design projects

Tokyo Design Festa November 2014 + Rubber Stamp Carving WIP

What I’m working on right now…

rubber stamp carving progress

… is a continuation of the update I posted on Instagram last night.1 I made these jeepney, tricycle, and pedicab doodles 2  a week ago and thought of printing them on the Gocco… until I realized that I didn’t have enough screens.*headdesk*  But as explained in the previous post, this is what led to my interest in rubberstamping in the first place which just proves that necessity is the mother of inven innovation (and crazy new obssessions).

***

On the home front, Arn is happy that I’m spending evenings being artistic — not just vegging out in front of the TV watching J-dramas (Teehee. Now you know. ) So now I’m either carving or doodling while my iTunes blasts out J-pop. Same difference. :) I’ve actually been semi-passively studying Nihongo since 2011 but I’ll reserve that story for another time…

Before I went off-tangent, I was gonna say that Arn and I have been talking about what sparked this sudden desire to create with my hands.After some thought, I had the answer: Design Festa!!!

This cheezy photo below was taken at the Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku, Tokyo in 2006. (Whattapose *cringe*)

(More photos — and cheezy poses — in my old Flickr gallery)

That was the first time I heard of it. Since then I’ve been wanting to attend the actual festival but our timing was always off. When we planned our trip for this year, I made sure to check the schedule. They usually hold it in May and November. We chose to go in the fall because Tokyo would be just as hot as Manila if we went in the summer.

So here I am all giddy, holding our pre-bought tickets which we purchased at the HQ in Harajuku (the same place in the 2006 photo I posted above). We actually arrived at Tokyo Big Sight 30 minutes before it opened.

design festa 2014

This is not even half of the crowd that was there bright and early. See how behaved and properly-queued up everyone was though.

Design Festa 2014

Inside, the place was bursting with kawaii, I didn’t know where to start!

Design Festa 2014

I went bananas over all the cute stuff and even had photos taken with the very friendly and talented artists who were only too happy to indulge our whims.

Design Festa 2014

Design Festa 2014

Arnold, meanwhile, enjoyed taking photos and videos of the kids who were painting on the scene.

Design Festa 2014

Design Festa 2014

Design Festa 2014

We originally planned to stay until around 4pm so that we could go somewhere else afterwards but we ended up leaving at 8pm, closing time, because there was so much to feast our senses on. Indie bands were playing outside. Strange short films were showing upstairs. A diverse selection of food carts dotted the place. At the end of the day my tote was filled with handmade puraban brooches, plushies and some stationery. Arn bought several art cards and  indie comics. Ironically, I didn’t notice any keshigomu hanko (hand-carved erasers) although I’m positive there was a whole section devoted to it…

There are more photos in this Google album.

***

Hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully I’ll have finished prints to show in my next post! :)

  1. Please pardon the dirty cutting mat… I’ll clean it this weekend![ back]
  2. The jeepney was especially tedious to carve because of all the detail I put! Masochist much?[ back]
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Starting anew and rediscovering analog art

Hello! Is anyone still reading this? I’ve been wanting to revive this blog but I didn’t know what to write about… or if what I will write will interest readers, even if there are just two or three of you now. Or none? Eep! *takes deep breath* Aaanyway. I’ve noticed that blogs these days seem to be more focused on making money, unlike in the early days when everyone was doing it to share thoughts with a tight-knit community. I miss those times but I guess there’s Facebook now for that kind of thing.

So maybe I’ll start with what kept me busy when I wasn’t here. Ironically, I was also  blogging –> over there. What started out as a small hobby exploded into something bigger than I expected. At least I was still making art in the form of invitations but I missed having a venue for personal self-expression. So then I started making little illustrations that I turned into patterns which I sold online on various surfaces, from iPhone covers to fabric.

funky patterned fabric

And if you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you’ll notice that I’ve recently been leaning towards analog design. I rescued my Print Gocco from unuse1 and went crazy using up almost all of my (ahem, hoarded) screens and bulbs. Sadly though, since the Gocco got discontinued, supplies are now hard to come by — not to mention really expensive if you’re lucky enough to find some on eBay. Which is why I’ve been looking for other ways to get my art printed and then I thought, why not try rubber stamping? We did this in school with erasers before but I haven’t done it in years.

So last week I got reacquainted with the X-acto knife and, armed with cheap National Book Store rubber erasers, I started carving away. I’d set aside 2 hours an evening just to practice. There was some blood oh yes but I’m determined to get a lot better at it so that I can get my ideas on print. I’ve learned three things so far:

1. I need better sculpting tools. I ordered a Speedball lino cutter from Amazon but I’ll have to wait for a few more weeks for it.
2. The cuts should be shallow. I was making deep cuts at first but then I noticed  that it took a lot of effort to turn the blade around which resulted in jagged lines.
3. Practicing can really make a difference. Comparing the stamps I made last week with this week’s batch, I would say there’s an improvement.

