Gratefulness

In the midst of hustling on a regular basis, I find myself wondering about how life has become in the past months, and overall, how this year has turned out — most especially on my off-time (like today). My impulse to write is interesting; I almost never find the best time to put my thoughts somewhere. They just end up being in either a blog post, a note on my phone, or mostly, on my journal.

This week was Thanksgiving, and while it’s not a big of a celebration here in the Philippines, I always try to make this an opportunity to reflect on the things I am constantly grateful for. Here’s a little roundup from my 2016 list. 🙂

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1. My shortcomings & starting out small

I don’t think I’ve ever shared this, but I had a really rough time in high school. I was never an option to be part of a creative team, let alone be able to showcase my work in school events. Some of my teachers didn’t believe in my work; it was disheartening. I found no comfort in expressing myself at that phase in my life. My artistic pursuits were mostly intrinsic; I drew inspiration from my own experiences as I was growing up (y’know, I was very emo at that time, tbh). My friends came and went…I had to be alone for awhile. It wasn’t until early 2007 that I met some of the most amazing friends I now call my barkada.

Fast forward to college, I learned to appreciate the beauty of self-discovery, trying new things, and becoming the person I wanted to be. I started a little online shop at 17, built my Tumblr account, started making art and blogging for personal growth (and eventually getting to reach a handful of people who appreciated my art)…and then some. I shifted courses and found my voice in Advertising. I thought working at an ad agency as a strat planner was my end-goal during my thesis term in 2014…I was wrong.

My shortcomings taught me that I didn’t have to conform to what society demanded. Instead of thinking how I can fit in, I found myself building my own career from the ground up. Looking back, the struggles and the mindset that people thought I would never “make it” led me to become the strong-willed, fearless person I am today.

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2. Sharing my passion to others

My first intention of writing a book was for my own bucket list goal (I mean, I’m sure we all have that wish…or maybe it’s just me). Funny enough, I initially wanted to write a fiction book (a la YA HAHA) when I was sixteen, brought about by my obsession with Sophie Kinsella, John Green, and all the amazing books I spent my summers reading.

While those YA dreams didn’t come true, I’m very grateful for the people who believed I could do this — become an author. Sometimes I need someone to pinch me to make sure this is all happening. My first book opened me to numerous opportunities for growth — especially when it came to making art…and speaking in front of the public. 😀 Really though, my confidence level escalated to heights I never have imagined.

When I wrote my second book, I took things on a higher level, and I found myself thinking more of what my readers could benefit from the book more than what I wanted myself to be happy about. It was a combination of both — I feel like this was my way of connecting to others on a deeper level.

People have told me that these “trends” I “started” were at the right timing. That I was smart enough to think about them. I don’t believe any of that. For me, sharing my passion to others has always become the ultimate goal of these things I’ve been creating for the past years – books, merchandise, products that I personally believe in and want to share to others. A gateway for them to discover that they can be creative, and that they, too, can make good art. So I’ll be continuing it as long as I can, and for that, I’m ultimately grateful.

(BTW, that photo above is one of the many “ABC stalls” around SM Stationery here in the Philippines. So overwhelmed seeing that come to life!)

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3. Doing what I love for a living

I will not stress this enough — a few years ago, I never felt like I deserved to become the artist I am now. There was no inner confidence in me that could actually say that. And when everything started to fall into place (at the right time, omg?), I had to stand tall and be ready for it.

Most days, I wake up to draw, write, shoot, manage my social media accounts…all mostly on my own (with a little help from my tiny team). I think I’ve reached to a point that I love it so much and it has taken over my life. But slowly, I’ve been keen on slowing down and learning how to take things one day at a time, or, like what my mentor said, one client at a time. Hehehe. 😀

I have two jobs – managing Abbey Sy stuff and working on freelance projects. The former is pretty self-explanatory, and that is my playground for new ideas that I can always build on (I have always had a heart for being an entrepreneur). The latter is always a challenge — a constant test of skill, grit, and the right kind of communication to get my work across to a brand, a client, or a publication. They’re basically yin and yang, and I’m thankful that they both have benefited into enriching my knowledge and experiences over time.

