Underwater is the best place to swim.

I have a few small paintings for sale. These are A6 in size, roughly 4x6in, and are all watercolor works on handmade paper (Khadi paper). Send a message if you’re interested!

 

18422330_1884881241727764_6366585848417112129_o18359481_1884881358394419_5777310967299336830_o18422780_1884881315061090_1605857629797949788_o


I have also added some old and new-ish projects on my portfolio site. The latest one shows the biology posters I made for the Masungi Georeserve. I learned so much from the project, and although I had to work through last year’s holiday season, I enjoyed it very much.

FranAlvarez-Masungi-Birds_posterView more posters and learn more about the project here.


18402182_1481550681884616_8928147177394182668_o

I’ll be part of Light Grey Art Lab’s Camouflage exhibit, which opens on the 26th. I really wish I could go, because it opens alongside other nature-themed exhibit, and one of my inspirations Kelsey Oseid is going to have a show up! If you’re in the Minneapolis area, or will be during that time, do drop by and take some pictures, then show me~


Keeping myself productive and busy helps a lot with the anxiety. I’ve figured that personally, I feel more at ease at the end of the day when I know I’ve finished something (ANYTHING). As much as I can, I try to accomplish even really small tasks before going to bed. It could be something for work, or other things that aren’t really as urgent like writing a journal entry, mopping the room once, or labeling emails.

I’m also very thankful to be surrounded by supportive and level-headed individuals every day, at work and at home. It really helps me put things in perspective, and keeps me focused.

Sometimes it’s hard not to be affected by the world going haywire. I guess it’s good training for keeping your head above water, and for trying hard to make things better along with the rest of the population despite everything. Some days the silver lining’s there, some days you have to draw it yourself.

Advertisements

paper

I tried to maximize the last week of my holiday vacation with all sorts of paper-related activities.

1. Worked on a piece for an upcoming group show later this month. I’m hoping to finish it this weekend! I taped my floor to help me measure the parts of the artwork and figure out the proportions so I can have the frame made already.

2. I got myself a bottle of Jacquard SolarFast sunprint dye last month, and finally got around to trying them out. Unfortunately, it was really cloudy that day and my test prints were terribly underdeveloped.

Here I used stamp prints on acetate sheets. The prints barely came through.

For this one I crumpled a sheet of onion skin paper and spread it on top of the dyed page. With this, at least I got the idea of how it’s going to look like when developed properly.

3. Offline journaling. I’m using this Sketchnotes notebook that Eilyn (who also made it!) gave me last month. I met her at Bring Your Own Benta last year. I like the paper she uses for the inside pages a lot because my usual pen’s ink doesn’t bleed on them. Go get yourselves one. I think she even accepts custom orders if you want a bigger or smaller size.

There.

Back to the office tomorrow!

water

WELL WOW,  last week was rough.

A particularly strong monsoon hit the country and a good portion of Luzon got devastated. Monday night coming home from work I got stranded at a McDonald’s about 15 mins. from my house because of the floods, and had to wait ’til the next day to brave the thigh-deep waters just to get home. The next three days were spent in the house because the weather got nastier; we couldn’t even go out to get groceries because of the floods. I also spent those days secretly being paranoid about getting leptospirosis because we didn’t get to buy preventive meds before everything. Anyway, things fell into place come Saturday. I’m still blessed that was the worst I went through.

Here is a map of donation centers. There are still a lot of people in evacuation centers and those with nothing left because of the floods. The weather’s better! Easier to drop off donations or help pack. Also, here’s the Google Crisis Response page for last week’s crazy, with the shelter map and people finder. If you’re a student, especially those in universities, I’m sure your school is doing something to help and maybe you can volunteer there. The same goes if you’re involved in a local church.

EDIT Aug 13: You can also donate to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) . They need caged roofs, cat food, dog food, kennel cabs (even on loan), old towels, pet bowls, newspapers, detergent, palangganas, etc., as well as ready-to-eat food donations for their volunteers! Thanks Yas for the heads up.

Other things during monsoon week:
1. Finished Dave Eggers’ ‘A Hologram for the King’. Of all the things I’ve read by Eggers, this is the most straightforward one, I think. I was waiting for the story to screw me over at any given point in the book, but it didn’t. No nonsense.

2. Came across my copy of Citizen Designer, and re-read the first essay. And particularly got unnerved (in a good way) about how we think ‘being professional’ requires the separation of biases and personal beliefs from the work at hand, and how this mindset isn’t ideal because it creates disinterested and dispassionate creatives. The challenge, therefore, is how to be ‘professional’ without putting your convictions and values in the backseat whenever you work. How to maintain functionality without losing the goal of becoming a good advocate.

And then I kind of sulked because I couldn’t participate immediately to help the flood victims. : /

The weekend was thoroughly sunny, though! Punctuated with probably one of my favorite church sermons to date. It was about the flood, to think we’ve had enough of it, but I really liked it. Will post a link as soon as our church puts it up on iTunes hehe.

On a different note, I’m warming up to my new computer, and trying to befriend my pen tablet for the Nth time by drawing jellypeople.

But back to the topic of being a responsible creative. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how graphic design can and is meant to bring about change. A lot of people think graphic design is all cutesy patootsie or hip or something used to sell products, and on one hand it is and we need and love design for those reasons too, but I’ve read about and seen good examples (1, 2, 3) of very strong non-commercial design work that have moved and changed how cities and societies work. And I thought hey I want that for Manila, too! There has to be something with more bearing we can do beyond our motivational posters, right? Something more system-related probably or something to help with information dissemination? Something more sustainable?

