Motivational, My Life Story, Products

Find Beauty Among the Ruins

Last summer, I went on a journey to explore the beautiful country of Greece. Little did I know that I would be overwhelmed with how seamlessly ancient ruins could weave itself beautifully into the fabric of modern Greek society.

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The majestic temple of Zeus standing tall and proud in the heart of Athens. Just look at how those columns have stood the test of time. Imagine how every piece have been put together by the ancient Greeks. It never ceases to amaze me.

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At Syntagma Square with these hungry pigeons.This first stop was followed by a magnificent trip to learn the history of the Acropolis Stadium. This was just my first glimpse of Greece.

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We were walking around the city of Athens during the first day and I couldn’t help asking: “What’s that structure on top of the hill?” My question was answered the next day when we climbed up to see that what is there is so much more than what I had expected.

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Seen from the city is Acropolis, the highest point of Athens. Beautiful isn’t it?

Sometimes in life, you can’t see the breathtaking view until you muster the courage to climb the mountain.

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During our day-trip, we ventured on a boat ride to see the different islands surrounding Greece. One of them is this quaint island called Hydra. This little island is a town in itself, with little shops and cafes near the water. What’s fascinating is that the townspeople here have donkeys to get around, nope, no cars!

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This breathtaking view where the sky meets the beautiful Greek dome-shaped architecture was taken from the island of Santorini. We stayed here a couple of days, and if I could, I would’ve stayed much longer. There were numerous mini-shops greeting passersby along the alley, from nifty book nooks to one-of-a-kind trinket stores.

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The town of Nafplio. Bustling with life through it’s diversity in art, music and delicacies.

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I love the bliss whenever I draw my adventures on my journal. It helps me remember not only the place, but also the little memories that come with my travels. When I look back, it’s the little moments that touch my heart to this day. Such as the time my mom and I shared a large Greek pretzel-like dessert, the ice cream cone I had in Athens despite the biting cold winds or the fact that not a day goes by without a serving of delicious Greek yogurt (yummy!), and the time when I looked down from the highest peak of Greece and thought to myself:

“All these man-made bricks, statues and temples  are truly majestic, but nothing compares to the beauty of nature that my God has surrounded it all with”.

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I am often asked how I find time to draw during these trips. Despite the hustle and bustle during the morning tours, I try to find time to relax in a cafe as a short pit-stop to write down the events that happened during the day. Always remember to write down the important details, you can sketch them later in the evening (if you aren’t too tired!)IMG_4458

The Greeks have a habit of drinking Frappe every now and then. I find that I also belong to this place where it is bursting with art, history, culture…and yes, coffee!

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The mystical trail of Delphi, after a hike atop the mountains of Greece.

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The Dyonisus Theater. It’s size and design is jaw-droppingly (if that is even a word) – incredible! It may be huge, but dropping a coin or stomping your feet at the center circle of the theater can be heard throughout the entire stadium.

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For those who are wondering, what is Greek food like? Three words. Fresh, Simple, Flavorful. This is my favorite, which I have learned to make at home. The Traditional Greek Salad. (Bell Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Olives, EVOO, Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Generously topped with Feta Cheese!)

Aside from the Greek Salad, I have enjoyed the Greek Yogurt, to which none can compare. Not a day passed in Greece without us having a portion of this!

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Travelling is a perfect opportunity to experience something new. I give myself time to think when I travel, knowing that the adventure that lies ahead is so much greater than what I have left behind. It’s such a memorable experience when you put your thoughts and emotions down on paper, because every step of the journey is an adventure.

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I’m opening classes once more for a basic lettering workshop, and since vacation is just around the corner, I thought a travel journal would be perfect! If you’d like to learn the art of handlettering and how to start your own travel journal, you can

Register for the workshop here:

2015 TRAVEL JOURNAL WORKSHOP

Hope to see you soon!

Say yes to new adventures. 🙂

*All photos taken with an iPhone5

XO,

stamp design

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Products, Tips and Tricks

Tools of the Trade (Features and Reviews)

Hello everyone!

I’ve been having a lot of inquiries regarding the materials I use for my art and lettering. This has inspired me to create a blog post for the materials I’ve tried throughout my journey. These pens, inks and watercolors are truly portable little rainbows that have brought much color into my life!