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4. Missed opportunities & unlikely circumstances

“BORED” “READ” “ABROAD” – words I spelled out. My 23rd birthday shoot involved my six wishes this 2016. Shutterpanda took my photos and we shot them on a fun weekend in Pico — here’s the zine, ICYMI, made by my fave bb Maine. My main goal was to study abroad this year and really focus on my art. Well…I thought wrong.

This year, I worked on 2 books – one published in the Philippines, another in the USA. I illustrated for a sticker book, produced my own journal, collaborated with cool brands, worked on unbelievably amazing projects, got to teach in Singapore twice, started operating my shop out of impulse…everything was not according to plan. And while I’m supposed to be frantic that my goals didn’t all turn out to be the actual thing, I’m happy that things turned out like this.

2016 was a huge learning curve, tbh. Suddenly, I didn’t want to move. Suddenly, I can only think of the bigger picture, and wonder what could be ahead of me. And I think that’s a beautiful feeling — not knowing what could come. 🙂

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5. True friends & moral support

Above is a photo of me & my best friend Den — we’ve been friends since we were born…and yes she was my +1 at last night’s #YSProm (Happy birthday, Young Star!) 😀

It can be so daunting to have accumulated some friends over the past years, and to be honest, the only true people I can count on are a selected handful. And I don’t see that as something faulty — being an introvert, I know I am only capable of sharing my inner thoughts to a few people.

I’m grateful for all the people I have met, and have connected to on a personal level — friends who have become confidants of the vulnerable side of me (that no one really ever sees), friends who have become big sisters, mentors, people to remind me that I’m doing okay; friends that can double as travel buddies, workout buddies; friends that constantly renew my creative energies; friends that choose coffee dates & long conversations & shopping & working out as “bonding time”, friends who I can easily count on for the most mundane things. I can go on and on about how grateful I always will be, as this is one of my weaknesses as a person — having trust issues, and finding the right people to maintain good relationships with. 🙂

On another note, I was curious to know what you guys are grateful for — so I asked some of you a few days back. Here are your responses.

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It’s pretty amazing to see how everyone is grateful for at least something — and how we are all aware of how this life has turned out to become. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your answers!

Ending this post with a little reminder that at the end of the day, there is always, always something to grateful for, no matter how small. We just have to notice. 😀

How about you, what are you grateful for? 🙂

Dailies: 01

Hello, people of the world!

It’s a Thursday afternoon, aka the time of the day I’m supposed to be working (but I’m not) and chasing all the work that needs to be finished before flying out again tomorrow. I’m starting this new series called “Dailies” on the blog to give myself room to just write about anything under the sun (no drafts!). Life has become really structured recently and while I’m still on the verge of trying to be a responsible adult, it feels good to let loose sometimes.

This week has been really disheartening in terms of world news and local news here in the Philippines. And while I’m not the most opinionated person out there, I feel really sad and disappointed about things. But again, the best we can all do is to be positive and fight for what we believe in — so hopefully things will get better. 🙂

On another note, I’m just using up a few minutes of today to share a bit of random things lately in my ~life~. Here goes.

For the first time this year, October was surprisingly chill. There were blank days on my calendar, I had a good chunk of time working on personal stuff and planning things for 2017.

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Funny how there were days where I’d sleep a full 8 hours and then there would be bursts of productivity aka no sleep. I remember one night I decided to have coffee at 10PM (wow, self) and spent the next few hours dissecting each magazine I had laid out on my desk…I mean, bed. Haha.

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Sometimes I still need to pinch myself with the fact that I’m living my dream job. It sounds so promising and amazing, but the nitty gritty things that never gets shared on social media is not as dreamy as it sounds. This job requires me to constantly think ahead, plan ahead, and have an idea of what I can possibly do in the future. The best part though is that there are no limits. 🙂

It was great to meet my readers from Cebu during the NBS Color & Calligraphy Fair last October 22-23. I was rotting here in Manila (lol) and it felt good to fly out for a weekend and forget some stuff here.

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We also had some sidetrips — Tricie (my manager/friend/big sister) and I went to YOLK for brunch (the interior tho! photo below was taken there) and dropped by bookstores because we have our priorities (aka book shopping). 😀

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I just had to share: while I was checking out books at the art section of Fully Booked (in Cebu), the girl beside me was holding a copy of Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture & Cityscapes (my fave urban sketching book) and my book The ABCs of Journaling. Lol. I wanted to tell her I could sign it for her but that sounded creepy…and eventually in the cashier, I was behind her while she was paying. But no, I didn’t get to sign it. But it was great seeing people finding interest more in journaling nowadays. 🙂

On the last week of October I went to Korea with ze family. My sister is studying for a few months there so we paid her a visit!

