Sunday, February 27, 2011

Never Alone


"She was always there. As long as there's a body of water around, doesn't matter how big or small it was, she would be there constantly wooing me to go back to her world. She said I had already married her when I partook of her food, but what an awful trick that was. I was young back then, the sweeper of our boy scout troop, and I can still vividly remember how I accidentally fell through a puddle. A puddle! I was expecting the usual splash of a usual stomp on a usual puddle but no! My whole body was sucked in that tiny hole where underneath she was apparently waiting. She offered me food, so enticing they were, shiny black rice and bright red fruits I haven't seen before. I ate them. Out of courtesy at first, but then I found myself devouring them to the last bits. I almost forgot about my troop and told her I needed to go back. I pleaded with her but she wouldn't let me go. So I escaped. I swam away furiously and eventually found my way back to the puddle. Taking a last look back I found her staring at me. As if cursing, she said I'll never be free and will always be with her. I managed to go back to camp but I was told I was gone for a week which seemed only a few hours in her world. Now I'm 75 years old, and people think I'm crazy, just because I always talk by myself to a glass of water. I'm not by myself! I'm never alone! I'll never be alone!"

Just a recounting of the story of one of the elders I interviewed at Mt. Banahaw a long time ago. I myself thought he was nuts. But who am I to say so. I remember an aunt of mine telling me an old relative who was similarly courted by a sirena, and my folks inform me as well that I had a duwende as a playmate when I was a kid. Hmmm…

This was initially drawn in my Visoliliquy series at as a character. Here is its iteration in my Moleskine notebook.

Logo Design: Activiteens

I made this logo for an exclusive upper class after school club for teenage girls. They organize activities ranging from drama, music, IT and many more. They wanted a new logo that was colorful but very professional. It must be very classical to reflect their clientele yet still have an element of excitement. The logo should have character to it, something different and attractive so they could use this as a powerful marketing tool. They specifically did not want any figures of girls in the logo but don't mind abstract vector faces.

These were my initial drafts, and for some of these drawings, I actually did not follow the specifications of the client (no figures of girls) but thought of presenting what it would look like if it did have these figures. Sometimes, if I feel strong about an idea even if the client was very specific, I would go ahead and present these as exploratory ideas.

It turned out they liked the versions with the figures. The design process involved combining elements from each draft concepts until we reached the final design.

For logo concepts and designs, illustration and other graphic design needs, you may contact me at .

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Murakamiesque 4


Inspired from Murakami's The Little Green Monster, a story about a woman who finds how irresistible she is to a small green monster that burrowed through her garden. I really felt sorry for the creature and made me wonder who the real monster in the story was.

I started drawing this as a character in my Visoliloquy series at, but realized I should feature it in my Moleskine as well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Murakamiesque 3


I know it didn't happen exactly this way in the short story. In fact, in the story, the aunt simply appeared – matter-of-factly – with not so much as an alarm to the author. But if it did happen to me, and taking it literally, I would be surprised and somewhat disgusted at the thought of someone growing out of my back – and a poor aunt at that! Should we take the story either its literal or symbolic level, it reminds us of how our memories, like people, we don't need or take for granted suddenly poke out like a sore thumb… emotions that pent up… build up and even take its form into a physical being. We wish them out of our lives but really we could not do it ever because they are a part of us… and if we do manage to erase them completely which is so unlikely, they leave us empty and less of who we really are…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Murakamiesque 2


Inspired from another Murakami masterpiece, this time from a novel… ""I had no idea if what I was thinking was right or wrong, but I knew that as long as I was here, I had to defeat this thing. This was the war that I would have to fight."

The initial reviews for the preview of its stage production is so intriguing… "Imagine watching a David Lynch film on stage." (City Arts New York)

Sunday, February 13, 2011



I've been reading a lot of Murakami's works lately, interspersing between his novels and collections of short stories. It may not come as a surprise that some of his ideas may seep into one's consciousness and/or imagination, just as situations in his stories seem to thin out the line between reality and dream. The imagery created by his works are said to be unique to the medium, and may derive a variety of different emotions and interpretations from its readers. Despite having had some of his works turned into film adaptations (I've already seen the Ichikawa "Tony Takitani" and Logevall's "All God's Children Can Dance", but have yet to see Anh Hung Tran's "Norwegian Wood") and upcoming theatrical presentations ("Wind-Up Bird Chronicle"), interpreting them poses a unique challenge. I can't help making some illustrations while I was reading his books and I must say my drawings will never do justice to his story, but I'll post some of them in succeeding posts, as a sort of mini-game for Murakami fans out there.

Now try to guess which story the above drawing is inspired from. It's a dead giveaway actually. (By the way, this happens to be my first Moleskine drawing for the year… I've been very busy. Plus, I might have very interesting Moleskine related-news soon.)

Here's the original drawing I made, and that in itself is a clue.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Logo Design: Zengu

Tengus are mythical creatures found in Japanese culture and are believed to be protective spirits or deities according to recent Buddhist lore. In one of my recent projects, the tengu served as reference for the logo of Zengu. The name of the company is actually a wordplay on tengu and Zen, and for my initial drafts, concepts started from literal representations of the tengu, which by the way are often depicted as a combination of bird and man, to abstract icons, leaning more on the minimalist zen aspect of their image.

The client was initially attracted to the icon versions, and revisions were made until the following image was reached.

Sometimes, the design process turns around in an entirely new direction, especially when dealing with clients which involves a committee deciding on the approval of the logo. My concept was entirely rejected and I ended up developing and refining a concept they developed on their own. Apparently, they chose a more classical direction for their logo. In the end, I basically enhanced their logo by sharpening their crane image and cleaning up the font to make it more legible.

It may be a little disappointing to have my proposals rejected, but thinking about it, the client knows what's best for their company and how they should be represented. But as an artist, I think was still able to infuse something of my own in the final work. In designing a logo, there is always balance between what you and the client wants. Some clients are more controlling of the process, while others would give free rein to the designer. It's part of the job to find that balance point, and simply flow wherever the design process takes you for optimum results.

For logo concepts and designs, illustration and other graphic design needs, you may contact me at .