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.

IMG_3889

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.

IMG_3580

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.

IMG_3631

IMG_3582

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.

IMG_3669

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.

IMG_3893

IMG_4776

IMG_4768IMG_4779

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!

IMG_4718

IMG_4738

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.

IMG_4294

IMG_4135

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

IMG_4216 IMG_4222

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”.

IMG_3822

IMG_4748

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!

IMG_4386

IMG_4378

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

IMG_4106

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.

IMG_4321

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!

IMG_4432

IMG_3897

IMG_4523

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.

explore


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

Advertisements
Standard
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

IMG_0283

 

 

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

11217657_10155972281145525_128358025269555736_n

445

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

11225301_10155972281110525_6196292379435308085_n

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

11145896_10155972281070525_7193138137635811519_n

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

IMG_9120 IMG_9197

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

ss

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

IMG_7623 IMG_7630

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

IMG_6770IMG_6694

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

1471223_10154639908595525_7950155180526300715_n 10841161_10154907232005525_784326360_n

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

IMG_4963

(Pictured on the background)

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)


Standard
My Life Story

When God Gives Surprises

1623647_10154571046935525_4107365531398422048_n (1)

Every new year, I dread seeing the clock strike 12:00AM and the fireworks don’t add to the appeal of “new beginnings”. It’s a phobia I have, January 1. I don’t really know what caused it, the fact that everything is made new, a chance to start over, false resolutions make me want to hide in my hermit hole and wait for the celebrations to pass.

A few days ago I’ve been having doubts with my future and my career. Life just becomes so much more complicated without the support of the ones dearest to me. I told myself I would begin fasting again because I needed to refocus and find my path once again.

I was surprised when I wrote the date on my journal, I realized I that the day started fasting was September 1st. I wrote a list of things I will be asking and praying for during the fast, one of which is my future. Being used to having every single detail of my day planned out, thoughts of the unknown future just scare me.

Reading through the Bible that morning, I praise God for the comfort of His words that came at the perfect time:

…we do not lose heart” -2 Cor 4:1

 

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed,but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” -2 Cor 4:8

 

Therefore we do not lose heart.” -2 Cor 4:16

Do not lose heart” turned up twice in the passage. Have you ever had that feeling of amazement? How things feel like a mini-coincidence but it never is? Well my story doesn’t end here.

Many months ago, I’ve been looking for someone in the Philippines who could make me a stainless steel ring with my life verse engraved inside. Most of those I have asked offered PHP 12,000 which was way beyond my budget, so I let that little thought go knowing I couldn’t afford such a pricey item. (I’m not the richest artist of course!) A couple of weeks later I offered to do a free lettering art for Istorya, who I found on Instagram. Joanna offered to make me one from her shop in return 🙂 I was so thankful that when the door for a personalized ring was closed, a new window of blessing came so I could have my life verse written on an accessory (and I didn’t have to shell out 12K!), God is amazing in many, many ways!

On September 1st, the package from Istorya came, just when I started my fasting, and exactly when I had some doubts about my future.

 

On the front is my name… and engraved at the back is my life verse. This would have been enough to surprise me…
10511125_10154571047760525_7748803281454926079_n 10620707_10154571047380525_5164602147381761330_n

But God has something amazing (yet again) up His sleeve. Joanna from Istorya even gave me a handmade bookmark from her shop, with my life verse as well!

During the time of doubt, God reminds me with this verse on the bookmark:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

When God gives promises, it is essential to claim it and believe it, lest you fall into doubt like I did.

10645098_10154571048835525_3955238525198040668_n

On September 1st, SnapperDoodles finally moved in to the new attic-studio! After a year of waiting and seven hours of re-organizing, I finally have a place to call my own. It isn’t the perfect artsy-space yet, I know, but I believe the inspiration wall on my desk here will grow eventually! 🙂 The day ended with a simple family house-warming party with a bottle of Pepsi and some Vegetarian Chips haha! The last surprise were some house-warming gifts from my lovely parents, the flower on the photo is one of them. It’s a treasure, especially for a flower-lover like myself.

10521294_10154571299160525_2525553517782925192_n

During the Chrissy Costanza concert last August 30, out of nowhere a still, small voice asked me this one, simple question:

“Are you ready?”