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You can just imagine my awe seeing real autumn leaves — it’s my favorite season and most of my colors are reminiscent of fall. I’ll share more about my trip soon (which was work-free BUT tiring) but in case you’re wondering where to go stationery shopping in Korea, check out this post.

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(Above) Yes, that’s me in a hanbok (Korean traditional costume). Ever since wearing a kimono in Kyoto, I have found fascination in wearing these things. It was equally fitting since it was Halloween that weekend, lol.

Meanwhile, my projects recently have been centered on international (!) editorial work (!), something I’ve been wanting to venture into since last year. It’s so funny how one day I say I want to work for x client and they really happen. I don’t know what the universe is trying to tell me but it’s just really…coincidental. Nevertheless, this is a big learning experience for me and I’m really grateful for the opportunities.

I’m also in the middle of editing my third book, coming out mid-2017. It’s going to be published in the United States (EEP!) and since I’ve been keeping this project on the down-low for so long now, I just thought I had to share. More details soon 🙂

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So, I found out recently that I can never survive a day anymore without coffee, especially when I’m painting. Funnyyy. I’ve been on an on and off relationship with caffeine since I found out how stress and caffeine can kill my system in one go (highly acidic, in other words). Anyway, apart from that, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately! Here are some of my faves:

Most of the topics I like listening to are about creative entrepreneurship, dealing with a freelance career, and making it as a ~girlboss~ and they’ve all been really insightful. Also a nice accompaniment here ’cause it can get really lonely here at the HQ with me, mostly alone. (Don’t get me wrong, I like my alone time! Just…not all the time.)

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Speaking of girlbosses, it’s Young Star‘s 20th anniversary this year and I’m honored to be part of the YS Girl Gang (full article here). I was looking at all these amazing women who made it to the roster…and wondered why I was there. Lol. *I’m not worthy!* Here’s an excerpt from what I wrote on my IG:

It was 2014 when I was starting to carve my own path as a fresh graduate, and slowly discovering what I really wanted to do with my life. Coincidentally, that was the year YS included me on their list of graduates to watch out for (back when typography was just a budding art form here in the Philippines). That period of my life was just the beginning of so many things I never imagined would be possible…and up to this day, it’s always been so overwhelming (the good kind).

Two years later, I’m honored to be a part of the #YSGirlGang alongside 19 lovely ladies 💖 I’m also very much grateful to be able to do what I love and be my own #girlboss at that (hitting that 2 year mark in 2017!). Definitely still learning every day to work harder, stay tougher and be kinder to myself. Happy 20th anniv, Young Star 🎉✨ 

Thank you, YS! I always get goosebumps when I see my name on the paper. I’ve been too busy working that sometimes these things are reminders of why I do what I do, and why it matters.

So, that’s about it for today. I’ve been contemplating on doing a restructuring of blog content in the coming months so there may or may not be a few changes happening here. Check back soon.

On another note, I hope this week’s been doing okay for you so far. We’re in tough times — but we can only hold onto hope and waking up to better days. 🙂

Abbey

Life Lately: (Still a) Work in Progress

Before anything else, thanks Tippy for my headshot 🙂

I just realized I never carried over the Life Lately series from my old blog to this new one. (Why, self?) Anyway, thought I’d share a bit about how life’s been so far on my end. It’s October, and well, usually, at this time of the year I’m supposed to panic. But I’m not, and luckily, I’m at my calmest (less anxious, to be specific) self so far. Is that a good thing? I hope so. 😛

The last couple of months were really crazy, work-wise. I felt like the universe just wanted to test my limits and throw me a multitude of challenges to seamlessly get through it – carrying a stronger sense of being after the storm. That being said, I’m happy that some things never last. And that most of my deadlines are over.

In other news, my second book, The ABCs of Journaling, is finally available nationwide! If you’re wondering what went down during my launch, check it out here. So happy with the positive feedback I’ve received so far about this book. Thank you for the support!

