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7 Young Filipino Creatives To Inspire You

Your next art-spirations.

When a professor gives drawing assignments or projects that require you to get crafty, do you immediately think you'll mess it up because you think you're not creative enough? Well, creativity doesn't just mean being good at drawing, coloring, and painting. Creativity is more about being able to express art through different platforms and being able to inspire people through this art of yours. Creativity comes in different forms, shapes, and sizes. Here are 7 young Filipinos who each did something different with the creative bone in their body.

  1. Arriane Serafico (Brand and Digital Strategist, Founder of Wanderrgirl)

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Overachiever is an understatement for the founderrgirl of Wanderrgirl. (See what I did there?) Even in her younger years, Arriane was already an overachiever. She was the first completer of the Kumon Math and English programs in the Philippines, she graduated as valedictorian in her high school, and received 100% college scholarship to the Ateneo de Manila University for being part of the top 25 incoming freshmen. She worked as a government employee in the Philippine Senate. She turned down offers from big corporations simply because she wants to make a change. In 2009, Arriane launched her blog which became her platform to start a community of creative women who has a similar mission as hers, which is "to channel and use creativity as a tool for nation-building, and to empower other young people to do the same by making those game-changing opportunities fun and accessible." This community Arriane started has done many things, such as fundraising for typhoon victims, voter's awareness projects,  several conferences, and workshops. Not quite impressed yet? Arriane passed a national law, the Philippine Design Competitiveness Act (RA 10557) that aims to establish a national design policy for the Philippines.

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Lesson to learn from Arriane: Creativity can go a long way and make a change in people's lives.

  1. Rosenthal Tee (Fashion Designer)

If you've been on social media lately, then you've probably heard of Rosenthal Tee. Rosenthal was the Filipina who was invited to showcase her collection in New York Fashion Week. Rosenthal first studied in Ateneo, and took up Management Economics. She later on finished her master's degree in Fashion Design Womenswear with disctinction at the Istituto Marangoni in London. She also completed courses in Pattern-cutting at the London College of Fashion and Jewellery Design and Textile Print Design at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design. Talk about designer goals! Besides being a busy bee fashion designer, she's also a professor at the SoFA Design Institute here in Manila.

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Creativity tip from Rosenthal: "Always take a look at what's happening around and remember to always research for new inspirations and ideas! Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to people you'd like to collaborate with, who knows? The creative endeavors you might be able to do with these people can take you places."

  1. BP Valenzuela (Singer/Songwriter)

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BP has got to be one of the most successful songwriters I know who made it all on her own. She started out recording and making music in her bedroom. How you might ask is this possible? I think it's because BP realized her passion for music at such a young age. It's not a surprise at all that this girl is going places. Although, this wasn't the future BP saw for herself all along. She was into film and film score back in high school, and she wasn't confident about singing, so she just wrote instrumentally. In 2014, BP released her first EP, BE/EP, which was the aftermath of a breakup. Soon after, she released her first full-length album, Neon Hour.

Creativity tip from BP: "I guess the best thing you can do as a creative is acknowledge that you are constantly learning. You have to be bad before you get good, and not let that put you down before you get better. "

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  1. Marika Callangan (Graphic and Layout Designer, Founder of Woman, Create)

Who ever said there is no social relevance in art? Marika, founder of Woman, Create is here to prove you wrong. Woman, Create is a movement that aims to empower women through art, design, and fun discourse. They talk about issues relevant to women like body image and sexuality. The Instagram post above shows works made by mute and deaf kids, and kids with Down Syndrome or Autism. This was one of the projects Marika, along with Woman, Create worked on. Besides Marika's socially relevant campaigns through art, she also does graphic design, layout design, illustration and styling. You've probably seen her works at the Manila Sundance Bazaar.

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Lesson to learn from Marika: You can make other people aware of the different social issues in our country through art and creativity.

  1. Pepe Diokno (Film Director, Writer, and Producer)

Pepe Diokno's debut film, Engkwentro won several awards. In 2009, he won the Lion of the Future - Luigi de Laurentiis Award and the Orizzonti Prize at the Venice Film Festival, and a special citation from the Cinemalaya Film Festival. In 2010, he received the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the Jeonju Film Festival. In that same year, Pepe received the Ani ng Dangal Award from the President of the Philippines. Aside from filmmaking, Pepe also writes and takes pictures of his travels.

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Lesson to learn from Pepe: You shouldn't be afraid to make that first jump.

  1. Soleil Ignacio (Illustrator and Creative Director)

A lot of people can draw, but this girl can speak through her drawings. Each sketch from Soleil has a different story to tell. Soleil is a graduate of Visual Communication in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Soleil was working as an Art Director for a magazine when she decided to become a self-employed, and full-time illustrator.  Soleil works on projects both here in the Philippines and abroad. She has worked for Jo Malone London (Philippines), Tory Burch (Philippines), Louis Vuitton (Philippines), Giordano, and Keds.

