art and design

Drawing Philippine Native Trees for forest protection

Around the start of this year I started making notebooks and other stationery that featured local flora and fauna as a personal project.  My motivation was that these are the plants I grew up around and the produce that my parents introduced to us siblings when we were young. Feeling a wave of nostalgia, I drew them while looking back at my childhood, also thinking that kids today could benefit from learning about them. (More on this here.)

I also found myself getting interested in endemic species and, through the process I learned about how a lot of our native plants and animals have, since the ’70s and ’80s, lost their habitats due to deforestation. That saddened me because it felt like this was no longer the environment I grew up in so I started drawing Philippine-endemic birds, some of them vulnerable or critically endangered – and putting them on stickers (with info sheets) and notebooks as my small way of bringing attention to them.

It was around that time when I received an e-mail from the kind folks at Forest Foundation Philippines asking if I would be open to collaborating with them. I actually had to do a double take because it was as if they had read my mind so I was on board almost immediately. <3

cynthia arre forest foundation philippines

Some meetings, project proposals, and many brainstorming exchanges later, we thought up a campaign to promote the important role of native trees in forest protection. These greeting cards and a planner (WIP below) are among the products of our collab.

philippine native trees planner

We also held a drawing contest on FB & IG (do check the #drawnativetreesph hashtag to see the entries) and there’ll be other activities soon which I won’t spoil for now.  🙂

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In other news, I finally got around to making a new portfolio site (17 years since I made my first one :D)

www.cynthiabauzonarre.com

It’ll probably take months before I can blog again but am also in all these other places in case you want to connect ~ 🙂

My Webshop / Instagram / Facebook / TwitterLinkedInPinterestYouTube

 

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Updated my Web Shop + SALE! Ongoing

cynthia bauzon arre online shop

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ve already populated my online store with some of the new Philippine pop art -themed products. Also tweaked its appearance so it looks a bit more polished now (uh, yes, finally :P).  Since I’m revamping my product line due to recent epiphanies, most of my older prints and stickers are now ON SALE (at very low prices guise!) so do go and visit the store and grab whatever you can since I won’t be reprinting them ever again. (Make sure to check out the online exclusives section too.) 😀  GO NOW, GO >>

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Promoting Philippine Culture and Preserving Biodiversity Through Art

Philippine Flowers ntoebooks
Since my last post about Affordable Filipino Souvenirs, I have gone all out in employing Philippine themes in my output. Let’s chalk it down to growing old and finally realizing what I was given a voice – okay, a drawing arm – to do. It started with me getting fixated on drawing the fruits & flowers that were familiar to me as a child. We have a lot of trees here at home as my Dad has a habit of saving seeds of fruits we eat and planting them in the garden.

A post shared by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre (@arncyn) on

That interest in local flora just naturally extended to birds. This is because every morning, Arnold and I would take turns in accompanying our cat outside so he can chew on plant salad (to aid in his digestion) and get some fresh air. Almost always, a black & white bird with a flamboyant fantail would come swooping down to play with his feelings. I did some research and learned that this is a Pied Fantail or Maria Capra. Another regular feathery visitor was an olive colored bird that flitted among the gumamelas. It looked like a hummingbird but I later on found out that it was an Olive-backed Sunbird. I got interested in these little fellas and soon found out that many of our endemic birds are already classified as “Vulnerable” or “Threatened” due to loss of habitat & deforestation. Such sad.

A post shared by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre (@arncyn) on

Upon further research, I learned that just by planting more native plants and trees, these birds will have homes and the various threatened species will have a fighting chance of surviving.

A post shared by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre (@arncyn) on

Thus I am making it my mission to raise awareness for the plight of these creatures and also hail the advantages of planting more native flowers & tree species in order to restore our formerly-rich biodiversity as well as promote this facet of our culture. So far I have been able to come up with a few notebook designs and sticker sets that celebrate our local flora and fauna. Oh, and the awesome fruit of my collab with Filed, the “Garden Bloom” pen capsule.

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The embroidered images are of a bird — a Philippine Trogon, endemic to the Philippines — and the accompanying flowers are kalachuchi and sampaguitas as well as a lone waxflower below the bird, all native. You may buy it here.

Philippine birds flowers fruits notebooks

You may also check out the notecards, notebooks, and other Philippine Fruits and Flowers-themed items at my Web Shop and at my stockists – Hey Kessy (UP Town Center) and Common Room (Katipunan, Powerplant Mall, Alabang Town Center). If I had enough funds I would donate a portion of the earnings to orgs that share this mission but since I am still starting out with this small business, for now all I can do is educate and hopefully inspire.

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Meanwhile, and in line with the “promoting Philippine culture” aspect of my mission, I was fortunate enough to have been tapped by Common Room to be among the 1st batch of artists to make a souvenir for DTI’s Go Lokal Store in Buendia and NAIA 3 (inside Kiss and Fly: 3rd floor, Departure area). My collection was inspired by the beloved Filipino folk song “Bahay Kubo” — you know the one, it enumerates various vegetables & here I’ve drawn them framing a small nipa hut, the bahay kubo that a typical rural Pinoy family calls home.

bahay kubo postcard and notebooks for DTI Go Lokal

I designed these as early as February but the entire collection was launched just last week. At first my postcard design had part of the lyrics but I wasn’t sure if they fall under public domain already (I asked Filscap but apparently they have no idea too) so I took them out and came up with these playful designs. I think they work even without the lyrics since it’s a well-known song. Fun fact: I learned that the vegetables mentioned in the song are “introduced” species, not at all Filipino natives. But still it’s a song that’s ingrained in Filipino culture so I was willing to overlook that detail.

The Bahay Kubo postcards and notebook collection are exclusively available at DTI’s Go Lokal stores. 🙂

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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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