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I promised to share more about this book in the coming posts (yes I’m keeping that promise, lol). For the meantime, sharing a few photos from the book 🙂

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So happy to have worked with such talented individuals who made my ideas come to life 🙂 (photos by Pat, and Tippy, styling by Aleyn)

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BTW, copies are available over at the shop. Click here to order a signed copy!

I’m relaunching my shop again this October and it’s both exciting and nostalgic. When I started blogging in 2010, I initially ran an online shop selling tote bags and hand-painted items. Six years later, here I am still eventually going back to my entrepreneurial roots with my own published work to boot. Some things never change. 🙂

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On another note, I recently shared some insights on Frankly Radio, a new weekly podcast created by Eden and June. One of the founders is my good friend Chiara, and we got to chat about creativity, travel, life updates, and mostly things that led me to become who I am now. 🙂

Some key topics include the importance of traveling, taking calculated risks, documenting your life and why it matters, and a few snippets behind the making of my latest book. I also share my current routine (which is still a work in progress), random facts about me, and a bit about my creative journey over the years. Give it a listen here. Personally, I love listening to podcasts (my faves are The Lively Show, The Great Discontent, Design Matters, and After The Jump), so recording this podcast was really fun!

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The lovely people of Eden and June are also giving away copies of my new book and a few merch from the shop! Click the link above to join the mechanics. 🙂
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Speaking of merch, I was able to work on a passion project this year: The ABC Daily Journal. I got to create, edit, style, and layout this journal in the way I’ve always envisioned it — and I’m really glad with how it ended up looking like, stitch binding + debossing and all 😛 🙂

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This journal is meant for daily entry – it’s undated but numbered (1-31 for 12 months), contains a date/time/location prompt per day (aka #priorities), dotted pages, monthly quotes, and journaling tips. Thank you to IFEX Papers for making this possible! 🙂

I’ve always been keeping track of my dailies through photos / writing / making art, and I’ve been setting a life goal of making my own journal since I was seventeen (haha). I guess timing did its job this time. 😀

We recently released the journal during the SM Stationery Art Fest last weekend. There will be one last leg for SM Stationery Art Fest and I’ll be there this October 15, 11am, at SM Mall of Asia. More details on that soon but I hope to see you!

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Quick recap of September involved juggling between attending / being part of events, lazy weekdays (+ watching films in between), and spontaneous weekends with my favorite people. I also got to (finally) focus on collabs that are coming out this year. Yay for personal projects!

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Earlier today I shot a video using the ABC Daily Journal. I got inspired shooting my journaling videos thanks to Kaila‘s videos on YouTube. I always tell myself I’m short on time but I honestly think that’s just a mindset. Funny though, it rained today but thanks to my trusty camera (bought a new one, yay!) it didn’t look like the rain was pouring like cray in the background. 😀 More on that soon!

If you’ve been following my whereabouts on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter for awhile now, you’d know that my preference for certain colors has really played a part with the work that I put out. That being said, I got to work on a project that ultimately tested my eye for color, illustration, and…making more art, of course! A bit of writing since I volunteered to be the resident editor for this collaborative project. 😀

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I got to work with talented artists June Digan & Tippy Go of Googly Gooeys for a book that’s coming out…sooner than you think! 😉

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Here are snippets of the work I did for the book. Obviously a sucker for these colors, specifically!

Stick ‘Em Up Book hits stores real soon. Reaaaal soon. I’m so excited to show you what it looks like.

Oh, before I forget, for those based in Cebu, I’ll be visiting your hometown this October 🙂 Hope to see you! Do check out my other accounts to stay updated on events I’ll be part of.

Well, that’s it for now…ish. Here’s to hoping I get to write here more soon. Hope you’re having a great October so far!

Always be creating,

Abbey 🙂

The ABCs of Journaling Book Launch

It’s been quite an overwhelming journey since 2016 started—from simultaneously working on 3 books (yes, I worked on three books this year…I don’t know how I survived either) and freelance projects, shifting my job description to being a full-time artist and author (one year and counting!), fighting my internal battles and mini breakdowns this year, to finding a common ground between work, life, and everything in between. *breathes in, breathes out* 

I feel like I’m constantly sprinting and I just got to settle down as I’m typing this. So surreal, but I guess I’ve really been hustling since the year started. And ironically, I think work has been my vice from the moment I decided to pursue this career. No regrets, of course! 🙂

When I turned twenty three this year, I didn’t wish for anything in particular. I just knew that I wanted to continue taking on work that would involve making art and sharing stories in the best way I can. I’m very grateful to have been given such an opportunity to share a piece of my life through my newest book—which is, very aptly, about journaling.