Here’s one I made today. The lines are still crude but I’m glad I managed to carve out all those little stripes without giving up. Stay tuned for more of my adventures in rubber stamp carving.

rubber eraser stamp carving

Meanwhile, I also wanted to tell you that I spiffied up the surroundings in case you hadn’t noticed. :) A portfolio of my newer stuff is now integrated into the site plus I wrote a novel for the about me page lol. So there, I started blogging here again — no turning back now. More soon!

  1. lol at my old tutorial! Do you know how many times I used it since then? A whopping one time.[ back]
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Breaking radio silence…

… to let you know that I will *eventually* update this blog sometime in the future. :)

In the meantime, I’m frequently on INSTAGRAM where you can see where I’ve been going + what I’ve been doing (and eating). Hope to see you there!

Please also visit my husband Arnold Arre’s blog for updates on his work. Leaving you now with a short — and pretty amazing (okay I’m biased ;) ) — video that shows his digital painting process. No pencil sketching necessary!

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Jose Rizal in post-apocalyptic Manila?

I’m very proud to share with you my talented husband‘s latest animated creation – a music video for the Rock Ed collaboration song “Kaninong Anino” (lyrics by Gang Badoy-Capati, music by Francis de Veyra, performed by Aia de Leon, Noel Cabangon, Vin Dancel, Kris Dancel, Ebe Dancel, Lourd de Veyra, Gloc-9, Raimund Marasigan, and many other musicians).

The song is part of Rock Ed Philippines’ ROCK RIZAL album which celebrates our National Hero’s 150th birth anniversary. The video shows Rizal walking around a post apocalyptic Manila – a metaphor Arn used to symbolically represent the rampant corruption in our society. I have to admit that seeing the video for the first time moved me and made me put myself in Rizal’s shoes. What would he think, seeing the Philippines as it is now? Did he die for us in vain?

From Arnold:

I knew it would be a mistake to try and interpret the lyrics literally so I put a lot of symbolism in the video. We see the structures of Manila all destroyed — however the monuments are still standing. It’s my way of saying that with all the corruption, our country has deteriorated and because of consumerism, we seem to have forgotten our heroes and what they fought for. However their images are still intact and that’s one thing that should encourage us to go on.

You can read the rest of the “making of” notes on his blog.

Arn actually finished this in less than two weeks in between working on pages for a comic collaboration project with a friend (that I believe I can’t announce yet). I’m amazed at how quickly he’s learning the ropes in animation and no words can express how happy I am that he’s found a new medium for his stories. :)

***

Apologies for showing up only when I have something to promote (gosh I’ve become a hardcore internet marketer) but a lot has been going on behind the scenes. Renovations on our home, for one.  I also just realized that I wasn’t able to blog about our talk in Graphika Manila last year! It was an exhilarating experience for Arn and me and I have to publicly thank Aram Beheshti and company for being so patient with us. The truth is that he’s invited us to speak for years but it was only in 2010 that we (rather, I) had the guts to say yes. As I posted on Facebook last year, I’m deathly afraid of public speaking so I was glad to get it over with. Thankfully the feedback on our portion was surprisingly good so that’s a relief. :)

You can view the intro video we presented which features our combined design work below.


Graphika Manila 2010 Intro Video / Arnold &… by arnoldarre

***
I also purposely haven’t been taking on local projects and have avoided loitering around my usual social networking haunts for the last 12+ months because I want to enjoy my last year as a 30-something at my own pace. (There, I said it!) That’s not to say that I’ve stopped designing. In fact I was busy all year (secretly) blogging for my niches elsewhere and fixing and filling up all my online stores with merch, including these cute items for one of my latest ventures Funky Patterns.

Some of my designs are actually available on stationery locally via Paperio which has a store at Powerplant in Rockwell. Just look for my name and a small kitty logo at the back of the items. I don’t have the physical products with me so I can’t post them here yet but I hope you can seek them out the next time you drop by the store.

Bye for now. :)

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I don’t have a reason, but I live like I do

In an alternate reality, the Eraserheads actually released an 8th final full-length album titled Waltz This Knee containing 8 new tracks by the Philippines’ fab four. This is the album’s wraparound sleeve that I designed:
Waltz This Knee by the Eraserheads art by Cynthia Bauzon-Arre


In this reality however, the revolutionary team of Uno Magazine invited me to illustrate a piece written by rock music journalist Aldus Santos about an imagined final Eraserheads album for their special April 2010 (Fiction) issue. Here’s an excerpt:

“In February of this year, I got an unmarked brown envelope that bore the label “Hubad sa Kalsada [Mix-Down 001/2007].” Inside was a CDR. Playing it back, it revealed a bare, guitar-and-voice recording bearing that unmistakable falsetto (with the voice double-tracked, and with a bit of slap-back echo, a la Spector’s Lennon recordings, as in “Instant Karma”). It sounded sort of gothic folk, but sang in falsetto. This was most unusual. Insanely enough, I sometimes get unsolicited demos over e-mail from indie bands who ask for professional advice — to which I invariably say, “I’ll be as much help to you as a sack of hammers; see if there is a listing under ‘Rico Blanco’ in the white pages” — but this can’t be one of those demos. More to the fact, it is unmarked. I personally brought this up with suspect number one, Ely Buendia, but he unnaturally shifted gears, “You know what we don’t hear a lot? Good whistlers.” Such a strange, eyeliner-wearing man.”

