Life Lately: Independence

September 30, 2015 Filed Under: Abbey, Daily Life, Events, Personal, Work in Progress, Workshop 2 Comments


Hello! Took me quite a while to go back to writing because *new work* has come in this month, and I haven’t been on pause for the longest time.

Anyway, it’s a Wednesday, and I’m glad I’m working from home until the sun sets (or until I finish…which is usually past midnight, lol).

Quick update! Life this month’s been topsy turvy but fun. :) For one, I’m slowly learning how to be more independent in terms of work (missing my team!) and being more aware of my (productive) working hours (to get more work done). I’ve also been learning to trust myself more when it comes to making art (I’ve been painting more than twice a week recently, which is an improvement, yay!). Here’s a recap of life lately this September.


ABC LitFest ABC Book2

Wrapped up 5 book signings from June to September for my book, The ABCs of Hand Lettering. It was definitely a crazy ride, but I’ve enjoyed every opportunity to meet all my readers and sign their books, as well as doing demos for special events. Thank you, Summit Books, for all the opportunities – participating in the Philippine Literary Festival & Manila International Book Fair were just dreams I’ve never expected to turn into a reality.

Thank you as well to each and every one of you who purchased my book (it’s still available in the market, of course!). Super duper appreciate it – you all make my hard work pay off.

Other things: my book is on its second month at National Book Store’s bestseller list! :) Also, you can now avail a Kindle edition on Amazon (worldwide) here. Yay! I’ll post a separate page on my book soon so it’ll be easier to access for everyone. Don’t forget to add #ABCsofHandLettering to your posts on Instagram so I can track them!

Portfolio Shoot


Hired my very talented photographer Ber for a portfolio shoot last week. ICYMI, I’m working on my website (like, legit website – portfolio website, yup) with an awesome team of creatives (more soon!) and I’m planning to launch it before the year ends.


Work uniform – striped shirts (or skirts), skirts, and (very) limited color schemed clothing. I totally agree with Mark Zuckerberg’s take on wearing almost repetitive clothing – makes work more efficient (well, that’s in my case – I used to spend 30 minutes thinking of an outfit, now it’s reduced to 5. Yay!).

I’ve also been using my Joan & Klaire bag every day. Here’s my design collab with them, which is still available on their website (order here). :)


In other news, I was contacted by an international design blog (!!!) as they are keen on featuring my humble little space (I won’t jinx it so I’ll share more about it when the feature comes out). We spent the afternoon shooting every nook and cranny of the HQ. And yes, I had to do my cleaning, sadly. Hahaha.


I’ve spent some days off reading up on 99u’s Maximize Your Potential. Hope I can finish it asap! It’s been very helpful in keeping an open mindset when it comes to learning new things and taking on more complex projects (ah, adult struggles).

Cultural Curiosities


I signed up for a watercolor class organized by Urban Sketchers Philippines this month. I realized that while I could be better off teaching workshops on most weekends, I still have to learn a few skills (non-lettering) to keep me up and running as a creative.

Because I was extra excited, I went early (around noon) and Sandi, one of the museum curators, gladly toured me around the National Museum (our class was in one of the halls). And, okay, random – found out the real symbolisms of the Spoliarium and was very awed because Luna is a genius. Also, visited the rooms which housed Lorenzo Guerrero’s works (Juan Luna’s teacher) as well as Felix Hidalgo’s and Fernando Amorsolo’s. Amorsolo is my favorite national artist — his work just speaks to me a lot ever since I learned about his aesthetic during one of our classes in college.

Anyway, long story short, I fangirled and took a peek at some of the urban sketchers’ sketchbooks (HUHU SO NICE). Plus, check out my output for session 1 here. Washes are very destressing – and different from what I normally do. But then again, change is always good. :)

Workshop Weekends


Snippets from last weekend’s Moment Collecting workshop at Heima Brixton’s Design Cafe with Mikka. Such a fun afternoon! Kudos to all our students who were very skilled and talented (loved everyone’s stories and illustrations!).


Speaking of workshops, you can check out new schedules for October to December here. Apart from that, I have a list of events / talks this coming October, which I’ll write about on the next post. (I can feel the craziness coming in slowly tbh)

Hope to see you in some of my classes! I’ve also added another moment collecting workshop as part of the class offerings. :)

New Experimentations


I can find myself slowly changing my preferences with hand lettering – and leaning toward a specific style that I’ve always wanted to achieve since day one. Moreover, I did notice how my taste has been more refined (color choices, font styles, etc) and I’d like to think it’s a good thing – I’m getting more focused on building up my personal style, which I’m very happy about.

Tried to apply new styles for my recent work (which, you’ll see more of soon for an upcoming big project) and injecting more vintage colors into my palette. I’m also *trying* to do a bit of brighter colored work to test out my new colors. And…a little bit of pastel here and there. Desaturated pastel, if that counts. Hahaha.


Oh, and happy mail this month consisted of aqua brushes from Craftdoodle. Yay! They’ll be sponsoring aqua brushes for 2 workshops this coming quarter (lucky students!). I’ve tried it out and so far, loving how it works well with my travel illustrations.


Also, currently obsessing over Kumori‘s Toyohashi pudding (and cheesecake bites, which I’ve already finished). I’m a sucker for pudding and cheese, so I kind of inhaled most of them at work (This is why I’ll never be in good shape LOL).


Oh, and lastly, MOVIES! Okay, I rarely watch films because I’m very picky – and I realized that my preference lies in Coming of Age movies. Greeeat. I can find myself in every character I encounter in each film (well, some parts of them). Thanks to Maine for this list of movies (also Riell for e-mailing me a list)! You guys are life savers.

I watched 4 films this month (+ Heneral Luna), which is not bad for someone who doesn’t block out time for watching movies (me). I like listening to music more. Anyway.

Me & Earl and the Dying Girl is EVERYTHING. You HAVE to download it to know what I mean (soundtrack is amazing as well). I am a huge fan of this film, hands down. It’s Kind of a Funny Story was also very on point, and reminded me of The Art of Getting By (plus points because the boy draws; I have a thing for those hehe). I also finally watched Wes Anderson‘s films! And I am now a huge, huge, huuuuge fan. I’m going to try to integrate his color schemes into my palette (well, it’s sort of similar). I also borrowed my publisher’s Wes Anderson book for inspiration (I bookmarked half of the book, what’s up with that) I’m excited! I watched Moonrise Kingdom (Jessica Hische + Wes Anderson = best ever!) and Royal Tenenbaums (I really like this). I’m looking forward to watch Darjeeling Limited & Grand Budapest Hotel once I finish my first deadline for a big project. Reward? LOL.

How was your September? Hope it went well! Also, three months left until 2015 ends, agh. How crazy is that? o_o

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

2 Responses to “Life Lately: Independence”

  1. Shannelle
    September 30, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I’m so excited to see your website! And aah, I’m so excited to see this feature. Your workspace is goals. And your hair is so pretty and brown in that photo and aahhh. So, so excited for you, Ate Abbey.

    And I’ve only ever watched Grand Budapest, and I swear, that pink hotel is aesthetic as hell.

  2. Abbey
    September 30, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks Shannelle! Haha, the hair is thanks to the sunlight :P lol.

    I haven’t watched Grand Budapest!!! You should def watch the other films. I’m sure you’ll like them :)