 

PENS

FILED NEOFINE FINELINER

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Review:

The Filed NeoFine Fineliner Set is truly a box of rainbows. Here is an artwork I made with the fineliners. The tip of these pens (0.40mm) enabled smooth writing and doodling. However because these pens are water based, make sure you don’t keep coloring / shading on the same areas as the ink will seep through the back of the paper (I used 80gsm paper). Using thicker surfaces such as vellum and 100+gsm might work better with this water-based pen. Overall, it’s perfect for note-taking in class. I’m sure I’d write with this in school to keep my notes fun and colorful!

 


 

BRUSH PENS

TOKYO FINDS BRUSH PEN

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Review:

These bright-colored pens are dual-tipped. It’s versatility makes it the perfect go-to for calligraphy and lettering.The two tips give an advantage for shading in large areas (brush tip) and for creating details too (slim tip). The ink is bright and not too thick that it would seep through the paper.

Shop: TOKYO FINDS

MARVY LE PLUME BRUSH PEN

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Review:

The Le Plume brush pen possesses a lighter hue compared to others. The ink is pretty thick and more water-based than most, it will seep through thin paper. Though I love the way it slides through the paper smoothly, and how closely it resembles the feel of using an actual brush.


MARKERS

SHARPIE FINE POINT

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Review:

One of my favorite brands! The all-around marker! These markers provide bold and bright colors, perfect for the creative at heart. Best to use thicker boards or paper, and all other non-porous surfaces when using Sharpie.

DONG-A PLAYON

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Review:

Although not the typical artist go-to, I love the black (twin tip) marker of Dong-A. I used this one for outlining and for shading, more often than not for my watercolor illustrations and lettering works.

ZEBRA MILDLINER

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Review:

This one is meant to be a highlighter, but I always find a different purpose for my coloring materials. I bought mine from Japan.


WATERCOLORS

KOI WATERCOLOR

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Review:

I love, love, love my koi watecolor set. Although it’s a bit more costly, it’s a purchase I didn’t regret. The colors are bold and bright, just the way I like my palette. The watercolors are concentrated as well, use sparingly for softer tones.

KURETAKE GANSAI TAMBI

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Review:

I knew I should’ve bought myself a set of these during my trip to Japan last year! Luckily my boyfriend got this for me as a birthday surprise. The palette is very concentrated, meaning you can use just a little and have a solid texture.

PRANG WATERCOLOR

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Review:

The most affordable and has found it’s way to be called the “sweet” watercolor. Why sweet? It’s thick consistency makes the colors bold and bright. The watercolor has a syrupy thickness when added with a little water. Most people say that ants keep finding their way to their Prang palettes. Despite all that, yes, it’s also an artist’s must-have.

Shop: National Bookstore


FOUNTAIN PENS

LAMY

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Review:

My first ever fountain pen. Also a gift from my boyfriend when he came back from Germany almost a year ago. I love that they have branches here in the Philippines so you could simply buy the refills (it comes in lots of different colors too! Next time I’ll try the neon yellow!).

PILOT PETIT

Review:

Very handy and writes smoothly. The tip is smaller than the usual fountain pen, but it’s the perfect travel fountain pen. I got mine from Japan and took home a couple of refills too, just in case I don’t get to visit Japan anytime soon!


For a complete list of tech-pens that I use, you can visit my other blog post about them here:

TOOLS OF THE TRADE (Part 1)


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Motivational, My Life Story, Random, Thoughts

20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

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Hello everyone!

I was tagged in a post recently to share some things about myself with the topic “20 Things You Might Not Know About Me”. Aside from SnapperDoodles, I’m just a regular person going through life – one step at a time. But brace yourself for some of the most random things on this post! 😛

Hope these fun facts would help you get to know me a little better!

Here goes!

Question 1: How tall are you?

Hmm… I’m 5’2! I’m usually one the first few in front when we are asked to line up by height. I get teased a lot because of it but it has it’s advantages too! Right, fellow petites? No need to duck when going through low ceilings and oftentimes people think you look younger than your age! -Yes! Find the blessing in everything! 🙂

Question 2: What is the first thing you notice about people?

I’m not sure if it’s odd, but I’m more fond of people who know how to smile. When I walk into a room, I smile, and the first people I notice are the ones who smile back. It’s a big thing for me.

Question 3: What’s your motto in life?