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Last September 10, we celebrated the launch of my second book, The ABCs of JournalingWorking on this book for the whole stretch of this year was quite an experience in itself—a rollercoaster of emotions (and feelings!) came into the creation of this second baby. I think, for the most part, a big portion of who I am and what inspires me has been written on each page. Literally, it was definitely one for the books. 😛

Anyway, while I’m still on cloud nine, I’m rounding up a few highlights from the launch in this post. Enjoy! 🙂

REAL TEARS ARE REAL (#FEELINGS)

I got spaced out on stage during my first book launch. So I promised to really prepare a little thank you speech this time around. Not expected: sudden influx of tears while talking. *Oops* *Feelings*

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Here’s an excerpt from my speech: “I wrote this book so I could find that connection that made journaling into who I have become now. And I hope you will find that connection as well, in the way that speaks to you the most.”

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A peek at one of the chapter openers, beautifully styled by Aleyn. 🙂

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Obligatory “hold up your book and let’s have a photo!” shot. 🙂

EVENT HAPPENINGS

I didn’t expect people to be tweeting me at 8:00AM saying they were already waiting for the bookstore to open so they can enter. *Wew, guys*

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This year, I decided to invite one of my dear friends, Kaila, to share the stage with me to talk about our mutual love for journaling. Her YouTube videos are a constant source of inspiration for me and funny enough, we both started daily journaling this year when we got our Hobonichis during springtime. 🙂

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I shared some of the things I jot on my journals for both daily documenting and travel journaling. (More tips are found in my book, of course!)

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Kaila, on the other hand, shared reasons why she journals, showed a few examples of Kawaii journals from the Kawaii PH team, and kept us inspired with her #HobonichiWithMe videos.

Related post: Kawaii Journaling 101 by Rainbowholic

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So happy to be able to share our love for journaling together. <3

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After the workshop, I started to sign books. I got to sign over 200+ books. Crazyyy. Super duper thanks to everyone who waited in line and had their books signed. Super appreciate the effort. 🙂

By the way, book signing photos can be accessed via this link 🙂

CRAFT STATIONS & WORKSHOPS

While the workshop was ongoing, of course, I made sure the guests wouldn’t stay glued to their seats. We set up several stations in the venue to satisfy their journaling needs—a craft station, a flatlay station, and a photobooth to document the day’s memories.

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The Craft Station was filled with various materials: stamps carved by Life After Breakfast (thanks, Ale!), paper party c/o IFEX Papers, tools from Faber Castell, washi tapes and pins from Hey Kessy, and stickers from Rainbowholic Shop & Little Miss Paintbrush.

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Look at all these amazing drool-worthy craft materials! 😀

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There was also a flatlay station because #priorities! So amazed with the styled shots the participants came up with.
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Beside it was a photobooth. I had fun designing the props and backdrop that came with it 😛 Guests were also able to take home a polaroid print from the booth! Definitely journal-worthy. 🙂

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FRIENDS, READERS, AND FAVORITE PEOPLE

Most of my friends have never been to any of my events. So glad that most of them were able to come celebrate! 🙂

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Hi Gaby, Maine & Gian!

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Some of my friends from college. Missed you all! <3

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My readers are the best. Most of them, I’ve already seen at my other events…and it was just great to have everyone gather again at my launch. 🙂

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The real reason why I wanted to make this launch possible was because of my readers (you guys, if you’re reading this, lol). Hope it was a fun day for everyone who came!

THANK YOUS AND FEELINGS

Most of the thank yous have already been written on the Acknowledgements page of my book. But I’d like to give a special shoutout to the following people who have helped in this journey of making my second book:
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My core support system: Tricie, my manager, and Kaila, my good friend; Charmie & Ishi of Summit Books for coordinating with me on the event logistics (and for making my launch requests a reality hehe);

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To my core editorial team: Editor-in-Chief Macy Alcaraz, and Art Director Alysse Asilo, as well as my mentor / consultant Jaykee Evangelista (not in photo);teamabc

To Team ABC: Aira, Jean, Elay, Alex, Tricie, Trixie – for being super duper game to help out on the launch;

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To my family, for always supporting my endeavours. Pictured here: my cool mom and aunts. 😛

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And of course, Shutter Panda, for capturing the beautiful photos, and Gelo Yellow for the video diary (which is coming soon!) – I’m looking forward to see it!

