For Others

Owl Friends

I’ve always wanted to do book covers, but I don’t get that many opportunities to really make them. I was lucky enough to recently get a simple redesign project from Anvil Publishing for one of their young-adult novels – Owl Friends written by Carla Pacis.

The novellette is set in the aftermath of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 when residents were forced to flee their homes and relocate to safer areas. The story centers around the unlikely friendship between a young girl and an Aeta boy despite the prejudices against the Aeta triebe. The Aetas are one of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines.

Here’s the original book cover illustrated by Yasmin Ong.

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In developing the studies, I tried two approaches – one similar to the previous cover where it focused on their faces, and the other used a wider shot that included the book’s setting.

Here’s the final render of the cover spread.

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Boysen Paints

The Ms. Universe Pageant was held in the Philippines this year, and during the commercial breaks, Boysen Paints aired a series of Koreanovela inspired Permacoat TV Ads. I was tasked by the production team handling the TVC  to create the design of the mural artwork that was going to be used as a main plot point in the story.

The design went through several iterations before it was finally approved. Here are some of the studies along with the final design.

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Study 1

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Study 2

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Final Design

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Episode 3

Ang Ibong Adarna

The story of Ibong Adarna – the mystical bird whose singing cures an ailing king – is part of any Filipino’s childhood storyscape. The epic was written in the 15th century during the Spanish times as a corrido, or a narrative song in the form of a poem. The story has been popularized by adaptations in film, TV, and other media. I confess that I may not have read the actual poem, since we discussed a different epic poem when I was in high school.

A couple of months ago, Adarna House, one of the Philippines’ children’s books publishers asked me to illustrate the cover and provide chapter breaks for a new edition of the book edited by National Artist Virgilio Almario. I finally got to read the entire text for the first time.

The initial direction for the cover art was more in line with 60’s Marvel Comics covers, that’s why the initial type treatment was more bombastic.

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But after a couple of iterations, we settled on the direction below.

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Unapproved Study

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Final Illustration

Before rendering anything though, I made some rough character studies for the main characters. The character studies served as a guide when I was making the comic page style chapter breaks.

Here are the chapter breaks for the book rendered in comics form.

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 2

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Chapter 3

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Chapter 4

INK on Paper

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Cover by Robert Alejandro

Our collaboration with Fedrigoni Asia arrived a couple of weeks ago. It’s an artbook / catalogue featuring the various special papers Fedrigoni offers.

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All artworks contain or feature different paper elements.

Abi Goy

Art by Abi Goy

Rommel Joson

Art by Rommel Joson

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Art by Sergio Bumatay III

This collaboration was made possible through our friends from Fedrigoni Asia. You can visit their facebook page here. Fedrigoni papers are distributed in the Philippines by Prestige Paper Products.

“Isang Harding Papel” Formally Launched

“Isang Harding Papel”, our little children’s book set during the Martial Law years was formally launched at the Museo Pambata last November 27, 2014. At the launch were officials of the Edsa People Power Commission (EPPC), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, cabinet members, and Presidential sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada.

The event coincided with the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino’s birthday. Aquino, a political prisoner during the Martial Law years was assassinated in 1983 at the tarmac of the airport that now bears his name. This set into motion a series of events that led to the People Power revolution of 1986. Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, eventually became president from 1986 to 1991. His son Benigno Aquino III became president in 2010 and occupies that position until 2016.

Here’s a TV coverage of the event:

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EPPC Commissioner Cesar Sarino gives the opening remarks. It feels weird seeing my small illustration printed this big. It feels even weirder to have all these people gathering for a book I drew at home in my shorts and ratty old t-shirts.

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Me being interviewed.

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Storytelling by Bodjie Pascua. I grew up watching Kuya Bodjie on the kids’ TV Show Batibot.

Here’s a new trailer for the book. Don’t mind the tone though. It sort of feels like the main character is some freedom fighter. 😛

San Juan in the 19th Century

I was commissioned to do a set of pen and ink illustrations for an upcoming book on the City of San Juan. This kept me occupied for the past two weeks as I tried to fit in hours of cross-hatching with my day job. My hand was aching after I finished the entire set. Now I remember why I don’t do that much pen and ink work.

These drawings are merely interpretations of the descriptions in the book; although I did try as much as I could to research and be historically accurate.

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Some Serious Chocolate Therapy

I recently contributed three illustrations for an article in the September 2013 issue of Tiger Tales Australia. The article talks about ceremonies conducted in Fremantle, Australia involving cacao and meditation that lead to mood improvement.

You can view the entire issue here.

Below are the VERY rough studies I submitted and the final pieces that made it into publication.

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