Everything happens for a reason.

Instead of complaining about present circumstances, this quote helps me stay optimistic no matter how gray the skies may be.

Question 4: What upcoming events are you looking forward to?

Craft Easy Mom & Me PosterI was invited to Filstar’s Mom and Me Craft Event in Market, Market Manila this coming May 24, 2015. In this digital age, I’m still in awe of how far Arts and Crafts has come back to show us the beauty of everything handmade with love!

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I’m also pysched for the upcoming Global Pinoy Bazaar this August which might be my final bazaar in Rockwell! I’m getting lots of new products ready for everyone especially lettering and typography enthusiasts. All of my designs are hand-drawn and produced into different products such as QuoteBags, Magnets, Notebooks and more! Can’t wait for the big day!

Question 5: What’s your favorite song?

I’ve been going through a lot recently, and the song that keeps playing in my head is “Christ is Enough”. This song has helped me through the best and the worst in life, reminding me every time that when I have the Lord, I will never be in lack.

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CHRIST IS ENOUGH (Hillsongs)

Christ my all in all
The joy of my salvation
And this hope will never fail
Heaven is our home

Through every storm
My soul will sing
Jesus is here
To God be the glory

I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back

The cross before me
The world behind me
No turning back
No turning back

Christ is enough for me
Christ is enough for me
Everything I need is in You
Everything I need

Question 6: What did you want to be when you were small?

Hahaha! This made me recall some funny childhood memories!

When I was in 3rd grade, I was a blossoming little entrepreneur selling Pokemon stickers to my classmates. Ever since I was a kid I knew that the office was not my place, and I found joy in selling random things from mints, to stickers and even my artworks.

My ambition shifted later on during fifth grade. I watched a UFO Documentary on Discovery Channel which began my desire to become a UFO Researcher someday! (Well, that was way, way back in elementary!)

Question 7: What’s your favorite way to spend your free time when you’re alone?

The perfect me-time would be spending a rainy afternoon in a dimly-lit cafe, sitting next to a window and thinking about anything under the sun while I draw on my notebook…and of course while drinking a cup of steaming hot coffee!

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Question 8: What’s your favorite junk food?

I was raised in a family of healthy-eaters, junk food, namely, chips and softdrinks have never been a household staple. But if there would be one thing that I could never say no to? Vanilla Ice Cream. Plain. Simple. Sinfully delicious.

Question 9: Do you have a pet or pets? If so, what kind and what are their names?

shot3I’m a dog-lover! I have two poodle babies at home named Tuffy and Patchi.

For me, doggy kisses and furry cuddles are some of the best things in the world!

Question 10: What are the things you never leave home without?

Aside from the essentials, I always make sure to bring my earphones! The funny thing is, on rare occasions I forget my comb and handkerchief but I never, ever leave home without my pen and my handy-dandy notebook!

…because who knows when inspiration will strike? 🙂

Question 11: What’s your favorite beauty product?

I’m not so fond of make-up, but on days when I have to look my best (for workshops, meetings, special events…and dates!) I use BB Cream, Concealer, Eyeliner and a little blush! Maybe I’m just lazy, but simple is good enough for me. 🙂

Question 12: What is/art your favorite novel/s?

Hmmm. Being a bookworm, I’ve read a handful of books in the past. But here is a list of my top 5 favorite reads!

1. P.S I Love You (Cecelia Ahern)

2. The Shack (WM Paul Young)

3. Have a Little Faith (Mitch Albom)

4. Everlost Series (Neal Shusterman)

5. A Walk to Remember (Nicholas Sparks)

Question 13: Name some of the things on your bucket list this 2015.

Wow, I have a lot on my bucket list this year!

1. To try all of the Cafe’s in Manila! Coffee Shops are the ultimate artist’s chill corner.

2. To keep pursuing SnapperDoodles and expand the line of products I have 🙂

3. To never stop learning something new!

Question 14: What’s your favorite movie?

I don’t have a favorite movie! But there are some that I could never forget (because they are some of the few movies that brought me to tears!) I love The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, because these have made me believe that someday I will love someone, and be loved just the same. Being a dog-lover, another movie that I could watch all over again is Hachiko. Wasn’t Hachi the sweetest little thing? Lastly, The Miracle in Cell No. 7. I thank God for this movie, through this I have witnessed a concrete example of Jesus’ love and death for us.

