This post comes a couple days late, and also, really, every day is pole dance day for me haha!
Had a shoot recently with Adele Raya (who also took BTS shots for The Red Dress), and it's my first shoot with heels! 8inches! WOOHOOOOO!!!
Here are the photos. I look really tall. Haha yeyyyy. Thanks Adele!
I've been terrible at updating my blog. HELLO I AM ALIVE! Hahaha.
So much drawing and so much art stuff happening and now that everything's kind of calming down, I take the chance to play. To make not serious things.
I passed by Art Bar and bought air drying clay. I never played with clay when I was a kid, so I thought it might be fun to give it a shot! AND IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I bought a half-pound of clay and started playing while I was stranded at Corinne's place because of transportation issues.
Because I can't eat food, I thought I might as well make pretty but inefficent food-related things. HAHAHA. Like a funnel, a plate, a cup, an egg-holder, sauce containers.
I went back to Art Bar the day after (I finished all my clay in one sitting) and bought a pound of clay this time! SO EXCITED TO MAKE THINGS! And no, I don't think I'll be a sculptor any time soon. I really need a hobby that I don't need to be good at. HAHAHA.
Yes, I'm making it sound more dramatic, but yes, I had my theatrical debut 3 weeks ago!
It's my first dancing (and a bit of acting) role in a show. It was for La Estrella: A Night of Flamenco and Music and the follows the love story of a flamenco dancer torn between two tenors. Katsie Llave is the flamenco dancer, and David Ezra and Arman Ferrer are the two tenors.
When Katsie first asked me to dance, I was so scared. Dance without a pole? Without a chair? Without any apparatus??? But I did it anyway, and I'm so glad I did.
So my role, together with Margaret and Tippi, were to be temptresses / vultures and steal away Arman. Quite fun I must say!!! Arman is so fun to work with.
Right before the first time we come out though, David sings "Si Tu Me Amas" and it always makes me cry backstage. AHHHH I have one second to switch from crying bleeding heart to vulture. Hahaha.
We had 5 shows at the PowerMac Center Spotlight spread over 2 weekends. Not bad for my first theatrical role! Yeyyy! So excited to do more :)
So we brought our Indonesia show to Manila!
I love having openings with friends, it's a great excuse for all of us to see each other. We used to have yearly beach outings, but our varying schedules has made that nearly impossible.
But of course, since we are all awkward in photos, I have no group photo to show hahaha! Instead here are installation shots of the works! Catch the show if you can, only until May 10 at blanc, 145 Katipunan Ave, Quezon City.
My performance video The Red Dress is the first thing you'll see when you enter the gallery....
And here's my work-- a tangram! You can actually move the pieces around to suit your mood/wall size haha!
And oooh we have a catalog!
Yey! Thank you to everyone who went! See you at the next opening! :)
I met Drea when she took my photo in 2010.
Ever since we met, she's always cut my hair. Or if not her, then one of her stylists at Piandre. Recently, it's been Ms. Lina of Piandre Promenade because she's nearer to me, and Drea is so busy traveling and managing the business (she's the Dre in Piandre).
If you have short hair, I understand the trouble of finding the perfect hair stylist. It took me years, I gave up for a while and cut my own hair, and then, yeyyyy hello Drea.
So recently we've been playing with color (see the pink and gray hair above!), and I said ok, I want white hair. Drea says they have new white color and that we can test it out.
I went to Piandre HQ in Timog with my friend and frequent collaborator Corinne. She wanted blue hair, but because she had recently colored her hair black, they'd have to see if they can bleach her hair first.
Isabel, who is their trainer, worked on our hair. I love how she started by explaining the whole process to us, and she would explain more every step of the way. Hair coloring science is fascinating!!! How to mix colors, how to prep the hair, how to prep your hair for future color, it's all so amazing. Thank you for the extra info Isabel!
We started at 10am with bleaching my roots, which have been growing since my last color in November.
One more round of bleach and then she started bleaching the roots near my scalp.
And then one last round of bleach which kind of stung a bit, so Isabel had it washed out asap!
For our color, we would be using the new Manic Panic line. It's vegan!
For my hair, we will be using Virgin Snow, haha, what a cute name! It's a white toner which would help take out the yellow from my hair.
The whole process took close to 7 hours, and I take this as my weekly dose of rest. Piandre service is super nice, they offered us beverages and sandwiches. But since I'm on an elimination diet for my allergies (that will be another post), I only requested for water.
To keep ourselves entertained, Corinne and I read (I had a paper book, she had a kindle), we stretched and walked around, and we chatted about being Mrs. Robinson in a land of 20yr olds. Hahaha.
When it was time to rinse off my Virgin Snow, i.plex was applied, while we were given a really wonderful head massage. That was heaven! Isabel explained that iplex is mixed into their colors to lessen hair damage and to make hair stronger. i.plex can also be applied separately to reconstruct damaged hair.
