Sunday, September 16, 2007

On Being the Graphic Arts Expert at the Inaugural Ceremonies of Dean Cynthia V. Isaac…

I often wonder why the College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP) of the University of the Philippines Manila is seemingly full of misplaced individuals who could have been better off pursuing other professions such as those they are truly passionate about. Individuals who study and train to be physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists and yet behind that professional façade is a uniquely talented person whose caliber in that special talent could rival those in that particular field. Singers, artists, fashion designers, dancers, painters and creative thinkers hiding beneath the white uniform or the scrubs clad with children's designs. Hmmm…

Recently, I have been charged to create the visual elements that could decorate the Inaugural Ceremonies of Dean Cynthia V. Isaac last September 6, 2007. This is by the way her second term as CAMP's dean. I didn't remember the first inauguration to be this extravagant (the need for elaborate art, VIP guests, band, etc!) but I think this is because of the pressure brought about by the inaugural ceremonies organized by the other colleges and of course, the love for grand events of the new chancellor of UP Manila despite cost-cutting measures of the university. So there it is, I have been summoned to channel my creative energies into this event. And I lost 2 days of valuable sleep for this and ended up sick a whole weekend.

Weeks before the event, I drew up some sketches for the general feel and look of the ceremonies, taking cue from Dean Jake's favorite color which is blue. I like blue, and have often used it as a central color theme in CAMP events (1996 UP Manila Lantern Parade tie-dyed shirts, 2003 CAMP Shirt, etc…) so this is a familiar color to work with. I thought about using 4 banners each with a different theme for each. The banners should be designed so that it can also be reused for future events. Blue can work well with silver or gold, but for this theme, I wanted a stronger highlight, so I chose gold to go with the royal blue. The program/invitations will also utilize this color theme.

I proceeded with developing the invitation cards but it was not until the night before they should be released that the information written on them was finalized by the Central Administration of UP Manila. Because of this, a separate but larger program document will be distributed on the inaugural day itself to update the missing elements in the invitation. I will be using my own printer for this, and I wanted to be economical on the use of ink, so I employed the use of pastel and fade effects on the colored elements of the invitation cards. I used the fonts Optimus Princeps, a good free font that exudes authority and elegance and Calibri (my favorite sans serif these days!) for easy readability even at small font sizes (ergonomic fonts!).

Inauguration Invitation Front-Back

Inauguration Invitation Inside

After gathering the necessary pictures from my own and CAMP's stock, I proceeded with developing the banners (5 banners all in all! 4 for the stage, and 1 to include a congratulatory message to the Dean which will be posted outside the college). The banners will simply be a montage of pictures to support the themes each banner is carrying: Research, Education and Service… which are the 3 primary thrusts of UP Manila. The last banner will focus on the CAMP constituency. Looking at these mock-ups, you will notice that I could have used better pictures. Well, my stock is focused mainly on CBR activities, and CAMP's stock is very deficient and unorganized. But, I guess with the limitations, these look fairly well. As they were finished, they were then sent to the printing station.

Inauguration Tarp Out All

I almost forgot creating the congratulatory banner, because of the stresses brought about by the 4 earlier banners, and I had to create this in 15 minutes for emergency printing. It was relatively easy, because I only had to copy and paste elements from the invitation file.

Inauguration Congratulations Banner

Lastly, I have to finalize the program for the inaugural day itself. Again, this was easy since the text was available, but due to format inconsistencies, I have to change the font of each word/phrase manually. Also, the text was only finalized the day before the event. I would have to print these with my own slow printer, so time was against me. This was another sleepless night.

Inauguration Program Front-Back

Inauguration Program Inside

And here are pictures from the inaugural ceremonies.

During the offertory in the Mass before the program, each department/program was tasked to bring a symbolic offering. Luckily, I was able to drop by a shop selling local handicrafts and I bought this net laden with shells. It was meant to represent CAMP and CBR's mission to bring out the best in the communities and people it is serving and training. Just as the shells in the net are of different colors and shapes, so does it recognize the unique individual strengths that each member of the community brings.

As I said, CAMPers are highly talented… "talentado" I would say. Each person is called to a certain mission, unique and special. Our talents and professions are just means to achieve our mission. My mission is to inspire faith, learning and creativity in other people… and as long as I know I'm fulfilling this mission, whether as a professor or an artist or whatever (Remember, your job or role is not your mission, and most importantly YOU are not your profession), I know I'll be happy.

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