“This is all very new to me”, I messaged my publisher last week.
It was the first week of my book being out in the public for everyone to purchase. It’s also the first week of calling myself an Author, as well as an Ambassador for a brand I have loved ever since the beginning. To add to that, it’s also the first week of me having x amount of events piled up almost every day – which is kind of fun, but mostly crazy.
Some concerns now in my life include what to wear (hahaha), how to fit “me time” into my ever so busy schedule, and finding ways to unwind and remind myself that I am still a normal 22-year old. My Instagram has been flooding with notifications, tags, and as I kept checking the #ABCsofHandLettering feed, there happens to be an influx of new posts every day. My days are spent usually outside the HQ, which is both stressful and scary at the same time. The only day I got to sit and work on things at home is today, as I’m typing this post and clearing it out before hitting Publish.
This month is definitely a page turner as I wake up to the dawn of a new day and get myself in the zone for (more) work to come in. So yeah, things are getting pretty…different. And for the first time in many years, I guess adjustment never felt the realest until now.
My girls have been getting a dose of the ABC life this month, because undoubtedly, work came in like a fireball. It was great, though, that we all got to unwind at the start of the month for “It’s ARTern”, a collaborative workshop organized by Mansy, Alexis & yours truly for our interns. Everyone learned the basics of hand lettering, calligraphy and paper marbling and the afternoon was filled with fun and (lots of) food.
I also had some of the team do residencies at my HQ because I needed to do a lot of work. It was fun! Always a delight to have people around the “office” :)
Soloing Singapore (Year 2)
I have to be honest – my Singapore trip was a pretty stressful one. Aside from having to battle e-mails, notifications and social media endeavors, I did a lot of walking under the heat of the sun (I kinda have to remind myself to be better at commuting if I want to live here, yes) throughout my 4-day stay.
But then again, me-time at my favorite country + good food is always a win-win. Wrote about my adventures here.
A day before my book launch, I was invited by Stabilo Philippines for a fun “ARTernoon” with fellow creatives at Bizu in One Rockwell. The fun part about this event was getting to meet artists in various fields – graphic design, illustration, etc (also: I finally got to meet the awesome WeeWillDoodle!). We spent the afternoon bonding over good food and good company.
Thank you, Blaise of Stabilo PH for inviting me to this event! Can’t wait to use my pens – blogging about my new stache of art materials soon.
ABC Book Launch
I’m still in the clouds, to be honest. I have so many things to say about this milestone that it may take me quite a while to digest properly and turn into a blog post. Coming soon. :)
Mega grateful for the team who made this possible – the ABC Book Team (aka some of the best mentors and people to work with ever): Jaykee (Art Director), Macy (Editor in Chief), Koko (Publisher). This is really a dream come true.
ABC for Moleskine
A few days after my launch, I had to prepare for another launch that I was part of - Moleskine, a popular global notebook brand, had a relaunch in Manila to introduce its new line of products. To be called a “creative partner” and contribute work for them is such an honor – I remember starting out my first batch of creative attempts on my first ever Moleskine last 2010. Five years later, things have definitely escalated and I am so excited to share more about my projects for them soon.
Snippets from the launch:
They printed out my work on a huge Moleskine notebook! Tres cool.
Awesome stamps by Dom Ochotorena created especially for Moleskine Philippines.
I got to maximize my non-existent socializing skills during the launch, which was good…I guess. Heh. Anyway, I’ve also got word that Moleskine On The Road slots immediately filled up after our promotion of the workshop. Coolbeans! Also, much pressure. Heh. So excited, though!
Private Book Launch
Celebrated the launch of my book with friends yesterday at Scarsdale. I may have a lot of people to thank for this milestone, but moreso, I am very grateful to my support group (aka my little handful of good friends) since day one for being part of my creative journey. More about it soon!
Special thanks to Scarsdale for providing the delicious food and venue for this event. :)
Hey Kessy x Robert Alejandro
NGL, I kind of want to freak out internally because I met one of my childhood heroes today at the Hey Kessy Original Washi Tape launch, featuring the new design by Robert Alejandro.
