As a kid in the 90s1 and an only child at that2, I grew up partial to non-messy artwork: paper crafts, friendship bracelets, Barbie dresses, even my yaya’s hair3&4. Drawing, however, was never that appealing. I hated crayons – the 64 Crayola box was way too expensive, and non-crayons were simply too dirty5.
Hyperlapse (relevant!) on to the present day. I now work in the arts (debatable), and I find myself engaged to an artist / hobby-enabler6 who gets me every school supply I squeal about. I still hate crayons, but I do own every rainbow-glittery coloring knickknack our thirdworldly bookstores carry. I have a range of drawing equipment at my fingertips7, and I’m quickly running out of excuses not to create something worth writing about8.
So last week’s National Bookstore run had Apol buying me a Paintastics brush pen set9. This was followed by a stroke (heh) of inspiration. It was 2am on a Sunday morning, and I asked Twitter friends for suggestions regarding what to draw. Most of the responses were portraits of themselves10. And I did just that.
Claud / @claudrod
It’s been 3 months since I moved to a new agency, and I was pleased to find it full of creative people11. Claud’s one of those quiet little gems whose voice you don’t hear much around the workplace, but whose one-on-one conversations make the most sense. And since she’s from a different team, it took a bit of time to warm up to her and vice versa12. I’m glad I did. An amazing art director13, a sensational singer14, and a fellow impulsive Twitterer – she’s a great person to begin this entire project with. There’s one thing I regret though: not starting off using watercolor paper.
Katrin / @katrincruz
Another officemate, but from another department. Katrin’s specialty lies in social media, a field I hold closely to my heart15. For her portrait, I wanted to take something from her existing profile and pepper it with a bit of my style (read: unapologetic glitter and obnoxious color combinations that scream SO FUCKING GIRLY). I settled with the clouds on her cover photo. She strikes me as style-savvy too, so instead of attempting to doodle in her sense of fashion, I added her name to represent it.
Marci / @marcidelfin
One of my best friends16, and a highly-skilled illustrator herself. She’s given me quite a number of portraits through the years and it’s about time I return the favor. Her piece deals mainly with surnames. 1) Hers is Delfin, which I purposely bastardize as Dolphin every chance I get. 2) The ribboned one belongs to Adam from Taking Back Sunday, who we saw live just a month ago.
Larry / @hilarion
An Internet friend for more than half a decade, and an officemate for roughly three months. Serial pirate, bad-joke laugher, and one of my favorite people – he’s a kickass digital illustrator as well (biases aside)17. For all his magnificent height and kontrabida tattoos, Larry’s a total fuzzy bear: much like the panda, his favorite animal. So I ended up drawing the creature, then the panda18, then added something that Larry would find useful during his favorite everyday activity19: pooping.
Tokwa / @tokwap
My coffee-addled heart missed a couple of beats once this particular reply appeared in my feed. I mean, it was 2am20. What are the odds that one of my favorite painters would be online AND willing to have his portrait done by me? I then realized what makes Tokwa such an interesting artist is that he’s essentially impossible to stereotype. His Tweets are equal parts genius and jeje (jenius?), and I’m constantly confused whether his works are tugging at my heartstrings, or just pulling my leg. I did my best, and ended up drawing Tokwa + Baboy21.
Mij / @mijbautista
Another favorite online friend, a respectable Twitter ranter, and an IRL neighbor I never really get to see. Most of my encounters with him are in gigs, and they usually involve a bonnet and a huge camera. For his portrait, I chose to switch it up. Here’s a Nikon – name tweaked to avoid legal action – with a Mij hanging around his neck.
Chui / @chuicide
One of the first people I remember on Tumblr, a digital celebrity if you must, and the manager of one of my favorite local bands. With a personality inversely proportional to her build –
damn you skinny bitch you – I had trouble pinning down what I wanted to include in her portrait. Facebook-stalking led me to conclude that her current pastimes include a bike, so I turned her into one. Because why not.
So that’s it, the line has been drawn. This is me, a few years shy of thirty, finally getting my hands dirty. I have so much more to master, but color me relieved22 that this batch is over and done23 with. Now, who’s up for the next?
1 No Internet, etc.
2 No human playmates, etc.
3 Which led to this particular sort of skill set
4 Also, our family business happens to be a salon
5 I was that anal kid who Purell’d after every high five
6 A hubby who pushes hobbies, BADUM-TSS!
7 And under my fingernails
8 We just recently had Wi-Fi installed at home – the lack of which was my ultimate excuse for blog-slacking off
9 I already have the Muji ones but they’re so fucking expensive that I can’t use them without dying a little inside, so now they’re drying up in their safe little plastic blanket, unused #Catch22
10 Tss. Millennials!
11 By mindset, not just by department
12 Oddly so, given that she’s a college batchmate and she’s friends with my friends
13 Whose work I cannot post right now, agency confidentiality yadda yadda
14 Araneta-bound at that!
15 Rough estimate: I’d say 50% of who know me probably do so by Internet handle, @failurebydsgn. I need to get out into the real world more.
16 And the #1 reason why I treat a lot of CSB Multimedia Arts majors as blockmates, though having never attended the school
19 I shit you not
20 Tweets, unlike their Facebook counterparts, do not linger on feeds. It’s either you see them instantly or they die silently, forever unnoticed
21 Three of them, to be exact.
22 Boom chicka wow wow
23 Hooray for actually finishing a project!