Question 15: What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, jock, valedictorian, band geek, loner, artist, prep?

Back in high school, I’d say I’m the artist. I used to be insecure about not having a permanent group of friends, but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

Question 16: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I’ve been to some countries and I find it so hard to choose. Every country I have set foot on has it’s own beauty and appeal. However, since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to live in Europe. I know the cost of living is steep and it’s hard to get around, but the place is the best of both worlds for me: Europe is rich with art, culture and nature. It has everything I need to thrive and to grow both as an independent person and as an artist.

Question 17: What perfume are you currently using?

Right now I switch from one perfume to another depending on my mood.

But two of my faves are Nina Ricci and CK Shock 🙂

Question 18: Last romantic gesture from a crush, date, boy/girlfriend, spouse?

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This was last April after my two-week travel to Greece.

I was exhausted after the 21-hour travel back to Manila. When I stepped into my room I noticed an enormous, pink, stuffed teddy bear on my bed with a bouquet of roses. He left it there for me to surprise me when I got home.

I was physically drained, but I smiled from ear to ear and my heart did a happy dance!

Question 19: Do you have a phobia?

Acrophobia- The fear of heights.

Katsaridaphobia- The fear of cockroaches. 😦

Question 20: Name a few weird things about yourself.

I know a lot of weird things about myself, but here are a few:

1. I play Counter Strike! I know it’s a boy thing, but hey, it’s fun!

2. I’m a workaholic to the point that I feel bad when I don’t do anything productive for the day.

3. I’m not English but I love tea. I often drink tea after every meal.

4. I don’t like cinnamon..but I have exceptions. Cinammon Rolls from Cinnabon. Weird right?

5. I get thirsty a lot.I can drink 2-3 Liters of water a day, much more when I have a game of badminton!

6. I am a wallflower.


I hope you enjoyed reading these random facts about me! Haha I just thought it would be great to share that there is more to SnapperDoodles than just lettering and art. 🙂

Feel free to share 20 things about yourself and tag me so I could get to know you too!

XO,

stamp design

INSTAGRAM: SNAPPERDOODLES

FACEBOOK: SNAPPERDOODLES

WEBSITE: hellosnapperdoodles.com

EMAIL: snapp3rdoodles@gmail.com

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Motivational, My Life Story

See the Bigger Picture

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It’s too early to give up and to say there’s nothing worth looking forward to in the future.

I remember back then when I was in college, I was probably like most teens who want it all to just…END. In all aspects of life, admittedly, I’m a big fat quitter. I wanted all my problems, struggles, insecurities to just go away; but I had to go through a handful of storms before I realized God’s purpose behind it all.

The second month of SnapperDoodles hasn’t been a bed of roses. I remember being asked:

“What is the most challenging experience you’ve encountered as a full-time artist?”

I guess the lack of support from the people closest to me would be on top of the list. The thought of it just seems to present itself, every single time I draw or start a new project.. I couldn’t even imagine a day when I would finally have that support, and freely draw without being reminded that I’m being such a disappointment.

I don’t know if it’s by chance that I came across this article as I write this post:

The Unbounded Spirit: Twelve Things My Grandmother Told Me Before She Died

Let others take you as you are, or not at all.  Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.  By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before.  So walk your path confidently and don’t expect anyone else to understand your journey, especially if they have not been exactly where you are going.

No, life isn’t meant to be easy. No, you can’t please every single person you meet. No, you can’t just do something just because it’s your passion, but you do it because you know it will take you places.

 

Hearing the song He Who Began a Good Work during the worship last Sunday reminded me that despite my personal struggles, it’s far too early to quit. I know we all have struggles, no matter what mask we put on in real life or on social media. But during the hardest times, remember that you are only seeing one tiny part of the whole.

Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now.  Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time.  So whatever you do, hold on to hope.  The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord.  Let hope anchor you in the possibility that this is not the end of your story – that the change in the tides will eventually bring you to peaceful shores.

Indeed, “This is not the end of your story”. Entrust everything to God, and He will get you through life’s greatest storms. One day when you look back, you will see the bigger picture and that those little bumps, cracks and valleys made a beautiful masterpiece.

 

You can’t change the situation, but you can always change your attitude.

Life isn’t perfect, but there’s always a way through.

 

Hold on tight.

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