and skills in Watsu®, but was only limited by my lack of resources (The courses offered in Harbin Springs, California are quite expensive not to mention, I have to travel there first. The nearest I've found was in India last September, but I couldn't leave my work in CAMP). It was providential that Quality Life Discoveries, per my recommendation, brought in the experts instead.

We learned primarily the Watsu® Transition Flow, perfecting it not only in the domain of technicality (remembering the biomechanics and sequence of movements) but most importantly on being able to connect in "resonance" with the receiver. Now, this is very important, as an academician myself, I've noticed that most students have only focused on the technicality of modalities, but are very weak in the more caring dimension of things. It gives a greater meaning on the term patient care – greater emphasis on "care"… it's not just handling but it's "caring". As in any modality, when the "caring" aspect is missing, one will not be able to achieve the full benefits. Unique to this course, We also applied Watsu® on children, both able and differenty-abled, where we have to consider modifications to the standard flow. Watsu® unlike other aquatic body work is very intimate. It is very interesting that we were discussing the following concepts aside from the techniques:

  • Resonance/coherence – All objects will in time sync in frequency. In Watsu®, it is the synchronization of breathing and heart beats. Water provides a deeper opportunity for synchronization.
  • Heart of service
  • The undisturbed state – Many receivers have likened their experience of Watsu® as a re-wombing experience.
  • And many more interesting ideas… which when you think about it works seamlessly with the technical stuff of things

Karen and Tom Neff have been very wonderful mentors. Their feedbacks which they say could be very harsh at times have been very constructive in our learning process. We as students felt their genuine love and concern in developing our own skills in Watsu®. We had wonderful classmates, who have been very cooperative and helpful in each other's learning experience also. Now I have to log 20 practice hours of Watsu 1 and then we will resume our course on December 10-15, 2007 for Watsu 2. Do you want a Watsu® session? I'd happily give you one!

Here are my latest Moleskine entries inspired by Watsu®…


H2Om (water - Om)... I recently completed my Watsu 1 course and I must say it was a truly fulfilling experience. Not only have I been wanting to learn this for personal and professional (as a physical therapist) development, but I have always been passionate about the esoteric nature of Watsu, how it is possible to reach levels of consciousness and sensitivity through water not only as a receiver but as a giver. This is a follow-up on my previous "Poetry in Water" entry.


Can you remember how it felt to be inside your mother's womb? There have been numerous testimonials from receivers of Watsu that describe the experience as a return to the mother's womb. It is afterall, a gravity-free environment where we are completely protected, stress-free and worry-free. I have a few interesting ideas on how this could be applied among differently-abled children. Another follow-up on my "Poetry in Water" entry series.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bring It On! (At the 1st Philippine Men’s Health Urbanathlon)

I may be over reacting but I've been having dreams of running in a marathon and traversing obstacles nights before the 1st Philippine Men's Health Urbanathlon. I really couldn't hide my giddiness anymore, I had trouble sleeping the night before the awaited event. Perhaps, it's because the nervousness, the intimidation this physical challenge brings. But alas, I couldn't back out anymore, since I already pre-registered (I was able to get a discount, being a collector of Men's Health Magazine and as a member of Fitness First) and I practically announced that I would already participate in this in my previous blog (Another realization that you have to be careful what you say in your blogs!).

Preparation. I learned about the Urbanathlon a week after the last Body Combat Marathon, and since then I considered joining this. It helps when you have a major event to look forward to, as this keeps your motivation up in your workout. There was really no radical change in my usual workout (Body Combat and Body Balance classes) but additional treadmill time was added. At two weeks before the event, I've already been increasing the mileage from 5 kms to 7 kms. At 1 week, I was already working 10 kms non stop at 9.5 – 10 km/h. After each treadmill session would be approximately 20 mins of stair machine work (at effort level 5-7). This is all to simulate the approximate distance and the stair climbing challenge in the Urbanathlon. I failed to run on real concrete pavement due to lack of time, and I really wasn't able to prepare for the obstacles. I was confident that I would do well endurance-wise, but I was quite worried whether I can overcome the obstacles.

