Artsy Bitsy Saturday

I met one of my calligraphy gods. And I got all the jolt I needed to perk up on what would have been a dreary Saturday.

This day started out with me doing my usual routine—a quick jog and some errands. Save for the occasional capture of a few Pokemons (yes, I’ve hopped on the bandwagon), today began like any other uneventful weekend.

My phone buzzed (I thought a pokemon popped up) and found the calendar notification for the day—Lunch with Shine at 12nn and Art Boodle at 2 pm. Lunch was fascinating. My sister and I went to an Italian place for pizza and pasta but they offered more than Italian food. On the walls were Michelangelo’s portraits (replicas) of naked “underdressed” men. The Renaissance paintings already gave me the dose of art I needed for the day. Little did I know that the Art Boodle event I chanced upon browsing on Facebook would give me a whole lot more.

Art Boodle, from what I understood on their Facebook events page, is a gathering of art enthusiasts in a newly launched co-working space (like a common room for freelancers to call their office). We were told there would be mini workshops for watercolor painting and brush calligraphy before the actual art boodle happens. The concept of art boodle is similar to a boodle fight, a military style of eating where food is set atop nothing but banana leaves and everyone helps themselves with only their bare hands. With art boodle, we have paper instead of banana leaves and we make art instead of eat.

It was definitely an interesting enough event, I couldn’t forgo the chance to join especially since the venue is only two blocks away from the Italian place and a block away from where I live. And there I met two of the people who I thought I’d never see outside of social media–@weebong and @firstofapril.

We all follow certain instagrammers whose posts turn us green with envy. My “following” list has a fairly large number of calligraphers and watercolor artists whose works I have often screencapped and revisited for inspiration. To say that I follow them would be inaccurate. The better term, I guess, would be stalk.

Meeting them face to face was unexpected. Creating art on the same blank paper was surreal. That was the whole point of Art Boodle. Everybody makes art on the same paper. Everybody learns from each other.

I witnessed @weebong effortlessly add a hummingbird to my flowers. I carefully listened as he talked about color relationships and watched him put them to use. I tried not to flinch just to see each and every paint he allowed to bleed and the ones he meticulously controlled to set into place.

I reveled at the sight of @firstofapril writing the words Summer Time in her beautifully calligraphed script. The way she commanded the brush was almost magical. With the light and quick upstrokes and the pressured down, smooth downstrokes, the grace with which she wrote was divine. And take note, she was holding a thick brush, barely appropriate for calligraphy. I used a fine waterbrush and I was struggling to control it. Although carefully written, my “Bloom where you’re planted” looked haphazardly done. I was a Magikarp to her Gyarados. I need an almost impossible amount of candies to become anything like her. (Sorry for the pokemon reference. I can’t help it.)

I was a Magikarp to her Gyarados.

I used to look forward to getting home to my quill and inkpot after work. Even when I’m sitting in a coffee shop, I would practice my scribbles on table napkins. Lately, my calligraphy and even the newly picked up watercolor painting has been stalled because I’ve been staring at my phone in the hope that something legendary would pop up.

These days, I have been measuring my productivity in terms of pokemons captured and levels unlocked. With no new entries to the Pokedex or enough evolutions to juice up my XP, I won’t be moving on to Level 21 anytime soon.

But today was neither unproductive nor uneventful. Today, Magikarp was reminded of the long and difficult journey to evolution. But today, he also met a Gyarados, the legendary creature he could become. And that was all he needed to keep going.


The Italian restaurant
Pizzeria Michelangelo
Escario Square, Cebu City
For reservations call, 032 2530076.
Other branches: Mango Square, One Paseo Saturnino, City Times Square, and Punta Engano Mactan

Art Boodle
An event hosted by Passion and Projects.
They host workshops on watercolor painting, calligraphy and mobile photography, among others.
Like them on Facebook.

The venue
Creative Community + Workspace
It is a co-working space for freelancers (web and graphic designers, writers, etc). They have conference rooms, spaces for workshops, a well-equipped pantry, and good internet!
2nd floor, Paras Building
Don Gil Garcia St., Cebu City

The legends
April of First of April Designs
Event Styling/Watercolor and Calligraphy/Photoshoot Styling
IG: @firstofapril

Wilbert Wee
Watercolor Artist/Illustrator
IG: @weebong
Blog: masterpiecein30minutes

Magikarp is a pathetic carp who hardly has powers for combat. It is often only captured so it can be evolved to Gyarados, the closest thing to a legendary Pokemon in the first generation of the Pokemon Go mobile app. An almost impossible 400 Magikarp candies are required for evolution.

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