For the second part of our campaign, we took Pixelworx Workshop: Imagined Realities to the next level. This time for a more comprehensive discussion on essential topics in the creative industry.
In order to keep an optimum class size, we have selected 20 artists from more than a hundred applications. This enabled each participant to share thoughts and interact with our facilitators freely.
VIGI Design Studio for Finding Your Personal Branding Identity
Held at Power Mac Center in Ayala Malls Vertis North last August 18th, Russ Vergara of VIGI Digital Studios (previously known as V Grafiks) delivered a meaningful Pixelworx workshop to help young artists develop their talent and find their own brand or style – from experimentation to have a signature.
Russ started off his workshop with an activity where he asked the participants to pair off and draw each other… with their non-dominant hands! This served as an icebreaker that set up the mood for the things to come.
Russ divided his advice into three steps. The number one thing you should do is: Know Yourself.
All of the participants were then divided into groups and were instructed to create a movie poster out of cut-out magazines with the theme “Imagined Realities”. Everyone got to work with strangers of different backgrounds and styles. This is where one can know who they are by finding out what they are not. It is by seeing other peoples’ styles, preferences, and ideologies that help shape the personal brand that each participant wanted to have.
Step no. 2: Creating Your Portfolio. After knowing your skills, discovering what you want to do, and what kind of clients you want to work with; create a portfolio that will be able to tell the story of who you are and how you want to be known as an artist.
Step no. 3: Knowing How to Sell Yourself. Russ explained that having an outstanding portfolio will never be enough if you don’t know how to sell it. You should share your work because “there is no difference between not sharing your work with the world and not doing anything at all.”
VIGI believes in “Ikigai”, a Japanese concept of balancing your passion with “What You Love, What You Can Get Paid For, and What The World Needs”. This way, you will be able to stay inspired throughout your career!
Bad Student for Zine Making and Self-Publishing
Next stop, we took the workshop to our flagship store, Power Mac Center Greenbelt 3. Pau Tiu and Dyam Gonzales of Bad Student Riso Publishing gave a workshop on zine-making and self-publishing.
Bad Student is a publishing press that advocates helping artists print their work at a more affordable cost. It started out when best friends, Pau and Dyam couldn’t find a press that does Riso printing in the Philippines. They saw a need and an opportunity for this type of service in the local art scene and they decided to fill that gap. Through research, they discovered that the machines being used by our local printers for photocopying are the same machines used for Riso printing. Driven by inspiration, they decided to invest in a Riso printer with the help of their parents. From then, what started out with their close group of artist friends, gradually grew to commercial clients in a span of approximately one year.
Pau and Dyam were also members of Ang INK (Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan) where they did illustrations for children’s books.
Now, they are known for printing zines and printing digital art made by known artists here in the Philippines.
”Don’t be afraid to create and don’t be afraid to share your work. There’s always that desire to publish and create hindered by fear that no one will appreciate or no one will buy; but, just do your art, the local scene is always very supportive of fellow creators. Gawa ka lang nang gawa.” Pau says. She also shared how the iPad helped with her work, and how portable and convenient it is especially in designing zines.
Zines are small publications that are part of a movement that encourages artists to be independent, without being too caught up in the commercialized world of art where everything is controlled and edited by big companies. Making zines is an avenue to be in power, as an artist, and the goal is not all about profit but just sharing your art.
The workshop participants were given different themes and they had to create zines about them using any available tool – laptops, iPads, some used pens, and paper, a few of them even used acrylic paint and brushes! They scanned all their finished work and printed them on different colored papers using the Riso printing method with a common printer you can probably find in your office.
No matter what medium you prefer to use, Riso printing can be a flexible and fun way to share your art. Really, anyone can do it. Here are some of their finished works:
Bad Student advises to not be afraid to make mistakes creating art because, in their point of view, mistakes are sometimes what make pieces special. Happy accidents, to say the least.
Electrolychee for Pricing and the Business of Illustration
The final stop of this Pixelworx workshop tour — is Power Mac Center in Power Plant Mall with a quirky couple behind Electrolychee Design and Illustration Studio – Bru and Marcus Nada.
These two veterans in the local art scene started their business in 2004 after being employed by companies to do pieces for magazines. They started their own studio and picked its name to represent their playful art style – the “Electro” part represents their digital side with the use of technology and the “Lychee” part represents the more hand-drawn and organic aspect. Their retro vibe is heavily influenced by Filipino culture incorporating humor combined with commentary on the current state of our country. Bru and Marcus were also members of Ang INK (Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan) where they did illustrations for children’s books.
During their Pixelworx workshop, they talked about the very important topic of pricing for design services, giving practical advice on how to put value on your work and using the basic pricing formula.
Since there is no industry standard when it comes to art and design, artists are given the freedom to justify the price they put into their work. In the end, it really isn’t about the price but the value or worth you think your artworks deserve.
Understanding your pricing strategy means considering how much time it takes for the project, your skill level, what medium you used, and the complexity and mood of the project. It also depends on the type of clients you want to do projects with – individuals or SMEs or corporations, among others.
They also taught the participants about the importance of protecting oneself by always establishing clear agreements and using written contracts. Agree with the clients on where your artwork will be used and how many revisions they can have. This is so that your clients wouldn’t take advantage of the work you made.
Bru and Marcus have been in the business for a really long time and their advice to artists is to not compare themselves to other artists. Just do what you want, build your portfolio, be ready to work pro-bono while doing so, and always be part of the solution, not the problem when you encounter challenges in the industry or your work.
Thank you to everyone who joined us in the second part of our Pixelworx Workshop: Imagined Realities. Having the opportunity to be coached closely by established names in the art scene is indeed a memorable experience in your creative journey.
We hope that by opening venues for creative discussion we can inspire artists to make their own mark to prosper and grow in the industry.
Now, onto the next!