Night Before The Event. I prepared my MP3 player, loaded it up with my familiar Body Combat songs (yeah, Body Combat music. My body has already been conditioned to prime up when I listen to this music!). I prepared my bag with all my usual gym gear, since I plan to leave my things at Fitness First Fort. I slept in my running clothes (and guess what, I slept with my running shoes on!). Everything was already ready but as I said, I had trouble sleeping! To put me to sleep, I had to tune my TV to National Geographic. Luckily, it had something boring on.

The Day! November 18, 2007. Woke up on time (Race starts 7:30 AM). Washed. Picked up my bag and left on a taxi. I noticed that the tent was already brimming with people, all lining up for registration. I went to Fitness First to leave my bags at the locker but it wasn't open yet. Tsk! Now this is gonna be a problem, where am I supposed to leave my things!? I went to the registration area, learned that I no longer have to line up since I was already pre-registered. I inquired where I can leave my things, but they said they didn't have an area where people can leave their things unattended. Luckily, a kind organizer volunteered to have my things kept in her car (thanks, Marcie!). Whew! I went around the obstacle course and saw that carpenters were trying to reinforce some of them. The wall didn't look menacing at all. I was glad the wall was constructed with a beam in the middle (unlike in the New York videos which was all smooth on one face!). This way the beam could serve as a "step" to scale the wall. I looked for the hurdles and noticed that some participants were already practicing in them. Hmmm, I tried it once, and realized that this is doable. I looked for people I knew (I was alone, huhu, since my gym buddies backed out) and I saw familiar faces, from celebrities to friends. I noticed some of the fitness instructors from Fitness First MetroEast even joined.

The participants were gathered in the stage area where basic instructions, a brief warm-up and stretching session were given. After which, everybody was requested to gather behind the starting line. I think the organizers realized it would be difficult to force everybody (more than 700!) move back behind the starting line, so they started the race already. Everybody was running off. I was running in no time in my familiar pace, my MP3 player busting out my favorite tunes. As long as my music was playing, I didn't care if people were overtaking me, or I was overtaking them. My pace relied on my music. The roads in The Fort area was generally flat, with some areas with a maximum incline of 5 degrees. We had to work the course around The Fort twice since one round is only 5 km. Each round culminating in the obstacle course.

The Obstacles I. The 1st round of 5 km was relatively OK. I was already breathing hard but not yet tired. I promised myself that I will never stop running at any point of the race. I will never walk except at the obstacle areas. (Do you know why? The picture my professor took of me when I participated in the marathon in Luleå, Sweden haunted me. I was walking in pain! That picture did it for me. I never stopped running since then.) The first obstacles were the marine hurdles, which were OK. My technique was to jump simultaneously while lifting myself up, so I could prop my left foot on the beam. With the left foot, I could swing my right leg over and jump on to the ground. Next was the baby crawl, which I thought was poorly constructed. I think the net was too high so this let the people squat walk instead of baby crawl! But I guess this was a good thing. Otherwise, we would have been swimming in mud. Next was the parking lot. We had to climb over 4 Ford pickup trucks. After which were the balance beams. I actually lost balance at one point and fell. But I regained immediately. Then there were the 4 foot hurdles followed by a zigzagging drumroll area. There was no landmine area unfortunately. After the obstacle course, we headed to the race course again for the second round. The wall was reserved for the last lap.

The 2nd Lap. Another 5 kms, and somehow I was already feeling tired. The change of pace in the obstacle are rattled my running rhythm, but soon I regained it. This time, the distance between runners was more defined. I could notice some were already walking (I learned that some of them were quite disappointed that they still had to run another round!). But I knew I was doing OK for my standards, and I could still see the leaders far ahead. I was sure with my rhythm, but sometimes I would have to pick up my pace just to challenge myself. At this point, no one was overtaking me anymore. I was the one overtaking people. Not that I was running faster. It was because the runners in front of me were slowing down.

