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Regina the Illustrator

"Draw as much as you can," says Regina. Get started on illustrating just like her!
illustrations by Regina Silva

Regina SilvaRegina Silva, 24
Illustrator

1. What got you started in illustrating? Was it something you've always wanted to do?

Straight from college, I worked as a motion graphics artist in the News department of a major broadcasting network for three years. It was a good and stable job but I spent long hours at the office and the work was monotonous and repetitive (one of my shows was a daily primetime news program). But I wanted to do new, creative things-design for fun, take pictures, draw. So as idealistic as it sounds, once it got to the point that I was dreading coming to work every day, I resigned from my job to pursue the things I wanted to do. It wasn't an easy decision as the job was also very financially rewarding but in the end, I knew I wasn't going to be happy doing routine design work. So when I resigned, I had a lot of free time on my hands and I spent that time working on random illustrations for myself and putting my work up my website. I've managed to get some projects from visitors who come across my website randomly.

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Illustration is something I've always wanted to do as a kid. I've been drawing ever since I can remember and I always took part in art contests in school. One of my childhood dreams was to illustrate a children's book and the nice thing is I've been blessed with that opportunity-I recently illustrated a story written by a client of mine from my former job and it's going to be published by the end of this year or early next year.

2. What are your favorite things to draw?

If you flip through my little notebook which I keep for notes and sketches, you will notice a little bear practically on every other page. He started out as a character for my cartoon animation class in college and I've been drawing him since. I also like to draw little kids. I tend to gravitate towards drawing "cute" illustrations but every now and then I'll go draw something photorealistic, like hands and non-cartoon bears. But I'm really partial to cutesy stuff!

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3. Who or what was your inspiration getting into illustration?

I peruse a lot of various illustrators' blogs on the Internet. Looking at other peoples' work is inspiring enough and that's among the reasons I got up and left at my job at the network. I'd browse through their portfolios, drool over their illustrations and think, "THIS is what I want to do!"

4. Where do you get ideas/inspiration for your illustrations?

I get my ideas from conversations and experiences that I have had. For example, if I hear a funny coversation or have an interesting experience while commuting, I might translate that into a drawing if I think the visuals will add to the humor.

And then there's Illustration Friday, a weekly challenge for illustrators to come up with an illustration based on a given word or prompt. It's good practice to enhance your skills, jumpstart ideas and to network with fellow illustrators. I try to participate in the weekly challenges whenever I can.

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5. Did you study drawing or was it something you learned on your own?

Both. As a kid I was always drawing (on my school textbooks, on the walls at home) and I can't remember why or how I started. I just did. I used to take art lessons for kids during summer when I was younger. I went through a basic drawing class to enhance the drawing skills one acquires naturally as a child. As a teenager, I still took summer art lessons but for various media-watercolor, oil painting, pastel painting. Then in college, I took up Multimedia Arts at DLS-College of Saint Benilde's School of Design and Arts. We had classes in basic freehand drawing, color theory, cartoon animation, and more. It's good to learn on your own as well, though. Drawing, basically, is learning how to see and translating what you see on paper.

6. What made you start selling your illustrations (through other products like pins, paper, etc)?

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Earlier this year I stumbled onto Etsy.com, an online marketplace dedicated to selling handmade goods. I browsed through some of what other people were selling-handmade pendants, notebooks, art prints, and other amazing stuff. I got excited about putting up my own shop and selling some of my own work. I figured that, 1) it's a good way to spread my work out to others, 2) it looks like a fun thing to do, and 3) it's a nice way to earn a little extra on the side. I don't devote as much time to my shop (which I share with my boyfriend who contributes product ideas from time to time) as I should, though. Right now it's taking a backseat as I prioritize meeting the deadlines for my other projects first. My Etsy shop is more of a hobby. I'm just glad it's a hobby that pays for itself.

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7. What tips do you have for Candy Girls who would like to start a career in illustration?

Draw as much as you can. Carry a small sketchbook with you wherever you go. Upload your work online-you never know who might stumble across it and commission you for an illustration. Participate in Illustration Friday. Leave feedback on other people's art (and provide a link to your art as well). Basically, get your work out there on the Internet. Just have fun drawing. If you love doing what you do, everything else follows.

Check out Reggie's illustrations on her website.

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Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief, candymag.com
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
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Serene Fae 2 days ago

"The paradoxical idea of attaining a happier life and how to withstand these beliefs."

The Revolting Truth About Happiness by Theserenefae

If people ask you about your vision of a happier life we automatically envision ourselves having more money, true love, a better job, Instagram-worthy vacations, etc. But let me break this to you this, According to Dr. Laurie Santos, Professor of Psychology at Yale University and the voice behind The Happiness Lab podcast, "Most of the goals we think would make us happy do not really make us happy." And why is that? Simple, being happy is all in our minds. The human mind ploys us with these lenses on how we envision ourselves and our lives to be happy. The perception of "having" or "gaining" is the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. So how can we really be "happy"?