It was such an honor to collaborate with Hey Kessy last year for their washi tape collection (more about it here) and this year, knowing that the Robert Alejandro collaborated with them made me extra excited to attend the launch today.
I’ve been a huge fan ever since Tricie gave me a copy of The Sketching Backpacker two years ago, which inspired me to illustrate my travels and tell stories. Two years later, I finally got to meet my hero and have my work critiqued by him. I also got some nifty advice on creativity and pursuing what I love as a profession (it’s just been 3 months…waaaaa), which was enlightening. Thank you, Mansy, for inviting me! :)
This coming week will definitely be a chaotic one, with Type Lab MNL in full force (it’s on Saturday! AGH) and my brain drilled on finishing my presentation (which I haven’t technically started, and I will do so after finishing this post). So excited, though!
It’s so easy to get consumed with everything that’s happening. On the brighter side though, experiencing new things always gets me in the mood to move, never settle, adapt, and conquer. Easy to say, hard to do – but I’m positive that things will be A-okay. I just need to work extra hard and squeeze in more sleep in the process, lol.
So if you ask me “What’s New” with my life lately, I’ll say, everything.
How’s mid-2015 so far for you? :)
It has always been said that we should live for the small things—those delicate, two-second moments of contained time that make you realize how wonderful it is to be alive. These quiet, fleeting moments are enough to tell a story. From someone’s eyes, you know: he is in love, she is happy, he is lonely, she is alive—and as the clichéd adage goes, these little moments make up this huge, spectacular, overwhelming, daunting, beautiful puzzle that we simply like to call life. What a shame it is to be so consumed by our day-to-day that we forget to actually live.
And we often do.
There is a graphic novel called Daytripper by twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, which talks about the knowledge of death. Knowing that you will be gone from the face of this world only encourages us to take advantage of every breath, of every second. Reading the back cover instantly gripped me with a question that made me think hard: ‘What are the most important days of your life?’
When I think of these important days, they funnel down to moments—quietly watching the slow ascent of lanterns during the Yi Peng and Loi Krathong festivals in Chiang Mai, the smile and skipped heartbeat elicited by a sweet text message from my love as I spent my last few days of 2014 sprawled on La Union’s shores, running for our lives through the bustling streets of Bangkok, digging into the best darn duck with my best friend in Bali, getting to stand on the surf board for the first time in Baler…
What are the most important moments in your life?
My friend Abbey and I have a shared love for notebooks as we like remembering these moments through pen and paper—her, through drawing and lettering; me, through words. Another thing Abbey and I share closely with each other is our passion for travel. We realized that this is where and how we have learned some of the most important life lessons. When we shared our best travel moments with each other, we were both surprised to know most of them were seemingly-mundane: having a light bulb moment right smack in the middle of a café, randomly meeting a fellow backpacker who was asking for directions, dipping our feet into the sea. These moments that you don’t really expect; they just come to you and the may disturb you, nuance you, but they will change you forever.
Abbey and I have always wanted to do a travel workshop together that focused on moment collecting through art and words. And we’re very excited and happy that Moleskine and Fully Booked partnered with us to make this possible on July 12!
#MoleskineOnTheRoad is a workshop on expressing your passion for travel through moment collecting by #ABCxMikkaWee, in collaboration with Moleskine and Fully Booked Soft. It’s a one-of-a-kind workshop experience that makes use of illustrating and writing, enabling you to collect these rare, life-changing moments through pen and paper. We can’t wait to share and document our travel stories with you. Hope to see you there!
Five years ago, I started a personal project called The Road to Productivity. Born out of my intent to get creative and productive, I spent my Independence Day weekend (on my first year in college) brainstorming, writing and drawing non-stop for four straight days. It was fun – and productive. The aftermath? I plunged into the unknown circumstances of running a small business, maintaining a blog, and working my way as I went along – back when I was seventeen.