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Creativity tip from Soleil: "Don’t spend too much time on social media looking for inspiration from your favorite artist. There’s so much more the Internet can offer for inspiration; watch artist documentaries, read up on different art movements, research how your idols got to be where they are now. Or go outside! Visit galleries and museums and really soak in the art. Join workshops, creative conferences and talk with like-minded people. That will really help a lot getting out those creative juices!"

Want to see more works of Soleil? Visit her exhibit along with Tokwa Penaflorida and Kay Aranzanso this coming May 11 at  Nova Gallery in Pasong Tamo, Makati!

  1. Abbey Sy (Artist and Author)

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Last, but not at all the least, Abbey Sy. All Candy girls are familiar with the creator of the new Candy logo. Would you believe that the skills Abbey has harnessed were self-taught? She never took formal classes on lettering, or even consulted an online tutorial. Abbey is a graduate of BS Advertising Management in De La Salle University, Manila. Today, she manages her own brand Abbey Sy (ABC) as an artist & author. She teaches workshops as well on weekends. Abbey is the author behind best-selling book The ABCs of Hand Lettering & has collaborated with notable brands such as Havaianas, Moleskine & Tropicana to name a few.

Creativity tip from Abbey: "Never stop dreaming and keep creating."

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About the author
Kat Estrella
Candymag.com Correspondent
Aspiring Fashion Blogger and Designer; to collaborate Fashion and Service is my main goal.
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Forget Me Not: A forgotten entry in Tokyo

Watching well-made films often fuel the desire for adventure and excitement in our own lives. Like many in their youth, I've felt that childlike feeling of seeing myself as the main character in my own movie. The genres often change with time and it goes from comedy to tragedy really quick. I used to think that if I closed my eyes for too long, I'd miss the best parts. That if I close my eyes then I'd be covering the lens to the camera in my mind. But I also believed that I could dream about what I see again when I lay my head to sleep at nights or that I can re-watch all my memories after I die. But now that I'm older reality has a tighter grasp on my throat as I trudge my rocky road to adulthood. My memory is failing me. I write this entry for that reason. Because I am scared to forget. I was emotionally and mentally worn. I didn't know it at the time but I desperately needed that feeling of childlikeness again.

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Senior high school came with so much unnecessary pain and pressure that I didn't realize I was gasping for air. I always sat by the window to stare out during class as the voice of my teacher became background noise that faded into my daydreams. Before I knew it, I was packing a small backpack in the middle of the semester on a cold November evening to go on a trip to Tokyo. This time it wasn't a dream and it felt as if time stood still.

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While my friends and classmates were back home in their classrooms going on with their lives and schoolwork, I on the other hand was two-thousand miles away in a foreign land with a foreign language where my basic knowledge was not enough for me to survive on my own. Like passing through the Torii gate which the Japanese believe brings humans into the land of the spirits, I was in a new world. The breeze felt like a cold nip at the tip of my nose as autumn was nearing winter but I've never breathed in air fresher. I was welcomed into a small and warm Japanese home with lovely little folded cranes on a humble dinner table.

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My aunt who was far lovelier and even more vibrant than the colors on the delicately folded cranes was there to welcome me as well. The paper cranes weren't the only things she prepared for my one-week stay. On a little pink card, she had my name along with my Tokyo address handwritten in Japanese for our rides on the bus & bullet train; and in case I get lost. She also prepared a small pink pouch with cute yellow elephants on it. The pouch was filled with coins of different amounts. The coins were for me to spend freely on drinks and snacks in vending machines. It was all more than enough since beforehand she already prepared us 2 weeks' worth of snacks for my 1-week stay. On top of all that she prepared winter clothes since I traveled light and she insisted that I wear the pink parka that she brought before I came over. I find it funny that she still thinks I like pink but it's still just like the good old days. She's still one of the most thoughtful people I know. My aunt is a missionary in Japan and has always been like a mother and a friend to me. I sobbed like a baby in front of a thousand-member congregation on the day my family and I sent her off. A few years later, with my father being our Church's missions pastor, I was given the opportunity to travel to Tokyo and see her. Seeing her again was bittersweet. It's sweet since she raised me and is a big part of who I am and my interests today. But bitter because it hits you like a ton of bricks when you notice someone you love is has gotten older or weaker. Don't we all feel that at some point with our parents and guardians? On my father's side of the family, we have issues of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Dementia. It's hard to pretend that it doesn't hurt that after years of being with my grandma, she doesn't know who I am. As for my dad, on top of having Parkinson's he is starting to show early signs of dementia too. It's scary how quickly one can forget decades worth of memories. I wonder if I may go through that as well one day.