Sometime in the middle of the 2nd round, my MP3 player suddenly stopped. I looked at it frantically wondering what could be the problem. I knew I charged it full the night before. It wouldn't play. And since there was no music already, I could hear already my rhythmic heavy breathing (Yes, this is a reason why I play music when running. I don't like to hear my heavy breathing, because it reminds me that I'm tired!). I couldn't have my MP3 player to work so I had no choice. Last Song Syndrome. I had the last song playing in my mind, and it kept me until the obstacle course. Unfortunately, the water stations ran out of water! They gave out bottles of iced teas instead! This couldn't quench my thirst, but it gave the sugar boost I needed. I had to pick up used water bottles in the road and drink what's left there! Wala nang pakialam kung sino uminom nun, nauuhaw na ako eh! In the last turn of the road, I could see the leaders already in the obstacle course area. I realized the organizers removed the stair climbing challenge. Too bad, I was looking forward to it.

The Obstacles II. I knew I was tired because I was taking a longer time preparing for each hurdle, and I was already walking in between each obstacle area. I hated this change of pace. Soon I reached the wall. I noticed the guy in front of me refusing to climb the wall. I picked the middle part. I held on the rope, pulled myself up. Propped my feet against the wall. I climbed up the rope until I could place my feet on the beam. I slipped a little but managed to hold on. I pulled myself up and scaled the wall. In no time I was on the ground running towards the finishing line. I finished at a decent 1:02:49! I was breathing so hard, but deep inside I was glad. I surpassed my own expectations and was proud of completing the course without extreme difficulty.

Festival. I met with old grade school classmates (Hi Ferdie and Louie!) who were there to cheer on their girlfriends. It was a reunion of sorts. Funny how you meet people you lose contact with in such events. I toured all the booths which offered lots of freebies. I ate lunch and rested while we listened to Session Road during the festival. I was exhausted but happy. Luckily, the gym was only a block away where a warm relaxing shower was waiting.

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of me in action. I took these pictures after I finished the race.

I am glad I joined the 1st Philippine Men's Health Urbanathlon, happier that I completed it better than I expected. I just hope the organizers make sure next time to include the missing segments (the stairclimb challenge and the landmines), and perhaps make the course longer instead of having to run it twice. Congratulations to the organizers of the event! We're sure to join the next one. Next in line among my list of physical challenges: the Concept2 2007 Holiday Rowing Challenge!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I've always been urged by my friends and clients to have my own website, now that I've been building a name around the graphic design business particularly in logo, t-shirt and layout design; and ambigram creation. I am already maintaining personal weblog sites such as in Blogspot: Perelandran Chronicles and Multiply: Perelandran Frontier, an artwork gallery through revcruz@DeviantArt, and a photo repository in revcruz@Flickr and most of my clients (both local and international) are able to learn about my artwork and contact me for requests through these websites, if not from crowd-sourcing sites which I have built quite a respectable reputation (such as It all started as a hobby but this has somehow developed into an income-generating activity.

I am now developing a website which will serve as my portfolio featuring my designs, more prominently in logo design and ambigrams. This will serve as a venue for commission requests from potential clients both local and international. Hopefully, I will be able to integrate into the website my other creative ventures such as my font foundry (I have been creating various sets of custom-made fonts), stereogram creation and paper crafts among others. It will also host all of my creative blogs, so expect most of my art-related entries here to move out to their new home. In the future, it may serve as shop for future merchandise (featuring my T-shirt designs for example). It sounds so professional, it scares me honestly. I never thought that I could get this much out of my art.

A preview of Rev Creations at

With all the radical changes happening with me (By the way I am no longer a faculty member of the College of Allied Medical Professions, but will still be working as a lecturer/professor for the UP Manila Community Health and Development Program momentarily while my papers are being processed), this will just be one of the manifest investment of my many passions. Of course, I have a lot more to think about in terms of what I really want out of my life.

So look out for it, it will be up soon! Rev Creations at

Logo Design:

Sometimes, the final logo design will look radically different from the initial concepts. Numerous uncontrollable factors may affect the creative design process. Oftentimes, a perfect idea suddenly appears just when you thought you got it right.

Niklas Perzon, of was looking for an update logo his website. is a website for automotive classifieds ads (by the way, bilnyckeln is Swedish for the word "car key"). The logo should be modern, slightly fun, but still professional. It should be more appealing to men, should look cool and clean, but not boring. He mentions that anything related to cars and car keys may be used. Looking at their existing logo which is actually a photograph, I thought of preserving the car key concept into a vector graphic design. Looking at logos of other related websites, I thought of giving this logo impact by using bold fonts and colors. Of course, since it's Swedish, I integrated their flag (haha, the colors of which I mistakenly inverted):

Among various proposals, my logo proposal was selected. However, the logo was not selected for its design but because of my precedent designs, which I think the client enjoyed. He thought that I would be able to actualize what he wanted the final logo to look like. He gave me an idea of what the target site would look like (emphasizing that red would be an integral color) and a sample logo which could inspire me to follow.