Thank you to my publisher Koko Ko, and to Summit Books, for believing in me;

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And most of all, to everyone who have showed their love and support for my second book—

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from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Thank you. My heart is very full. <3

May you find joy in reading, documenting, making art, and sharing stories. Enjoy the journey!

Abbey 🙂

Photos by Shutter Panda & Aira Dizon


PS: Recap of the launch c/o Chinatown TV below!

And also, thanks Kaila for sharing your Manila video diary 🙂

Journal Roundup: Volume 2

(Long time no update on this series! Agh, @self)

Hello there!

Here’s a quick roundup of my recent discoveries while documenting daily. Last month, I shared some tips on daily journaling (which I hope helped some of you!). I’ve never been consistent with a format on journaling but keeping this diary going on since April seems like a commitment I’ve been keeping, which is…good, I guess. Haha. Today, I’ll be sharing a few pages from my current spreads and some stories in between. 😀

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Here’s what my cover looks like. You can obviously tell I like stickers and tapes…a lot. 😛

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I recently got this plastic organizer from IKEA in Singapore. It’s now home to my washi tapes, ephemera, and other small paper things that I can’t seem to place elsewhere. Also, I received this Almond Roca tin (thanks, Tippy!) which now stores postcards I’ve received from friends overseas. 🙂 So happy because I’ve been struggling with containers (since my washi collection is growing too, lol) for the looongest time. True fact: I am a sucker for boxes and containers. Daiso is my best friend. Lol. Anyway.

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I have one of my Letters from ABC boxes as containers for stickers and post-its. If you’re wondering where I get these, I usually get my stickers abroad and at art fairs / craft stores in Manila. The other day though, I scored the glasses stickers at National Book Store. Har har. My recommended shops in Manila are Papemelroti, Hey Kessy, and Common Room. 🙂

Okay, let’s talk about some of my journal pages!

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July-4

JUNE 2016, WEEK 2

June was a deadline-heavy month (well, so is this month). I had a hard time adjusting and finding that balance between being sane and doing good work. So I had to realign things and put my energy into my personal growth by being efficient with work.

On a lighter note…am I really that desperate that I actually paste receipts on my journal now? Lol. Yes. Well, Little Bear was pretty good! I also like the logo’s typography. 😛 #biased

We also had the Creative Talks + Art Sale 2.0 at Pi Breakfast and Pies! It was an awesome afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came and listened to our stories, and help de-clutter our workspaces by purchasing our pre-loved materials! Until the next. 🙂

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An afterthought: I realized how much people I’ve been meeting / spending time with and I’m pretty happy. I’ve never been the sociable type but I really am grateful to be friends with selected people who matter in my life. (That was a very introvert sentence but it is true. Lol)

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July-5

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JUNE 2016, WEEK 3 & 4

This was a great de-stresser from Manila’s craziness. I got to teach three classes in Singapore (more on that soon!) and went on a mini vacation while I was there. 🙂

Most days, I didn’t bother getting all crafty (tbh when you’re too busy painting and writing 24/7 you kinda lose the energy to actually do personal work) and I just wrote important statements on my daily entries. It was a good break since I really like unloading my inner thoughts every so often.

Note: I actually have a separate “brain dump” notebook for my feelings. It’s not in this Hobonichi because I like writing really long stories and recaps of life in general. (Nope, I don’t like writing. I really don’t. But my brain kinda needs it every once in awhile, lol)

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JULY 2016, WEEK 1

Tried watercoloring on my Hobonichi because I was curious how the paper would react. Surprisingly, it cooperated 😀 I had fun working on this spread. Coincidentally, I enjoyed the first weekend of July as it was spent making art (that matters, lol) and spending time with family, despite the heavy workload I had to deal with on those days.