Of course, this whole time I was seated near the shampoo area, and I saw a giant wall, and told Drea, hey I want to paint that wall. Wouldn't it be nice to look at something pretty while your hair is being shampooed? :)
After the last rinse, ta-dah!!! My new hair. This is as white as it will go, as my hair is too stubborn for bleach. YEYYYY I LOVE IT!
I love that this hair goes well with my all-black wardrobe.
YEYYYY thank you Isabel! Thank you Drea and Piandre!
I don't really do design... but I guess I can, if what my friends want are simple enough.
I only design for friends-- whatever that thing may be. A long time ago, I designed one movie for a person who wasn't a friend, and, it was one of the most terrible experiences of my life. It wasn't worth all the work, stress, my health, nor the php400 a day pay. (Yes, php400.) Never again.
So anyway, my friend Yey wanted a card to give to potential fitness clients. Yey is a powerlifter, so I wanted a logo that would show some lifting, using his initials YM.
Since I'm quite nonsense doing graphics, I send this sketch via Viber to my intern Pat. Who sends a digitized version back to me.
I give him Yey's details, plus the fonts I want used for the card. And this is what Pat sends back to me.
My intern is amazing. I present to Yey and after a few minor adjustments, he has them printed. He gives his cards away, and gets clients. Yeyyyy fun times! :)
Mike and I have been friends since our late teens; we met when a group of us music lovers got together and founded the Ateneo Musician's Pool.
Fast forward to December 2016, and Mike says he's moving into an office and could I paint the walls? Of course, YES.
The brief was, the walls should echo the colors and design of the HMNMPH logo. Also, Mike likes bright colors. So unlike me. But sure, anything for friendship. :)
So I brought my intern Pat, who is up for anything and everything fun. And we got to work, armed with brushes and paint and masking tape. Mike, and his account manager Belle, and a couple of HMNMPH interns, would pop in and out. We played music, lots of music, different kinds of music-- Maxwell, 90s rock chicks, Aegis, 80s love songs. We danced and we sang along.
It took us three very chill days to finish the whole office. And TA-DAH! This is what it looks like now .
YEYYY! Turned out pretty well :) Paint + masking tape = so many possibilities :)
Sometimes, I write articles for random publications. Mostly about art, often about pole dancing. But sometimes, I give tips to clueless men to help them, but also so that women don't have to go through the pain of watching a guy make a complete ass out of himself.
So here it is, some tips on
I consider designing this movie a feat, given that I had a 3-person PD team-- me, my art director, and a setman. Other setmen would come and go but it was basically the 3 of us. We did set-dressing, props, styling. We even laundered the costumes ourselves. And we constructed an office.
How we managed to do all these things with the given time, I credit to willpower and lots of 3-in-1 coffee. Hahaha.
Here is the story of Apocalypse Child's design.
I've always liked calligraphy because it looks like drawings, that just happen to spell words.
So I've been reading up on the topic, and fonts, and just trying out some writing.
My friends and I get together for coffee and practice writing. Kiara just gave me a nib and walnut ink, and that's the only thing I use now. I never use brush pens anymore!
I am now currently in love with scripts and flourishes. And wouldn't it be great to write math equations in Spencerian script? Beautiful things written beautifully :)
My children Vicky and Tiger came back from a trip to SG (where they got engaged!!! woohoo!!!), and brought me home copper sheets. I love that they know exactly what I will enjoy.
I've never worked with copper before but yeyyyy, so much fun!
I tried folding it- semi-fail. So I just cut it up and put it together with drawings and other sheets of paper.
So these are collages, but they're intertwined through cuts and insertions. No adhesives. The frame is also just closed with screws.
So if in the future you wanna take this collage apart, YOU CAN.
Last year, I celebrated my 40th birthday by doing The Red Dress
This year I decided to keep it simple and just do a shoot (at 7am!) with my friend Paolo Ruiz. He has an ongoing 365 Portraits project, and the best day to have it done is on my birthday.
Yey thanks Paolo!
For next year, I already booked the same team that helped me with The Red Dress and have met up with doppelganger dancer Mia Cabalfin... let's see what will come out of that.
This is Experiment No. 1 -- a short dance piece featuring the music of Mumuy and images by Corinne de San Jose. I'm trying to figure out how to put music, image, and movement together for a bigger piece I'm doing next year. So excited!!! :)
Two films that I worked on celebrated birthdays recently.
It was Big Time's 11th anniversary special last month, and Rakenrol's 5th anniversary gig last Thursday. It's amazing how films survive!
Raya is making a new film based on the book Smaller and Smaller Circles, and I made some drawings for it. Here's one.
I really enjoy working on films, it's like creating a world based on your own design. Would love to do one film a year, but only for friends. If I don't love you, it's not worth it. Haha.
In other upcoming news, Apocalypse Child will screen in theaters in October! SEE YOU!!! :)
So this is not about my love life (that will be for another post!), but about a short film I worked on earlier this year for my dear friend Quark Henares. (I promised myself I will only design films for people I love. Unless it stars Miles Teller then I will do anything haha.)