Apparently, he was looking for a simple but effective icon for his site. I started anew, working on a more iconic feel. Here are my new proposals.

He suggested dropping the "car key" concept, and opt for a different path regarding the main symbol. Hmm, path… Why not a road?

The "twirl" which is an abstract representation of a road soon became a more distinguishable road.

And soon, as the icon was finally decided upon, the text was added, using a font that represents the car business very well (The font I used is a variation of the actual "Nissan" font), and special Web 2.0 like effects integrated.

Nothing beats the feeling when you have finally captured what the client wants, to receive the final approval with a highly encouraging remark like "Nice!", "I like it very much!" and "Wow!" I am looking forward to working again with Niklas.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Logo Design: The Colony Veteran’s Day Fun Run and The San Diego USO Stars and Stripes Run

Making sports-themed logos is a great experience. Not only would I be challenged to infuse the design with the essence of the sport, it should be something that would evoke pride especially if it's a team logo. "A hot team logo is a gold mine in the varsity jacket's business..." Successful merchandising depends on how the logo fares. Haha, but a team's success doesn't usually depend on how "hot" the logo is.

Recently, I designed a logo for The Colony Veteran's Day Fun Run. It will be the first annual Veteran's Day Run (a 5K race) hosted by The American Legion in The Colony, TX and will be participated in by all age ranges (divisions include 80+) on November 10, 2007. The organizers wanted the logo to evoke fun and most importantly patriotism. Naturally, it should embody anything that symbolizes Veteran's Day and running. Red and blue, stars and stripes and speed already came to mind… and here was my proposal:

The "fast" central graphic may be a little extreme for veterans, but I guess I was able to balance this by framing it within a circle with the text in a friendly "slower" font. How I would like to see the logo in action on the day itself!

I also designed a proposal logo for The San Diego USO Stars and Stripes Run. In this version, the outlines of the running person are more distinct (I used reference pictures of marathon runners). I drew the stripes to seemingly flow from the runner to show speed. A stripe even wraps around to represent victory and the pride of achievement one gets by completing a run. The stars also seems to flow out magically from the runner to evoke fun.

Sometimes I would like to test how my logos would look, so I created a mock-up picture. I borrowed a picture of an actual marathon integrating within it the design.

Works no? As of now, the copyright for this one still belongs to me, since it seems they have already chosen another one. So anyone interested in purchasing this logo, just contact me.

For the meantime, I'm setting myself up for another physical challenge. I'll be participating in the 1st Men's Health Urbanathlon to be held at Bonifacio Gobal City on November 18, 2007. Here is a preview of what I will face on that day (highlights from the New York counterpart):

Exciting! Wish me luck! I'll just be glad if I am able to finish it ALIVE! Haha!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Retrospection: The Logbook!

Old picture albums have that uncanny ability to take you down memory lane. But nothing can compare to the vividness of retrospection that a written record of daily experiences can provide. Especially, if it's a log of friends, mutual experiences immortalized in words, mementos and art. Not only does it revive old experiences, but also provides a window view to the quirkiness of each individual in this circle of friends, a taste of their precious randomness, awesome brilliance, arresting humor and lovely insights. Presenting: The Logbook!

I'm sure my friends have been wondering where the logbook was, and perhaps through the years, people have forgotten that I was assigned as the guardian of this piece of college history. I also promised that I will scan every page of the logbook for archiving purposes, preserving it in digital glory. Thanks to my brothers who took turns in scanning every page (almost 300 pages!)

Here's the unforgettable cover of the logbook: (Betay, Rev, Roman, Alona, Mylene, Edleen, Ivy, Kata, Deanna and Alain...)