Until today I don’t know what that was really about, love life, career, a new challenge to face, but maybe, just maybe… It might have meant if I’m ready for a new beginning.

Being through rough waters two years ago, this new room felt like a new beginning. Because of January 1st’s, I’ve never been a fan of “starting fresh”. But today is a day I live to embrace, the newness of it all, the unknown future as well as the wonderful  feeling TRUTH of being loved so dearly by God.

Oh September 1 has been a day of many surprises! I tell you, when God gives surprises, He gives it abundantly. Don’t worry about the closed doors in the past, look forward to the day when He leads you to the right door, there lies blessings in abundance.

 

Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

 

Maybe new beginnings aren’t so bad after all?

Untitled-2

 

 

 

 

Istorya :  Facebook Profile

SnapperDoodles : Instagram

 

Standard
My Life Story

My Story – God’s Faithfulness

God is Faithful

 

I’m unsure of where to begin as I’m also unsure of when God stopped showing His faithfulness in my life.

I guess I might as well start off where I finally realized this fact.

One of the most challenging decisions I had to make in life, was the course I’d have to take up in college. People often say, it’ll be something that will define the person for the rest of their lives. It wasn’t so difficult for me, being in a chinese family. Despite my love for art, things have been pretty pre-determined: I have to take up a business course as it proves more flexible and job-hunt worthy, as they say. So I graduated with a degree in Finance, despite my desire to learn about arts. I’ve always lived by the verse: “Children, obey your parents for this is right”. I’m no longer a child, but it’s still the right thing to do, where some might agree and disagree.

I found a job in a multi-national company even before I walked the stage to receive my diploma, but after a few months, I felt the emptiness of not being able to do what I loved. I tried hard to stick to the corporate routine, working each day to fulfill my duties and to try to love what I do. I finished my work hours before deadlines, I complete requests and am proud that I have learned much; proving that I am efficient in the corporate world. But after a few months I felt that there should be more to life than that. I’m not lazy, don’t get me wrong; I’m a workaholic by nature, and being busy keeps me alive. But there are two kinds of busy I guess: Loaded with work you don’t love, and the kind that gives you a sense of purpose. The latter seems more appealing, doesn’t it? To me it seemed so.

A couple of months later I left for another banking career. Oh, before I go into that, a little fact about myself : My conversational skills are horrible, so bad that I’d choose not to answer telephones! Okay, so the new job helped me up my confidence a bit, as well as to learn how to talk to people (talk about a miracle). There was also computer-work in the office, and to my surprise, most of the knowledge I learned from my first job proved essential to my second. (hallelujah!) Later on I felt tired both mentally and physically, and it only fueled my desire to explore the field of arts.

It took weeks and many sleepless nights to decide on whether to leave the security of a stable job for an unknown future in art. On my birthday, I promised myself:

“Starting today, this year of 2014, I will do everything to reach my dream of becoming a well-known artist. If that fails, I can always go back to the confines of an office building.”

With that I filed my resignation letter.

On July 2014, a string of events brought me to join the CCF Friends Retreat where my dreams were brought to new light. I completely surrendered to God all my hopes, my dreams and all my plans. I used to desire wealth, fame and position in the art industry, but I saw a greater purpose in the Lord. From that, my 2014 promise became:

“This year 2014, I will do all I can to serve and glorify God through the talent, skill and passion He has given me.”

The retreat brought God back to the center of my life. During the mid-year prayer and fasting week He confirmed that I should pursue my passion. Today, my shop: SnapperDoodles, holds workshops, bazaars and more because of the Lord’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11. I may not be the best artist, I may not be the most people-oriented nor the most well-known; living for the Lord through art is enough for me.

Looking back to the past few months, I have come to realize how God worked faithfully in my life. Through my first job in the multi-national company I acquired the skills needed for my second job, and little did I know that the conversational skills I learned would be a stepping stone for the SnapperDoodle Workshops. Without it, I never would have overcome my introverted nature.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. He knew where I’d be in a few years, He knew what I really wanted to do in my life… It took a while, and a lot of rough roads before I saw the bigger picture.

This is my first post, and I’m sharing the story of how SnapperDoodles began. You may not have heard of me, and that’s okay. But if you saw my art for the Lord, you made my day, because that is all that matters.

“A single day lived with purpose, is worth more than a lifetime of doubt.”

 

Untitled-2

Standard