It's for the Globe Independent Film Festival (GIFF), read the article here. It's about dating in this age of social media, hahaha.
So I told Quark, we might as well make everything look like posts for Instagram-- you know, everything looking pretty, and composed. And of course I insisted on a flatlay for the food for the restaurant scene. Hahah.
Also made sure we used very hip/hipster-ish things, even if they're just part of the background. Succulents? Geometric prints? Plants on walls? Mason jars for drinks? Chopping boards as plates? Check, check, check, check. And so on.
The really fun part though of designing as being able to transform spaces. My favorite one was transforming the restaurant Black Soup into two different locations.
I also love that my OCD has a place in design, haha. We transormed a couple of shelves into an OCD grocery store. haha.
And I love this project because I got to do handlettered credits. Here are some:
Plus, I gave some of my old drawings as Google Search images...
Really enjoyed working on this project! Thank you to my wonderful Art Department: Tippi Sy, Patrick Topacio, setmen Duran and June.
Looking forward to working on another one!
I love massive things that are very difficult to make.
So of course I loved the Buddhist temple Borobudur.
The first time I saw it-- I stopped in my tracks. I had to stare at it for a complete minute before even starting the ascent up its steep steps. This is one of those moments when you say WOW out loud.
It is HUGE. (It's the largest Buddhist temple in the world.) And there is so much detail in all the stone pieces that comprise it. The floor plan is a mandala. The things that amaze me about it just go on and on, it's better to just wiki it for yourself ;)
The thing that amazes me about all massive things are these two points: 1. that somebody actually had the vision , and 2. somebody actually built it.
Someone told me, you do know this was made possible by slaves, right? Yes. But look at ourselves now, are we not slaves as well? And what do we have to show for it?
While going around Jogja, I noticed there were a lot of clay tiles used for roofing. That's all I looked at when I walked, roofs.
I've started doing drawings about tangrams, but this time, I wanted the drawings to be actual tangram pieces that you can mix and hang on your wall according to your mood and wall size.
Which actually came in handy, because the wall that they decided to hang my work on was square-ish. My original work was landscape-oriented.
Here's a photo of my final work: I mixed the geometric roof tiles with organic greens that I saw growing around the rooftops. Photo by Anisa :)
I'm quite happy with how this turned out. Looking forward to doing more tangrams and geometry-based works!
p.s. Mathlete forever!
I took a drawing workshop with Renato Habulan at the Ayala Museum in 1998. I was 22 and heartbroken and I wanted to fill up my time. Ayala Museum was near where I worked (Tower Records -WOOHOO so retro! We sold CDs!) so I said, Why not?
I didn't know who Sir Habulan was (haha, hi Sir!), I just wanted to do something. So off I went, and did a charcoal drawing workshop. 18 years later, charcoal would still be my favorite medium.
As is customary for summer workshops, we had a culminating exhibit. Sir Habulan was co-faculty at St. Scho's Fine Arts Dept with Yasmin Sison (now Ching), and he forced (? haha) her to show my work in the artist-run space Surrounded by Water.
She did, I met the rest of the group, they liked me, I liked them, they asked me to be a part of the group, and the rest is history.
I learned most of the things I know about art from the SBW people-- Wire, Keiye, Ge, Nano, Min, Jonathan, Lyra, Mike, Lena, Louie. I've been very lucky to have had the chance to hang out with them and learn their work ethic (art everyday, make good work always). They're all very generous with their knowledge-- I cannot thank them enough.
When we ran SBW, we would do everything-- paint walls, install works, clean bathrooms, man the gallery, clean more bathrooms. We did everything we could to give emerging artists a space where they can show. Thank you SBW for giving so many people, including me, the opportunity to make art.
When the space closed in 2004, we would see each other every year-- we'd go to the beach or have dinner in someone's place. Eventually though, everyone got busy with their repsective careers and even that didn't become a regular thing.
So whenever we have reunion shows, I am excited to join. If only to see these wonderful people again.
Last Saturday, August 13, we just opened a show in Langgeng Art Foundation in Yogyakarta.
True to our DIY roots, we painted the walls, installed our works, mopped the floors... haha.
Through teamwork, we were able to open the show on time. Yeyyy. :)
So many thoughts about the residency that led up to this day, but for now, will leave you with this:
Ever grateful to my Surrounded by Water family for everything. Love you.
I gave my very first artwork to Joel-- several charcoal portraits, because he was my first friend who said I should go be an artist. His house burned down, all my works with it. I guess that was a good thing for me-- I learned how to not be attached to my works.
Last month, the Silverlens storage burned due to a fire from a neighboring unit. I lost this:
I felt sad about the fire, for my gallerists, for the works that were lost, for artists whose main source of income is art, and who have now lost so much. I didn't feel sad for myself though-- most of my large murals are done knowing that they are temporary and fleeting. Most of the time, my drawings only last the span of the exhibition dates. I erase / destroy them after.
I do want to do something to commemorate this piece though. In time.
For now, RIP Roads, 2015-2016.