000 Cover

Full scans of every page of the logbook can be viewed in my Multiply Album: College Logbook and/or Flickr Album: College Logbook… Enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ambigram Project: Music - Marco

I received a request from a fellow deviant, Angelica to create 2 ambigrams, of which we only agreed to complete one. The other was too difficult and due to time and budgetary constraints, that would be quite unfeasible to accomplish. This ambigram was intended to be a special gift for her fiancé, whom she had been with for about 8 years already. She wanted the ambigram (a symbiotogram, to be exact) that read "Marco", and "Music" flipped. She says "He sings... music is what brought us together."

As soon as the details were finalized, I proceeded to the drawing board, figuring out the nuances of letter configurations.

Although both word have 5 letters, it would be unwise to create an ambigram with 1 to 1 correspondence (M for C, A for I, etc…). It wouldn't look to legible and balanced. I opted to combine certain letters. In this case, it seemed most aesthetic to make the "M" of "Marco" to stand for the "IC" of MUSIC… the "M" of "Music" can stand for the "CO" of "Marco"… I started digital work using the font I used in the sketches, but they weren't looking that good (I could pull it off actually, but I would end up creating an entirely new font if I proceeded with this). So, I ended up modifying a traditional Gothic font. I came up with these:


And the colored versions, using a musical background theme:

It was better than what Angelica expected it to come out. That was enough compliment, but ultimately I just hope that this ambigram is a worthy tribute of her love for her fiancé…

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Paper Crazy!

I have this special relationship with paper. Perhaps, it's because of my strange childhood where I was severely deprived of paper. I wanted to have paper so bad I had to steal from the office supplies of my parents. Paper was systematically hidden from my reach. And when I got my hands on these precious onion skins and silk pressed ones, I would cut out the ugly letterheads and leave the pristine white sheets for myself. This turned out to be disastrous because my parents would find out about the letterheads which I lousily disposed of in the garbage cans. Result? A swollen hand, huhu… Sometimes, I would rummage through the stockroom looking for milk (Bear Brand, specifically) cardboard packages (or other similar cartons). I learned to remove the thin layer bearing the printed side leaving me with the grayish brown cardboard. When I didn't find paper to draw on, I resorted to drawing on the walls, ceiling… every square inch of the second floor of our home was covered in either the "waxy depths of crayon" or pencils… You can say that this was my very first major masterpiece in the tradition of the frescoes of Michelangelo… It was a testament to my precocious skills and unfortunately a shame for my parents, who had to turn away visitors from looking at our second floor and challenge Barclay salespersons to offer a product that can clean my art away. Haha…

Just what did I do with paper… if I could get my hands on them? I loved the versatility of paper so much… You can fold them, cut it to your desired shapes, glue it, and make sculptures… almost anything! Aside from the traditional drawing, I remember making toys out of them… (huhu, not only was I deprived of paper, but also of toys… I made my own toys!). I would make Game and Watch replicas with complete "floating" character that would move if you tapped on them… I would make action figures (GI Joes, Mask, and even Transformers) complete with their equipment and accessories (also made out of paper)… I created my own virtual toys with paper, and perhaps this desperation to have my own toys upped my creativity notches beyond that of any normal child. These days, it's a different story. I now have access to a variety of paper, and I now have my own personal stash.

But stop this reminiscing already… recently I was commissioned to create a mascot/character design for an upcoming website that would feature ways into which an ordinary A4 paper could be turned into useful and practical CD protectors:

They wanted to build the website around this character so it needed to be cute or edgy, "maybe a superhero...something with emotion... something about using paper to protect cds....maybe cd character with folded paper hat, armor....paper shield...origami theme...origami crane dragon… protecting cd...." and so on… I did some research, and one thing led to another. Here is my initial sketch, working on the paper and CD idea, sort of like a paper samurai knight of sorts. I call him Papiro (Japanese twist on "papyrus").

The client liked the character, and with a little modification to make Papiro look more animated (such as extending the legs more, and having the eyes look more expressive) the design was finally finalized.

I was later contacted again to create a new character for the renamed site, this time to be called Diskimono… same concept, just different name. So, the new character should reflect the new identity. Here is the initial sketch, and go signal was given for the geisha concept.

