design projects

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'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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