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At the time these thoughts were overshadowed by the magical Disneyland rides and digital museums, sights like Mt. Fuji as well as traditional and Modern Japanese Architecture, pictures we took at the iconic Hachiko shrine, and Shibuya crosswalk, and even the small oddities of Harajuku fashion and merchandise. I took as many pictures every chance I could get. I wrote in my digital journal with plans to make a picture journal when I get back home. Japan was quite the story to tell that I believe rekindled my childlike spirit. Before we knew it, the week ended and I was packing once again. This time my luggage was more than twice as heavy and the destination this time was home. I dreaded leaving Japan but I dreaded leaving my aunt more. I didn't get to say a proper goodbye to her at the airport due to my not knowing that she was only allowed to see me off until a certain point. I cried on the flight back while holding a giant Donald duck stuffed toy as I just imagined her going to her small Tokyo home alone. I also cried since soon I'd have to face reality once again. After hours of travel I found myself back home in the all too familiar Baguio. But I was in distress. It wasn't because my lungs were starting to forget what clean air felt like or that I'm missing the life I've lived for the past week. But I was in distress because I couldn't find my phone. Why was that the biggest problem in the world to me at the time? It was because of the pictures and notes that were lost with it. All the pictures I took and the notes of the smallest details were a blurry mess amidst the panic in my brain. I never posted anything because I wanted to live in the time there and not worry about anything back home or anyone knowing what I've been up to. But what haunts me is that I don't remember a single one of the pictures I took. I was so sure that I'd be able to go over them when I get back home. I don't want to forget. It's been 550 days and it still bothers me. It's been 550 days and it's only now that I realize the lesson of this story as I write this.

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As scary as it is to forget memories, we have to understand when we have to hold on to something and when it's okay to forget. I tried for weeks to somehow recover the pictures on iCloud but to no avail. We may not be able to fix the mistakes of the past or avoid misfortune that is out of our hands but what we can do is to move forward and make more memories that are worth remembering. Treasure the beautiful moments and the lessons from the terrible times. Cherish them and fight to keep these memories on the surface. If you find that difficult to do then strive to tell your stories to others. Because in the times that we forget, then we have others will remember our legacy. We can't be sure about what happens next though we can plan all we want. Often life doesn't have spoilers and may have a plot twist around the corner. As for me, I may never find those photos again but I made it a goal to one day come back to Tokyo and make more memories. That is a promise that I won't forget.

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The Art of Doing Nothing

We have been confined with the worldview about the idea of success; thus, the word “productivity” has been diverted into a different meaning. We labeled the level of our success by identifying the weight of the works we’ve done – believing that the busier you are, the more productive you’ll be. But little did we know that this kind of mindset is a pitfall, ending up in a trap and restricting us to do more of what we can.

Every person has their own way of planning on how to get productive. One of the tips mentioned by Prosalendis was the “2 Hour Hermit Mode” where you just need to stay quiet for two hours to learn and reflect. Within the 2-Hour Hermit Mode, you need to completely shut down outside distractions and try to do nothing, this will help you to have a peace of mind and a quiet time. Focus. This word may be cliché, having a shallow meaning, but the reality is, focusing on one thing is one of the hardest things to do. Some people may have mistakenly understood “doing nothing” as unproductive, but this is actually a form of taking a break. I usually do this 2-Hour Hermit every time I am loaded with tons of deadlines. Just try to sit in the corner of a coffee shop and try to discover new things or just go to a place where you find yourself comfort and peace.

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The art of doing nothing makes you appreciate the beauty of the mundane things - you get to witness how the leaves sway on their own branches, you get to see the unappreciated smiles of the people, you get to hear the sound of the birds giving you lullabies. You will never have the time to focus if you are too disturbed with a lot of things. Give yourself a rest from thinking about all the work you need to do. Don’t get distracted and give yourself the freedom of unfolding new things. The power of focusing and art of doing nothing will help you to do things you don’t normally do, and maybe start to love the things you once hated. Trace your progress. We don’t know how productive we are unless we trace our activities. I have a journal where I can write the things I have done, and the things I wasn’t able to accomplish. This helps me to track and jot down the things I failed to do within the day.

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You are able to take a break and have a rest by doing outside the boundary of the tons of work you have. You will also be surprised that you have done so many things when you’re listing the things you’ve accomplished. This will not just give you the satisfaction but you will also be grateful for what you have done for the past twenty-four hours. You just need a minute to reminisce what you have done while enjoying the silence in the process. Small daily acts can be a solution to achieve our long-term goals. We’re always bombarded with distractions and piled up work, but nothing can beat the idea of staying on track and not feeling lost. By doing this, we will always be reminded why we started to commit on the things that we want to do. After all, what makes us love what we do is knowing why we started it in the first place. The problem with us is that we are too busy achieving, losing the time to see the colors of the ordinary. We are blinded with the idea that success comes with great productivity. We always think that we are defined by how much work we exerted, and not appreciating the effort we’ve given. The fact is you are already successful in acknowledging that you have done something, and nothing.

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