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JULY 2016, WEEK 2

This time 2 years ago, my close friend-turned-manager Tricie and I went backpacking across Southeast Asia (after graduating college). You can read more about that here. 🙂 It felt nice to reminisce on those days and how worry-free we were (you can just imagine how much of a different person I was when I was twenty-one; I’m now twenty-three). Anyway, we finally had one of those “no-work meetings” during that weekend, where we usually just talk about life in general (sans work). It was great 🙂 I had the best time.

I’m also looking forward to our next backpacking trip in 2017! *time to save up*

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JULY 2016, WEEK 3

This was literally hell week – I had to battle 3 deadlines in a week. A week! Imagine how stressed / tired I was (to the point where I have bad dreams and wake up in the middle of the night, yep). It was nice though because I was able to 1) beat my deadlines and 2) sleep well eventually. *confetti*

Anyway, I was pretty relieved I took a day off and went to Nayong Pilipino (well, that was partly for work but twas okay!) and National Museum. It was fun to actually just worry about the simpler things 🙂 Read more about my Manila mini adventure here.

Well, that’s it so far for my journal roundup this time. You can check out volume 1 here. 🙂 Hope you’re having an awesome weekend so far.


Also, I have a few announcements!

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I’ve worked on lots of projects this year that I cannot disclose (YET) but to give you a clue, here’s a photo below of what I’ve been working on this month.

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I art directed / wrote / styled / laid out all the pages for a *wait for it* product coming at you in the next months. I also worked on a “thesis” that involved personal things (you could imagine, I spent the first half of the year working on it and now I’m feeling all the separation anxiety in my system sinking in) and I can’t wait to show you guys what it is!

That’s it for now. I’ll keep you guys guessing. Haha.

So, how’s your journaling going so far? I’ll be sharing a few tips on travel journaling (+ tools I use) for my next roundup. Do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know your thoughts on the comments below!

Abbey 🙂

Journal Roundup: Volume 1

Starting a new column on the blog called “Journal Roundup” – aka, an attempt for me to document daily and make something out of my personal journal. 🙂

Most of my friends tell me I’m a thoughtful person – I guess I really value the littlest things, and that I’m most proud of. I’d take a quick coffee catch-up over some fancy dinner, or even a small note of thanks over a huge gesture of gratitude. That’s probably why I value the things that make up the totality of who I am – and what better way to do that than to keep these memories in a tangible book?

I’ve kept journals for the longest time; ever since I was thirteen, it became my outlet of daily musings, dreams, goals, bucket lists – and many more. All my dreams have been written on every piece of notebook I owned. And it still feels surreal to know that some of them have actually come true as I’m typing this.

Anyway, enough about that – here’s a roundup of my entries inside my Hobonichi. 🙂

Quick back story: I got myself a Hobonichi supposedly for “work research” (no kidding) but I decided to scrap that and really commit to sharing a bit of how every day’s been going for me. Ideally, I’d just bullet all my favorite days; but I decided that this time, maybe it would be nice to value each day as it is. 🙂

I didn’t want to have to draw every day or even do lettering. I just wanted to keep things compact and make some sort of creative craft activity every day so I am hoping this journaling thing satisfies that. Don’t get me wrong though; I didn’t take photos of all the pages because the others are for my eyes only. Hehe. These are some of my favorite spreads, though! Enjoy. 🙂

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April 2016, Week 1

This journal was purchased out of impulse (with Kaila), but no regrets. Initially, I had no idea what I wanted it to look like. Then again, I realized I should just let things take its course. 🙂

Also: I watched The Little Prince and it hit me right where I needed to be hit. That was a feels trip film – I am not over it.

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April 2016, Week 2

My last weekend in Japan was bittersweet but memorable. I wish I could remember every “note to self” we had during our “creative breakout sessions” but I’d like to believe they’ve all been injected into my system. 🙂

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April 2016, Week 3

This was a nerve wracking week for me as I spent 80% of the week out and about. If you know me personally, this is something I rarely do (that being said, you would know how much of an introvert I am). Meetings, talks, workshops all in 7 days – I gave up on the last day of the week. No joke. Nevertheless, such a fulfilling experience.

Also: It’s pretty obvious that I like this hand-lettered format better as it saves the hassle of crafting. Then again, my hands ached after doing this. Lol.

