Recap: January 2018

Hello 2018!

Hello blog – I’m still alive! Pictured here is one of my commissions completed this January.

I went from blogging every month to not updating for two months! Hope you bear with me on this very lengthy update. Last December I had two trips to Japan – one with my friend to watch Bigbang’s Last Dance Concert and the other one with my family. When I started my official leave from work I just wanted to spend quality time with my family and friends. Leaves are precious when you are an employee so I really aimed to get my much-needed rest and relaxation. I still painted of course, and even brought my Escoda  watercolorbook and brushes (thank you Escoda family!) to Japan!

I’m not sure if I will be writing a lengthier post about my Japan travel with my family. But I do have a vlog from my early December Japan trip with my friend Nikka since it was my first ever out of town trip with a friend. Feel free to watch our crazy antics and of course, subscribe to my channel! 😀

I used my Escoda Watercolor sketchbook to capture scenes from my Japan travel. Mt. Fuji greeted us every morning from our hotel window. What I would give to see that beautiful scene again.
Mt. Fuji. We stayed at the Cerulean Tokyo Tower in Shibuya.

Now it’s the new year and this is what greeted me – a mountain of work!!! And I also colds and allergies. 🙁 It was not a good start of the year (health-wise). Still, one must get up each day to face the world (runny nose and all).

For what I’ve been up in my art life (probably the only exciting part of my existence tbh) well, it’s going to be a long one (so grab a coffee or tea). Here goes-

I had my first watercolor workshop last Jan 27 – and I was grateful that I hit my quota of student early on. Surreal. Teaching is really so much fun so even though workshops take a lot of planning and effort it’s something I keep going back to. I like breaking down my process so I can help others understand how to paint. With workshops I also get to learn a lot from my students. I’m going to keep doing workshops this year, just as long as I don’t get sick from overworking myself (My mom is freaking out over my poor health). I hope to do more YouTube tutorials too.

We had two topics – cotton stalk and roses for this workshop. My next workshop is on Feb 17 and that one tackles sunflowers and peony. 🙂
My students are super fast learners!!!

I also had a number of commissions that I was happy and proud of. My clients were so understanding of my schedule since I am not a full-time artist (yet hahahaha). I put a lot of effort in each one and spent numerous late nights painting (side note: I need to find a good eye cream). When I get acknowledgement from my clients that they love the painting all my tiredness disappear! If I can say thank you (with heart emoji eyes) a thousand times I will.

Love making these cotton stalk studies. My client will be putting them up on her study. I think they’ll look so calming as decors!!!
A client from Singapore requested this scene where she and her fiance spent their new year inside a comfort taxi while watching fireworks over The Shoppes at Marina Bay. It was challenging but I wanted to do justice to her story by capturing all the important elements in the painting.

My temporary floral tattu design for Tattumundo also launched last year and I love how it turned out! I like dainty and inconspicuous looking designs (at least for tattu) so these are perfect! Tattumundo have them up on their website and they ship internationally!  There are also other designs from badass artists and legit designers so go check them out.

I love the tattu sheet. It does not come of as tacky and the print stayed true to the colors of my painting!

Lastly, I teamed up once again with Faber-castell to demo their new GoldFaber watercolor pencils for the NBS Words and Letter event in Shangrila Plaza. Only the love of Faber-Castell and their pencils will get this person to the north by commute. The event was super jampacked that I didn’t get to sit in their booth to do a pre-demo. Though I am pretty comfortable with public speaking (chalk it up with previous experiences of project reporting to top management) I still felt nervous. The demo went great and I realized that the technique is really to keep talking. Like non-stop. I talked about everything I can think of that would be interesting: Goldfaber (duh), paper, colors, waterbrush, Goldfaber, flower arrangement, coloring, Goldfaber. And I was silently praying not to let out a cough for 30 minutes.

Thank you to everyone who came by to support me! Some even left me messages in IG that they went to the event just to catch my demo – thank you!!!

Thank you again to Faber-Castell for inviting me to talk about your products and for sending me my very own Goldfaber Aqua watercolor pencils! 😀

With all these happening in just a month I am just so grateful for my support system for understanding why I am almost always busy (and sick). I am not planning to go full-time anytime soon but I have to keep learning to balance the areas of my life that I value. And a healthy mind and body is top priority. 🙂

Cheers,

Carla

January, February and March 2017 Retrospective

Journaling my highlights, lowlights and other thoughts in this post. I meant this to be a monthly thing but realized that I really want to commit to this only on the 3rd month of the year. As a scrum master by trade I know how important it is to do a retrospective after a certain time in order to help improve the process and the team. It’s not only applicable to work and now I’ve come to realize how much this could have helped me if I started sooner.

This won’t be entirely watercolor or art-centric but I’ll try to add any awesome materials I purchased in this post as well.

Highlights

Japan Trip with family

I couldn’t believe it when my mom said “Let’s go to Tokyo!”. Of all the people to initiate a travel it came from Mom. As usual my brother and I planned the itinerary. Last Japan travel, my request was to go to Odaiba to see the life-size Gundam, this time I wanted to go to Hakone to try the hot springs, visit Sekaido in Harajuku and go temple-tripping in Kyoto. I’ll talk more about my Japan travel in a separate post but you can read about my Sekaido experience here.

Joining an exhibit and future workshops

Since summer is here, a lot of opportunities have opened up in the art community. I hope to keep the momentum going and of course, to deliver the best possible teaching service or painting in all the endeavor I commit myself to. Though I cannot talk about it in detail yet, you’ll probably know about them in my Instagram. 🙂

Cosrx pimple pad

Cannot rave about this product enough! I discovered it while watching Joan Kim‘s youtube channel. If you haven’t subscribed to her channel, you should! Her focus is skin care and Korean products so it’s super interesting for me! I even watch her daily vlog whenever I could because it’s like taking a vacation in Korea (and she’s doing super fun stuff all the time – like eating!). The pimple pad was sold out in SM Makati beauty department so I went to SM Southmall Watson to purchase it. My acne has significantly decreased and even my cystic pimples aren’t as big as they used to be. I gifted this to my friend as well in the hopes that more people will discover this wonderful product. I was impressed by how easy and quick it was to order this via Beautymnl. Though not as significant as my discovery of Cosrx, I also started using Iope air cushion XP (shade N21) which I now super love! It just sits better on my skin than my previous cushion.

Jan and Feb workshops

Started my year with workshops and I’m glad people are still enthusiastic in learning watercolor like last year! It’s really a very therapeutic medium, especially if you are bogged down by work. It’s a nice and easy hobby to get into.

Lowlights

  1. Still haven’t started on my coloring book idea, which I said was my plan this year. I’m not really sure where to start (aside from drawing of course). I already asked suppliers about printing on 300gsm paper and sad to say, none of their printers are up to the task. I could buy my own printer, but what guarantee do I have that it will do the work? My track record with printers is very bad like all printers I’ve ever owned didn’t last a year (that’s because I don’t use it often so the ink dries up). This one still needs more research.
  2. Family health problems.  My grandmothers conditions are getting worse and even though we chalk it up to age it’s still difficult for the family to see them struggling. Walking and sitting up has been a huge problem and you can tell how much in pain they are. While there isn’t any cure to their ailments I promise to spend more time with them just to keep their spirits up!
  3. Not utilizing this blog enough! I only post a blog once a month and I haven’t uploaded my latest works from late 2016 to early this year. Yikes!

 

Well, that’s it for 3 months worth of highlights and lowlights! And even though I’m posting this around April, it’s still better late than never!