I used to be so idealistic, especially when I was in college. Sometimes, like now, I still am, despite having seen how thick the wall between expectations and reality is haha. Which! Is important too, because with that wisdom you can set more realistic parameters to your ideas and mold them into more feasible and practical plans. Right now though I honestly don’t know where to look or start. So far I have one general requirement: I’m looking for / want to start something that would hopefully should involve more people outside the industry.

There has to be something! *fist in the air* Feeling college senior na nag-thethesis?! Haha. It’s one of those nights when all the things I want to do and make in life are running around my head.

SO I’M CURIOUS!
Regardless of the money it’ll require or anyone who’ll be against it, or its feasibility at the moment: what’s your dream project?
In whatever field you’re in. What’s that something you’d want to start? What’s something you want to improve?

backlog

In between work and the rest of the world:

made a couple of batches of cold porcelain clay
Didn’t work out quite well for me, and I think I’m making these into little bowls instead. Also, this was the state of our fridge chiller last week.

Opted to go for air dry clay instead. Worked perfectly.

ceramic paint does NOT thin with water nor with paint medium
Should have researched beforehand. A couple of my fine brushes are ruined now.

Robotars exhibit, at Vinyl on Vinyl (The Collective, Malugay St., Makati). Almost didn’t finish my entry but here! I also didn’t make it to the exhibit opening but I heard it was fun~

consolation prizes from leftover clay

Takatak Attack exhibit, at Resurrection Furniture and Found Objects Gallery (10A Alabama St., QC). The exhibit will be on view until August 4, with an egress event on that day and a Studio Ghibli film showing! Shall I see you there? Yes?

National Children’s Book Day at Museong Pambata.
They had a real barber’s chair to celebrate the winning PBBY Salanga Prize story “Ano’ng Gupit Natin Ngayon?” by Russell Molina, to be illustrated by Hubert Fucio

PBBY board

Rizalpabeto book launch at CANVAS gallery. The book features artwork by Elmer Borlongan–letters from the Filipino alphabet, a la letras y figuras–based on poems by Vim Nadera. My favorite is Paciano. :)

by Plet Bolipata, also at the CANVAS headquarters. I think it’s a crocheted piece cast to the shape of a small bathtub! It is beautiful.

and then some fangirling with Jon Jaylo’s untitled painting for this year’s Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition

Yesterday at The Mind Museum: National Children’s Book Awards

pretty trophy! Congratulations to all the winners! INKie winners include Liza Flores, Serj Bumatay, Robert Magnuson and Yasmin Ong.

Free tour after. Didn’t finish though. BUT IT WAS SO FUN! I have to go back! I will love you long time if you go back with me haha. Lika na, date na tayo.

possibly my favorite piece. It was on Atoms, and there as a giant melting chocolate bar with a giant fly on top.

shadow box shenanigans

One of the most beautiful books I have ever bought. New novel by Dave Eggers (who also wrote my favorite book of all time You Shall Know Our Velocity). Cover designed by Jessica Hische!!!

where I am now. I’m a sucker for novels with extensive descriptions of foreign lands, people and culture, and so far AHFTK has not disappointed me.
This year is definitely one for the books, literally. I haven’t read this much since before thesis days in college.
That was around 4 years ago :(

and something I bought from WeWillBeeWed! Elbert Or, one of my profs back in college, and his fiancee Lorra are selling some of their books to save up for their wedding. Go check out their stash, it is quite golden. Thank you Elbert and Lorra! Very nice book.

Other other things: stupid cupids and losing girls, The Etiquettes Saturday at Epi’s

my sister scratching her ear a little too hard

handmade paper at Prestige

faces

work etc.

and life as I know it

It’s been raining so hard these past few days (what with two storms in the country haha. Tropical countries are the best), but it’s perfect sometimes, like right now, when it’s chilly and I’m in track pants and my audiobook of Catching Fire is on and the house smells like Nilagang Baka.

I’d be glad to hear what YOU have been up to! :) Hope you’ve been as happily busy~

good weather

Last week, in the midst of deadlines: a day at Antonio’s with Studio Dialogo. Wonderful place, beautiful food, crazy company!

strawberry balsamic slush

seafood dumpling in tomato soup, topped with parmesan

Antonio’s organic mesclun salad, bleu d’auvergne crumbled, glazed walnuts, dried currants & cranberries w/ raspberry vinaigrette

Antonio’s grows their own greens :)

homemade ravioli w/ veal cheeks & goat cheese, creamed tartufo

panfried free-range quail with armangnac-grape jus, truffle mashed potato with goose liver foam

This was so good!!!

palette cleanser: watermelon calamansi sorbet

lambloin, blue cheese and passion fruit, on red cabbage, with potato gratin

We ordered different desserts. I had the panna cotta sampler. Very good, also.

also in the photo, spicy chocolate ice cream on meringue tartelette, passion fruit pavlova, and Felchlin Maracaibo chocolate terrine with double cream and roasted pistachio

roamed around the place a bit before leaving and found this giant bowl filled with bougainvillas

It was a good Friday!

Finally got to finish reading this too.

It was okay. But I especially love the illustrations and how they quietly fit the story somehow.

and a little WIP, testing out new paint. I got some bottles of Ecoline liquid watercolor a while back. They’re really vibrant and a little of the stuff goes a long way. Good buy.

 June’s almost at an end! Ang bilis ng oras wow.