One of the perks of being an INKie (yeah, that's what the cute members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, or Ang I.N.K. are fondly called) is you get the chance to feature your work in the local newspapers. The Manila Bulletin features an INKie in its Youth Section every Saturday, and on June 27, 2009, one of my illustrations will be featured. The theme? My favorite subject when I was in grade school: RECESS!
I have been conceptualizing for weeks on how to execute an illustration about recess. Of course, I tried to draw inspiration from my own pre-school/gradeschool experiences of recess, but I opted not to… hmmm, let's put it this way: It was either EMBARRASSING (dancing or more like prancing around my first crush to catch her attention), VIOLENT (I remember pushing a kid down the slide and being scolded by the principal for doing so) or NEUROTIC (I had imaginary friends). Anyway, I thought this was an opportunity for collaboration with my number one fan and critique: my sister Sigrid.
We were having our Father's Day dinner when I asked her to make a poem about RECESS and she immediately grabbed my idea book (which I was using for my comic book scripts) and scribbled on it. I already had been developing characters for the illustration the day before (yeah, it was the Les Mills Quarterly and I was sketching!), but I still grabbed my brother's notebook to still draw alongside with my sister (and enduring his taunts: calling me a slave driver and citing child labor issues). Around 30 minutes later, Sigrid came up with 8 long stanzas and I was surprised as to how efficient and creative my 10 year old sister could be! "Sigrid, that's too long! Limit it to only 4 stanzas of 4 lines each!" I exclaimed while going over her work, marking lines which are good and suggesting ideas. If you were there, you would love to see the spark in Sigrid's eyes: we tossed around ideas, what to remove or retain, and we agreed and disagreed.
Eventually, she finished the poem:
Ring ring goes the bell
Everyone in school hears it well
The kids burst out and kinda shout
"Hooray! Hooray! It's recess now!"
As recess starts they find a seat
To gobble their snacks, some sour, some sweet.
Some buy, some bring, some ask from friends
Some go to drink to fill their quench.
Boys and girls play hide and seek
Until there's sweat upon their cheek.
There's lot of romp and games galore
Like chess and tag and many more
As school bell rings the children sigh
They wave their friends and say goodbye
They fall in line and go in a bunch
To study more and wait... for LUNCH!
That night I also started working on the illustration, laying out the characters and areas for the text. I used watercolor, colored pencils and watercolor sticks:
Scanned and then edited in the text and logos using Photoshop:
We loved how it turned out. More than the opportunity to be featured in the newspaper, I really enjoyed this opportunity of collaborating with my sister. I'm sure she would be very proud to see her lovely poem (and my art as well hopefully) in the newspaper … So everyone, see the published piece in the June 27, 2009 issue of Manila Bulletin!