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April 2016, Week 4

A week full of questions and deadlines and works in progress – and the easiest thing I could do was jot down 5 things that made my day unique & memorable. Case in point: when someone actually asks if you’re still alive after working on x deadlines (huhu), or when you constantly replay a playlist for no apparent reason, or when you accidentally get some tough love at 10 in the morning, on a Monday (yep, on a Monday!).

Also: Thank you Dom for my portrait stamp (!!!) and Alessa for the Abbey Sy logo stamp. 🙂

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May 2016, Week 1

I was joking around and asking my publisher a few months back if we could have a signing in Cebu or Davao…and a week later, SM Lanang Premier asked if they could fly me to Davao for said signing. Call it coincidental, or maybe just ~fate~, but I had a great weekend meeting some readers in Davao. Not to mention a really fun couple of days with Koko and Jean, who took care of me the whole time. (Huhu, thanks!) More on this soon on another post 😀

Also: I bought a box of pomelos and of course, I had to keep at least a sticker. ~ephemera~ lolz


I was wondering – anyone here starting out journaling? Or have you kept journals over the years? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

Abbey

 

On Settlements

I’ve never been one to settle (“Never Settle” has always been a part of my list of creative mantras”). I think moving has always been part of my DNA – moving jobs, traveling every so often, and constantly looking for another way to change an aspect of my work are just some things to prove that aspect.

Maybe the idea of settling never appealed to me, being a constant type A go-getter OC person (yup, that’s all me). I always believe there’s something better if you take bigger steps to get to new destinations.

This is the second time I’m writing a “hello and welcome to my new home” post – I’ve moved to artistic-dreams.com last November 2014 in the hopes of further building my dreams and working towards becoming a full-time artist. Fate was kind enough to recognize that, and two years later, here we are. 🙂

A website like this was always a dream I never thought possible. But late last year, I realized that it’s time to actually make one. It came to a point where after all the projects I’ve worked on sort of made itself into the ABC picture, I didn’t have a place to showcase them properly. Keeping my work displayed in external platforms just didn’t make sense; I needed a home. And a functional one, at that. There were also concerns about the things I do – what are you, an artist? a teacher? an author? a blogger? a letterer? Do you just paint all day and post your work?

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Well, I hope this website answers all your questions. I’ve written down every single piece of information you need in my About page & FAQ, updated my Portfolio in the best way possible, as well as revamped my Workshops page. I’ve also created pages for my babies (published work): The ABCs of Hand Lettering & Letters from ABC, and the shop will be in full swing very soon for both local & international residents.

It feels surreal to actually write this post – I’ve been hiding under artistic-dreams for six long years, after trying to decipher what sort of “artistic dreams” I really wanted to fulfill in this lifetime. Thanks to everyone who witnessed my journey / The Road to ABC – it’s still ongoing and I’m still a work in progress. But I’m hoping this website gives me security to settle and a new reason to be more grateful every day.

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A list of thanks:
  • Clients & brands I’ve worked with as a freelance artist & author: for believing in me since day one, for all the learnings, and for the opportunities
  • My workshop students and readers: for all the support, for appreciating my work, for always being there
  • My family & friends: for keeping up with my life and supporting my creative endeavours

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A list of (more) thanks, especially for the development of this website:
  • Mary Silvestre for coding this website and being super patient with me (tech noob here lol)
  • Katsy Garcia for art direction
  • Tin Villanueva for being my videographer (and good friend) since day one
  • Aidee Tan & Mikka Wee for putting some of the words together
  • Shutter Panda (Karen & Mare), Maine Manalansan & Ber Garcia for the photos and visual assets
  • Reese Lansangan for your inputs while this was still on BETA mode
  • Friends & mentors: Tippy & Pong of Googly Gooeys, Kaila, Koko, Jaykee – just some of the people who help keep me sane throughout this road to ABC thing. Thank you for always believing in my artistic (and human, lol) capabilities.
  • Tricie Amador, who has been managing me for more than a year now, for supervising this project and helping me out in every work task for ABC, and for always listening to my crazy ideas & making them work

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Alright, guess I won’t let you read any longer. Hope you enjoy browsing through this website. It’s still not 100% finished as I’ll be adding a few more things in the coming weeks but I hope you guys like it! This blog will be constantly updated with life stuff, announcements, my travels, and art advice, like always. Let me know what you think of the website in the comments below!

Best, Abbey

photos by Shutter Panda