Final design:

While researching for this project, I stumbled across a new art genre… the world of paper toys! Immediately, I was attracted (hmmm, addicted is more like it) to this craft. The process of making these toys is quite simple: download a design (or template and create your own design), print it on cardboard paper and then assemble (fold, glue and cut if necessary)! Here are just some of the toys I've already made:

Shin Tanaka Paper Dolls Set 1 07

Shin Tanaka Paper Dolls Set 2 11

Now, all of these designs are based on Shin Tanaka's Masked Hoody and Spiky Baby designs, all of which can be downloaded in his website. It's also worth visiting ReadyMech, another site that offers simpler toy models. Custom Paper Toys features toys in a regular basis in its blogs. There's also Pepakura Designer 2, a software which creates templates based on existing 3-D data. Amazing… Now check this paper model of Transformer's bumblebee!

On a totally different light, I have to go back working on a (research) paper… and prepare for a new twist in my life. Ciao!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Doot Doot! Mizpah...

After months of inquiring in almost every branch of Powerbooks and Fully Booked, I finally obtained a copy of "Good-bye Chunky Rice" through special order. It is the first graphical novel book by Craig Thompson, most known through his latest graphical work entitled "Blankets". The plot of "Good-bye Chunky Rice" is described in the fold of its front cover as:

Mister Chunky Rice be living in the same rooming house likewise myself, only that boy be restless. Looking for something. And he puts hisself on my brother Chuck's ship and boats out to sea to find it. Only he be departin' from his bestest of all friends, his deer mouse, I mean, mouse deer chum Dandel.

Now why in a whirl would someone leave beyond a buddy? Just what be that turtle lad searchings for? I said you best read the book to find out. Merle said, "Doot doot."

No, those are not typographical errors. That's just how one of the characters in the book speaks. And yes, it's about a turtle and a mouse dear… looks more like a children's comic? Don't be fooled, it's loaded with sentimentality that will appeal to any adult who has experienced separation from a dear and loving friend.

After settling down from the excitement of finally having the pleasure of reading this book with my own eyes (my Thompson collection is at last complete!), little did I know I was in for an emotional ride, how much the story (which I suspect is based on Craig's own life experiences, only unlike in his work in "Blankets", these bits are camouflaged behind the endearing cute characters) reflects my own recent experiences. Great timing...

In the story, Chunky Rice decides to leave home to look for something. But every time he is asked what he is looking for, he replies with this:"I don't know…" He seems undecided but he is sure that he needs to look for it, whatever it is. And in order for him to do this, he has to leave everything he has grown familiar with, his belongings and even his best(est) friend, Dandel. Both of them suffer from this, how everything that seemed familiar, suddenly grow with meaning because of their sentimental value… but at the same time becomes meaningless because of each other's absence.

There are other characters who also reflect different levels of separation, acceptance and loneliness. There's Solomon, who suffers from an unforgettable childhood trauma involving his brother and pet dog, and then finds peace while taking care of an injured bird, Merle. Expectedly, the bird regains the strength of her wings, and flies away. There's this Siamese twin conjoined at the torso sharing vital organs leaving the option of separation impossible. Then there's Chuck, the captain of the ship, who tries to cope up with past issues with his brother and braves a storm. Their lives intertwine. Every frame resonates with symbolism and emotion (be careful, some scenes are bound to pull heartstrings… I found myself crying in more than one). Craig Thompson's art is delightful, and if you like his style, you are in for an eye-treat.

It's a thought provoking book…critiques even describe it as "an alternative-comics answer to Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince." You may end up asking yourself the very question the book poses. Why would you leave the things that you are most familiar with? I need to grow, move on, heal, hope once more… Sometimes, letting go helps you accept that things just cannot be, that you can't have everything… As Leo Buscaglia would say, "Why hold on the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?"…Letting go may even be the only way you can say that you love someone…

I won't reveal the ending of the book (if it really does end, I also won't tell). "Doot doot!" (the sound) for me represents things that are best unsaid. Though it's a sound commonly associated with censoring words that are not meant to be heard, we must realize that this attempt at concealment also reveals itself… we eventually understand what's behind "doot doot", its real meaning. I would rather use the words "Mizpah" a Hebrew word meant to represent the emotional bond between people who are separated (either physically or by death): "The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another…"

Here's my tribute to Craig Thompson's work… I just couldn't help it…


Legilimens 2 coming up soon…