business matters

‘We missed you’ hissed the…

A couple of years ago, I made a mom-and-baby cat illustration for a book that never happened for some reason or other. I found it again while spring-cleaning my hard drive and thought, why not put it to good use?

So if you love cats, red tabbies in particular, and [a] you live in the US where Cafepress is based1 or [b] you have tons of disposable cash anyway and want to contribute to a good cause2, it would mean so much if you can support my latest entrepreneurial endeavor. 😀


Our favorite fashion designer Tippi‘s Pret-a-Party and Lounge Lizard lines are now also available at Backstage, located at the 2/F, San Lorenzo Arcade, Pasay Road, Makati (behind New World Hotel), hope you can take a look sometime! Stay up to date with her collections and shows by visiting their respective sites as well as her journal.

I’m quite pleased with the choice of judges for Philippine Idol. In the beginning I was afraid it was gonna be one of those Regine, Ogie -or worse, Kris-hosted affairs but the moment they announced that Mr. C was gonna be part of it, I was completely won over.3. If, like me, you’re curious about how the auditions are going, FrancisM just so happens to be chronicling the judging process in his journal.

  1. ergo shipping won’t cost too much[ back]
  2. our cat Abby‘s food and play fund[ back]
  3. There’s just no one else who’s as credible. Pilita’s okay, I grew up seeing her all over TV and she’s definitely an icon. As for FrancisM, well I’ve been a fan since “Yo” came out hehe. [ back]
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Find the outline, things will tell you their name.

Finally I can show you some stuff my Arn has been working on these past few weeks.

SonyBMG 2-in-1 Series

These four albums from SonyBMG are just the first batch of a series of 2-in-1 cds that feature the music of 90s bands like Yano, Sugar Hiccup, Sandwich and Color it Red. Don’t mistake them for greatest hits collections though – they’re actually a repackaging of two original albums per artist1 that came out in the last decade. So buying one cd will actually give you two albums for the price of one2, neat-o!

When we first learned that it was gonna be a series, we decided to lay it out similarly to the Eraserheads Anthology album so that they can be sold all together as a box set in the future. So now the challenge for Arn was how to make them all look similar yet different – like in Anthology, each illustration should also convey each band’s style and personality.

Arn did a pretty swell job, don’t you think? The illustrations are fab3 and he just kept amazing me everytime he whipped out a new drawing.

The cds go for P285 each, and please stay tuned because there are six more coming.


As for me I’m still busy with the upcoming issues4 of WE but I’ll try to squeeze in a blog entry here and there as much as I can 😉

Again, don’t forget to visit Blow-Up Babies at the Gateway Mall! And because we’re talking about 90s bands this week, here’s a bit of trivia:

Veda and Atari

These two pretty little girls are the daughters of two members of a now-defunct but still very popular 90s band5. Can you guess what band it is and which members they are?

Photos courtesy of Blow-up Babies!

  1. I had just told some friends that it seems so cosmic that Arn is doing the repackaging of some of the albums I originally designed – for instance, the 2-in-1 Sandwich album contains “Grip Stand Throw” and “4-Track Mind“, both of which I did the original inlays for.[ back]
  2. and buying 4 will get you 8![ back]
  3. I wish I could post larger images but piracy, music and design-wise, has become quite rampant lately.[ back]
  4. Yes, issues, in plural form, you read that right. Please wait and see.[ back]
  5. Super obvious clue: Their rockstar daddies are bandmates in “Cambio”[ back]
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Today’s the day that all the world will see.

Guess what, this blog is turning 5 years old by the end of the month! To mark this milestone (well it is for me, anyway), I’ve decided to turn the substance factor up a notch and post more graphic design-related entries*. And by that I don’t mean sitting idly and blogging about pretty things like I usually do so I’ve decided to make a new category called “What’s the Story Morning Glory” because believe it or not I was once an Oasis fan I want to give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the design process of certain projects I’ve handled**. A lot of the time, people perceive design as just that – eye candy. What they don’t know is that every work of art has a “story” behind it and with this project, I hope to communicate that most artists don’t just throw paint on canvas for no reason. Hopefully it also helps students who ar looking at being in the design biz someday.
*After all, that’s what I do 95%* of the time when I’m in front of the computer . The other 5% is spent surfing favorite sites, downloading music, answering email and playing Snood. **By the way, this is also the concept of the presentation I suggested to Liga that we do for last month’s MBD where I presented the story behind my design for UltraelectromagneticJam.

I originally intended my first WTSMG entry to feature the evolution of the design for my web portfolio but unfortunately (or fortunately, hah!) I didn’t keep screen grabs of what past incarnations looked like. You can satisfy your curiosity via The Wayback Machine but the earliest record that they have of my site is dated November 1999 and they didn’t keep earlier records of my circa 1997 Geocities and 1998 Tripod sites. Oh well..

BUB site index

So instead, I’ll just talk about the design for the spanking new Blow-Up Babies site.

1. Background: My good friend Quark called me up to say that they had a new shop opening in Gateway and that they needed a website for it. I was neck deep in work for WE but how can I say no to my kuya twin? 😉 And besides, what’s not to like about the project? It’s a recipe for everything I like: Unique product concept, check; Art and design-appreciative client, check; … Who also happens to be people I like, check.

2. Briefing: So k.t. Quark and Lia showed me the existing designs of their logo, membership card, passport and flyers which I honestly found very hip.

3. Development of Studies: I then developed a couple of studies that mimicked the look of their existing materials. I wanted the site to (1) showcase the kind of photos they took, and (2) communicate the rawness/freshness of the overall concept so I took inspiration from the look of Lomo photography:

BUB - initial studies
4. They got back to me and said that yes, they’re nice but that the site design doesn’t have to follow the look of their existing materials. Kuya twin’s exact words – “Go wild, we want ‘Cynthia’ to shine through”. That encouraged me a lot to go all out and come up with something different yet familiar. So I developed this, which all of them liked:

BUB - second study

Ok, I realized that it was kinda wild, was not reader-friendly at all and gasp, will take a whole lot of time to execute so I fixed it.
5. Finalization: And here’s the cleaner version.

BUB study 2 - clean

The text was written by Quark and the first line “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” reminded me of a Dr. Seuss book and since the site would feature photos of kids mostly, I thought, why not lay it out like a storybook? I wanted to retain the raw quality so I chose handwritten type and playful frames. I also learned a bit of Flash to showcase the beautiful photos without compromising space in the layout. The little retro royalty-free drawings accompanying the text adds a friendly touch and, I thought, also injected the kind of wit and humor the shops owners have.

And that eventually evolved to the one you’ll see here.


So please, please go visit Blow-up Babies at the Cinema Level of Gateway Mall. I told you a little about it in my previous entry, but I forgot to mention that they also take pictures of grown-ups! (Yup, blown-up grown-ups teehee). They have really creative layouts and a selection of uber-cool props so if your barkada wants a one-of-a kind group photo, or hey if you’re getting married anytime soon and don’t want the run-of-the-mill sunset-backed prenup photo, do drop by and see what you’ll end up with!

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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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