• Seek happiness inside you. This is a quintessential reason for our vision of happiness: misconceptions about having a lot of money would make me happy; owning this and that would make me happy; entering a relationship would make me happy. This is not the case, if you want to be truly happy with your relationship, you have to be already happy on your own. If you want satisfaction from others, you have to be satisfied with yourself. And so on.

• Fill that hole righteously We all have that tiny hole inside our hearts, tampering it with temporary band-aids. Fill this hole with purpose. Have you ever heard about The Three "M's"— Master, Mission, and Mate? Define who will be your Master, is it God? If that's so, your Mission could be following his words and will. Mate would be the last for they will be the best companion to fulfill your mission. Now hear me out, it is important to do this accordingly. We often times jumble it or invert it which can lead to failures.

• Give gifts to others. The wonderful grace in giving. There’s nothing like the rush of pure joy when you get a chance to give. However, this may not be something that we're used to. But apparently, openhandedness is our soul's true shape. As Eugene Peterson put it, "Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born." This doesn't necessarily mean we have to give away our stuff but we can also present love, kindness, gratefulness, etc. in our own simplest ways to anyone such as giving time, encouragement, helping hand, or even forgiveness. Try giving and you'll receive inconceivable gifts in return.

• Savor moments. Savoring deeply intensifies our positive emotions while doing something that we love the most by simply stepping outside of the experience to review and appreciate the moment. You can practice this by having a delicious meal, reading a good book, or any activity that you enjoy and love. It can also be enhanced by sharing these experiences with others, appreciating such amazing moments, or staying present the entire time.

• Choose to Love Deeper Today's society relentlessly pressures all of us to have this "perfect" lifestyle such as pursuing careers that drain you, finding value through virtual world and purchases, letting achievements become your whole identity, and yet after all that you still feel empty and failure inside. Consumption is just skin deep—a shallow perception of happiness. Deep life brings the best out of us and others. It is about nourishing what you already have, focusing on the relationships than material wealth, becoming vulnerable at times, and being self-aware.

• Understand that Sufferings and Pain are part of Human Being. Always remember that loneliness and sufferings are inevitable. That is completely how life goes. You may be happy for a moment or a month but sooner or later great tribulation will start to kick in. Combat despair with graciousness. Count all the blessings that you have (and will have in near future, claim it!) by writing it down on a piece of paper or typing on your phone. Viola! an instant boost for happiness. We all know the fact that this superficial happiness won't work, but why do I keep on wanting? I already have all this wisdom about how to be happy for ages, but why can't I apply it to my own life?

First, you have to understand that simply knowing doesn't change your behavior. Care to realize that all the tips that I have mentioned are all verbs? Because at the end of the day, it is all about how you choose to be happy and initiate actions towards success. Know, reflect, visualize, believe, and do something about it. All of these are Actions! This is the secret of all the happiest and most influential people in the world—actions. Furthermore, do know that some of these tips do not work instantly most of the time. It requires a lot of time, motivation, consistency, and effort. I do know it's easier said than done. Take each of them slowly, one step at a time.

If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be alive. It may sound contradictory, but it’s true. Pain reminds me that I can feel, along with other emotions. Pain reminds me that I can heal, just like how I did in the past. Pain reminds me that I am strong and I can do better. It reminds me that life can be bitter, and it is up to us to make it a little sweeter (or saltier, depending on what the person wants).

With this epiphany, I take pain in a positive light. It’s normal that it can break me and make me want to stay in bed all day, but having someone or something remind me that there is hope is enough. It’s normal that I cry my heart out, but it’s important to remember that there’s a calm after the storm. If it wasn’t for pain, I wouldn’t be who I am now. It has shaped me and how I look at things. It has changed the way I approach circumstances that can challenge me and my beliefs.

Pain, back then, made me cower in the dark. Pain used to be my biggest fear, and I used to do my best to avoid pain. However, I realized that avoiding pain is like avoiding life. Because of how I wanted to protect myself, I closed myself off to people and opportunities. I used to tell myself that “this will end badly”, or “this is going to hurt in the end”. I always focused on how much pain I might endure in the end that I forgot to enjoy the process.

It’s inevitable, you see? Endings, most of the time, may hurt. It’s natural for us to grow attached to someone or something, and their disappearance might bring us a lot of pain. However, one should always remember that the pain is a reminder of how close you became, how many memories you had. If it wasn’t for pain, life would be pointless. If it wasn’t for pain, we would be nothing.

margaux marie 2 days ago
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