Graphika Manila 2014

It's the annual Graphika Manila, the biggest conference for Creativity in the country. In the nine years of GM, I've attended five: 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2014. Last year I wasn't able to attend because of the sudden change of schedule (from August to February). This year I made sure that I'll really push through and enjoy the conference. Indeed, we really had a great time! The speakers were awesome and inspiring!

I went to Manila with my classmate Tennyl, my cousin Wella and her classmate Windz. Some of our Atenean schoolmates also attended and we came together there. Unfortunately my cousin became sick on the day of the event, so she just went home and rested. Anyways, my buddy Tennyl was his first time to attend Graphika so I made sure he really had fun.

My GM2014 buddies. Joseph, their friend, and Jane from Cebu. Wella and Tennyl. We're all Ateneans except 'friend' :)

The speakers arriving at SMX while we're in line.

Going up :)

We went super early 7AM! And we're the first few people who lined up outside SMX. Our patience paid off coz we had good seats. We got conference kit and it has stickers and the GM book. I regret missing the submission for the GM book this year :( But the works are very nice! Anyways, inside the convention center we visited the booths and looked for freebies. I got my Adobo mag and a free photobooth print with Tennyl. I like the screen setup of Globaltronics who are promoting the National Digital Art Arwards that they are organizing. Tennyl and I bought the official Graphika Manila shirts, too, from Team Manila.

This is something new. They gave us ballers :) Cool!

With Lej, my former student who works for Globaltronics now :)

Fooling around at the booths :) Bought GM shirts at Team Manila booth.

Hahahaha. I like photo booths!!! So happy for this free print :)

Going to the conference proper, the first speakers were Teo and Carlos of DVEIN from Barcelona, Spain. They were very funny. I love how they use microscopic textures, 3d elements with a blend of good music in their videos. They discussed where their ideas come from. I observed that they really like organic and natural textures in their work. They also discussed how they became "Son the Pitch"-es. Most of their work comes from their pitch works and that they don't have a dream client.

Second speaker was Sarah Blake aka ZSO, an illustrator and graphic designer from New York. Most of her works look like traditional ink and watercolor works. She uses very interesting patterns inspired by nature such as foliage, feathers, and insects. I love the flowy style of her illustrations that are just mesmerizing to look at. She's so cool and she reminds me of Anna Kendrick. Anyways, she shared her humble beginnings and how our childhood becomes our identity as an artist. Young Sarah loves to explore the outdoors and sketch quiryk characters like "Snortvart". She also pointed out that our muscle memory should be exercised by always drawing, doodling or keeping a sketchbook.

Image from

Then, lunch break! It was a tradition for me to have lunch at Tokyo2 during Graphika. For the afternoon session, we started with the energetic Ash Thorp, illustrator and motion graphic artist from San Diego, USA. This dude rocks! I love his comic inspired sketches and how he does it so quickly. He created visual effects for films like Ender's Game, Iron Man, X:Men: First class and the Amazing Spiderman. He said to do what you love and love what you do. Amen!

Some of Ash's awesome sketches!

Cool UI design from Ash.

Up next is the Filipina design goddess, Isabel Gatuslao, an Identity and Graphic Designer. Her talk was really close to my heart coz i had an indent project last year for Zoom In Zamboanga. She shared some of her projects for her clients like Liz Uy and Lebron! Her talk revolved around "Obsession". She said that when you like something, obsess with it. She's obsessed with typefaces and designing symbols. As a punkish teen, she loved black and white and as an Interior design student she was obsessed with art history like baroque designs. When I look at her work she always remain her identity as an artist no matter what the client wants to have. As designers we can also balance our work to show our indentities as artist, too. It is tough but the way is to obsess! I love her maka-Pinoy projects and how she said "I'm not always 'Proudly Pinoy' but i do it obsessively. This is so true! When you have a project, you will do anything passionately and even obsess with the tiniest of details. Isabel truly inspired me! :)

Custom Lebron shoe design by Isabel Gatuslao

Another Filipino speaker came next, Eugene Gauran of The Mill, is based in Los Angeles. He's a cool guy who does post-production and visual effects work for years now. He was overwhelmed when he realized how many Filipinos were so passionate in the creative industry and how he wants to give back, too. He became emotional :'). He's truly a world-class Pinoy to be proud of and i hope someday ill be like him. And last speaker was Jessica Hische for Lettering and Graphic design. I was really looking forward for someone to talk about the cool art of Lettering which im obsessed recently. Whenever i see cool stuff in the internet i keep them in a folder and when i saw Jessica's works, most of the lettering works i kept are hers. She was responsible for the awesome posters and book covers with vintage inspired letterings that i really love.

Jessica also shared some tips and tricks in creating her custom lettering like how she uses the stroke width tool in Illustrator. She also discussed the difference between Calligraphy, Lettering and Font. Calligraphy is the art of writing, Lettering is drawing or designing texts and Font is the software to manipulate types. She's so cool and funny! Love her!

Team Zamboanga in Graphika!

Well, i could say that this year's Graphika has one of the best bunch of speakers! I went home with tons of inspiration. I hope i can make use of my new knowledge and inspirations in my works. I'm looking forward for next year's Graphika and hopefully i go back again. For those who aspire to be in the creative industry i highly recommend that you attend Graphika. and i hope i will see you next year ;) Anyways, please check out my latest artwork in my doodle blog for the 30 Day Drawing Challenge here. Thanks for reading my blog ;)
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