Read the rest of the story in Uno Mag’s April 2010 issue. It’s on a limited run and is only available until May 5, 2010 so hurry and get your copy now! Learn more about this special issue on the Uno Magazine website.

***
There are plenty of projects afoot but since I’m not allowed to say anything about them yet, I will just leave you with some new illustrations I made over the past few weeks for no particular reason. If I make more and have them printed as postcards, will anyone buy them? Let me know what you think. :)

art by Cynthia Bauzon Arre
1. Dreamtangle 1, 2. Dreamtangle 2, 3. Pigtails, 4. Sleeping Kitty

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Hello again, it’s me.

Wow, in four days it will be a year since I last updated this blog! Where did the time go? I don’t even know what to write about here anymore. *sheepish grin*

There are actually TWO things that prompted me to post an update.

1) A conversation I had with my friend Ramon a few nights ago. He said that he and Neva have been wondering why I haven’t posted anything new in a while. Often wondering about that myself, I arrived at the conclusion that, well, unless I do a major overhaul and talk solely about how I make money online1, no one will pay attention to this entry, or even this blog. In this age of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, “About Me” blogs have become passe, I figured . They are so 2001 and so is this site. *mopes*

but then…

2) Surprise! A comment came this way (why thank you Rand Al Thor) and this fact offered me some assurance that this site is still getting visitors! Triple exclamation points!!!

… (silence)

… (cricket sounds)

Aaaanyhoo ..  for the benefit of the lovely readers who still drop by every now and then (yes, all three of you LOL), I will try my best to fill you in with what I have been up to since the last time I checked in.

Eraserheads The Final Set

Eraserheads The Final Set

* Eraserheads: The Final Set. You all know that this band holds a special place in my heart so naturally, we were there for their last. ever. reunion. concert. Arn has videos of some of the performances on his Youtube.

KL Design Week 2009

KL Design Week 2009

* KL Design Week 2009. Arn & I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with our good friends Carlo & Nina to stalk Stefan Sagmeister… I mean, to see, meet, and listen to some of the world’s top graphic designers talk about their thought processes and showcase their latest work. Aside from Stefan Sagmeister, other highlights for me were the presentations by Kuntzel&Deygas (the French duo behind Caperino & Peperone and the memorable Catch Me If You Can opening title sequence) and Lava Architects (the Australian firm that designed the glorious Water Cube that was launched at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, among others).

Nins and I did actually manage to corner Stefan Sagmeister and ask for a photo with him each — twice — so that’s now off the bucket list. ;)

* Volunteering for Rock Ed Philippines and designing / maintaining Rock Ed Radio‘s website. I first met the brilliant Gang Badoy in the early 90s but she flew off and lived in the US for a decade.  Armed with several masters degrees, she put up Rock Ed Philippines upon coming home in 2005. Rock Ed is a volunteer group dedicated to promote alternative education through holding classes on different areas of knowledge such as music, the arts, sports, science, and cultural studies. It has been (and still is) always a pleasure knowing that our contributions, however small, are helping make this country a better place.

* Saying goodbye to Wedding Essentials Magazine as Design Director. It was a difficult decision to make2 since Editor-in-Chief and good friend Marbee and I make up the “we” in Wedding Essentials. We saw the magazine from its inception, to its birth in 2004, and through its growth into the big player that it is now (seeing how successful it is now kinda makes me feel like a proud mom). I thought it was time for me to move on since I knew the magazine would be in very able hands with Marb and Kitten at its helm anyway, although I am still with them in spirit. The issue above is the last one I worked on.

…but wait, Marbee and I have a wedding blog, We Heart Weddings. Because we really love weddings (and we really do like working with each other!)

* My Arn made a short film, his first ever. Arn has always wanted to make films, ever since he was a kid, so now that he can, he did. This is the trailer for the suspense/thriller short he made called Chapter:-0ne. We held screenings for it during the second half of last year at Fully Booked (twice) and Nomnomnom. He hopes to make another one soon, so watch out for updates on here.

* Uno Magazine named me one of their “Women on Top”. Me? Really? Aaaawwshucks *blush*. Being in a 12-page spread along with smart, innovative, trail-blazing women makes me feel that I probably am doing something right in my life.

***

That’s it for now. Next time, I will give you a sneak peak of the super secret project I’m working on. (Clue: it starts with an E , ends with heads and it will come in a box) ;)

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  1. just see how many hits this site will get with that keyphrase plugged in![ back]
  2. many tears were shed, yes[ back]
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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino illustrator & graphic designer. I live in QC with my talented graphic novelist hubby Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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