On Design


One of my favorite layouts that I made for tide/edit

One of my little joys in life is pursuing art, or what I think creating what qualifies as art. Aside from writing, I express my thoughts in the form of shapes, lines, colors, and such.

My personal style has evolved through time. On paper or canvas, I used to sketch or doodle Anime characters when I was younger, a little until high school maybe. I used pens, and if projects arise, I use cray pas (rather than oil pastel) and began with colored pencils. I am also fond of using cut-outs for my schoolwork. I will buy cartolinas, colored paper, felt paper, special paper, those pricey scrapbook design things, and I’ll put together a colorful, layered product that’s usually 1.5-2 inches thick. And I was happy with it. I was designing the class board, writing the ‘Welcome’ messages on the chalk board, using the entire spectrum of colors available – blending oranges to yellows, pinks to reds, etc. Suffice to say, I was really, really fond of colors.

I always arrange my colored pencils in rainbow order.

Then in college, I was still using this technique, but slowly cut down on materials. I kept the lively colors, but usually, I just stuck to one medium (like using cartolinas only). This is also the time that I start using the simple and elegant technique of colored pencil sketching. That, or I will use only charcoal and my various pencil shades. I gunned for less, and more mature ways of creating art. I was able to stick to geometrical, measured ones, or monochromatic layouts. I was very interested in blending shades of one color, like aqua, midnight blue, sea blue – and use that one spectrum only in a work.

I started using Photoshop when I was a senior in high school. Back in 2005-2006, it was fairly new and I was only trying to improve a project that needed a good layout. My first product was VERY colorful. I tried using all the brushes available (the standard), used multiple layers and gradients, and just went Photoshop-happy in it. Looking back, I’d say it didn’t look bad, but I am definitely not going to publish it because of the printing cost. It was a magazine. After a while, I was not able to update my Photoshop and never really learned to use it.

After I graduated in college, I started what we usually refer to as, ‘messing around with Photoshop’. Only that I was using GIMP, another type of image manipulation software. I started editing photos I got from the Internet, put captions in it, and posted it on Facebook. I got some unexpected, positive feedback from friends. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked with a new job and was not able to edit photos in a long time.

Just this year, when I finally got my own laptop, I started doing layouts again. Only this time, I was making all my work from scratch. Everything was a blend of something. I did not use images simply because my theme is to express something using an entirely new image. My aesthetics also got more mature, my usual designs are very attached to whatever I’m making a layout about. But when it’s a random image, I only go for something minimal and clean. That is usually my favorite work. Greyscale or gradient, then slap it with my standard favorite font. And I feel overwhelmed whenever someone says a good thing about it.

Right now, I am very interested in acrylic painting. I wanted to photograph half-finished and finished products and use them as backgrounds. I have already started using them, along with a few water color art, in making my Countdown to Capacities project.

I’m still sketching once in a while and do calligraphy when I have free time. Nothing beats the joy of making handmade art. But digital art also opened doors and helped me explore tons of ideas to enable me to get my message across, or interpret something that is close to my heart through something worth a thousand of words.


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