Five years later, as the Universe played around and (sort of) maneuvered me to the right direction, I found my passion for creativity - most especially on hand lettering – and translated it into what it is now. Never, ever, ever did I think I would be capable of handling a creative enterprise, let alone build myself from the ground up. I used to be that girl who constantly wrote endless bucket lists and wondered if those boxes would ever be ticked off. I also remembered telling myself that someday I will “prove everyone wrong”, and well, moreover, prove myself wrong.
(The Road to ABC is a personal project as I eventually take on bigger and complex roads into becoming a full-fledged artist and entrepreneur. I decided to keep this (huge) project under this hashtag because it’s one of the things that kickstarted my journey, post-TEDx.)
* * *
2015 has been surprising (and overwhelming) in many, many ways. I may have also been the most courageous version of myself to date: I impulsively quit my day job to pursue art, gave a TEDx talk on creativity and making things happen (aka life goals achieved), spent countless nights working non-stop, taught lettering workshops almost every weekend (and as long as I could, I would), traveled continuously over the couple months (because inspiration is calling), recruited people to be part of my (growing) team, got the opportunity to represent and work for big brands (announcing soon!), currently co-organizing a type conference in Manila, and most of all – devoted myself to a project that constantly made me question my creative capabilities as an artist.
So – quick backstory. A day before my birthday last January, I met up with the Summit team, Macy and Koko. And, well – the idea of writing a lettering book came about. (That also may have been the best way to spend my last day of being twenty one.)
If you’re wondering how I took the news, I don’t know. I may have cried a bit. HAHA. And of course, I panicked. I freaked out. The pressure was no joke. But to combat everything else and instead of drowning myself in that deep pit of my self-doubts, I kept myself busy during the time period that I created this book. I tried to be as diligent as possible with deadlines, locked out unnecessary priorities, and managed to really immerse myself into this project more than anything else.
It was like Thesis 2.0 – but the good kind. I spent most of my working days isolated in the four corners of my HQ (aka, my attic), surrounded with lots of music and getting lost with my messy workspace. I’d go out at times and get myself together despite being robotic on some days. If anything, I have pushed myself extra hard for this project – and I may have exceeded my own expectations. That alone gave me the guarantee that I am proud of what I had produced. This is considering I am my own worst critic – but then, a little self-gratification here and there won’t hurt, I suppose. *pats self on back*
And with that – yes, I created a book! *INSERT CONFETTI AND LOTS OF TEARS*
The ABCs of Hand Lettering is a comprehensive guidebook for beginners in hand lettering. Inside you’ll find a repository of styles you can explore with drawing letters. Learn the basics – from the rundown of art materials, font styles, and the process of turning letters into visual art. Get to see the work of some of your favorite local letterers, calligraphers and type artists. And lastly, check out tips on finding your own style and making your mark as a creative individual in the book.
You will also see a showcase of my recent work + alphabet styles I’ve created specifically for this project. It was probably the most fun and challenging thing I’ve had to do so far. But then again, it has been a great way to start #theroadtoabc. Thanks to Summit Books for this opportunity and most especially to my awesome team – my editor Macy, art director Jaykee and publisher Koko for making this possible. A lot of tears and hard work were involved in the creation of this book, as well as my team who have been most helpful in this endeavor. (I AM INTERNALLY CRYING LIKE A BABY OK)
I am having a book launch and workshop this Saturday at National Book Store Glorietta 1. There will be a workshop + demo by me (for the first 50 participants) and a specific timeslot for book signing.
Please line up early to get a chance to attend the workshop. Bring your own materials as well. I’ll also be raffling off Made by ABC bundles and Type Lab MNL tickets so don’t miss your chance!
I hope you could come and celebrate this milestone with me! :) I owe this to every single one of you who have supported and showed appreciation to my work over the years. This is my way of giving back to the lettering community as this is the first ever type book in the Philippines. <3
The book will be available in major bookstores nationwide at PHP 295, and I hope you get a copy! Enjoy – and Always Be Creating :)