The Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang I.N.K.) is working on creating the images for the 2010 Calendar of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. I decided to volunteer and ended up choosing the December page of the calendar. The page needed to feature a cheering activity with Twinklers (that's what they call 4-6 year old girl scouts) with pompoms.
I absolutely have no experience about cheerleading. Except maybe being able to watch the GALs (Girls Athletic League?) events hosted in La Salle Green Hills during my high school days. There's something out of place when an all girls athletic event is being hosted in an all boys school. I understand we had the best gymnasium (the popular space-ship shaped one), but you just couldn't imagine the distraction it caused among the student populace when the pretty girl athletes arrive and walk down the quadrangle! Of course, our most awaited event would be the cheerleading event. Not that we love cheerleading per se with all its high pitched shrills and cutesy high jumps, but they were such a sight to behold! I don't know if it would be appropriate to conjure these memories for this project. Uhhmmm…
So I decided to interview my little sister and all my female friends for all their girl scout experiences, just to get a feel of how it is to be a girl scout (geeesh). I was a kab scout, but somehow trying to tap those experiences didn't help that much.
I wanted the picture to be bright and jubilant, almost explosive. This was December, the best month of the year! From afar, I wanted it to look sparkling, or more appropriately flowers in bloom. And I thought the pompoms and their bright faces would be able to create that effect. I started working on some sketches and sent them in for final approval.
For the final piece, I used watercolor for base, and acrylic and colored pencils for highlighting on illustration board. Showed it to Sigrid, my 11 year old sister and critique, and the painting passed her standards – "It's nice…" If I pleased her, I knew it would please the other kids, especially girls who will see this illustration.
Somehow, I'm not that completely satisfied with this illustration (perhaps, it's the size… I felt it was too small… this would look absolutely great in oil on a huge canvas) and I wished I had more time to work on it. But friends who saw this piece first noticed it from afar, and they would beg to see it up close, so somehow I was able to succeed on that account. I hope it has that effect when this gets printed.