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Must Love Manila
I've had the great privilege of representing my country for the Tiger Translate Global Showcase. Along with 20 other artists mostly from the Asian region, we were asked to draw what the word "streets" meant to us in the context of our cities. And here's how I envisioned the pulse and energy of the streets of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. "As always the Manila cityscape comes alive with its charming vibrance and delightful chaos. Never can you find streets overcrowded with an eclectic mix of culture and revelry like Manila. So when the sun sets beautifully by the bay, it means the party's just getting started.""Must Love Manila"50cm x 35cm, pen and inkIf you've ever been to Manila, then you might be able to identify with some of the elements and scenes in the drawing. I tried to put in as much as I could but even if I drew it on the streets, it still wouldn't be enough to capture its essence. I hope the following close ups give you a better feel of the city and somehow convince you to visit the Philippines. click above images for larger viewWith this drawing, Tiger Translate has chosen me as an artist in the running for Tiger Translate Fan Favourite. And with your help, I could be going to Mongolia to showcase my work and represent Manila. For the next two weeks I'll be actively promoting my work in my Facebook page where an online voting is being held. But as early as now, you can express your support by voting for my piece at www.tigertranslate.com/fanfavourite. I'm hoping to get your support. Thank  you!:D

Best Munny
"PISCES"Acrylic/Resin on 7" MunnyBest Munny was the award given by Kidrobot to my entry Pisces in the recently concluded Kidrobot Munnyworld Contest. As a huge fan of the munny, it feels great to have it chosen by the makers themselves. What's even more rewarding is to have it among amazing customs done by my fellow artists and friends! You can check out their awesomeness at the Kidrobot blog.:D

Revenge of the Wolves
The rumbling in her babies' tummies is too much for Lyca to bear.  It has been days since they've last eaten, not since her husband was viciously killed while foraging for food.  Every night, Lyca and her little ones visit the bluffs where she and her husband first fell in love.  There, she wails for their loss and longingly calls out for him in the vast emptiness.  But the only sound that answers is the echo of her cubs' whimpers and the growling of their tummies.  She must snap out of her grief and feed her starving babies.  With a mother's instincts and a widow's vindictiveness, Lyca vows to avenge her husband's murder.  She already got rid of the lumberjack.  All she has to do now is devise a plan to get that rabbit Lago once and for all.This series is a collaboration between me and my little sister. I did the design and customizing while she did the great task of sewing the clothes and making them fit. Full reveals of the toys, including an 8" Lago, will be posted at www.bjornik.bigcartel.com starting Friday. And they'll be available for purchase on the 24th at around 9pm EST.  If you have any questions or if you are interested in future releases, feel free to email me.

WIP: Red
I'm slowly regaining my confidence with the brush. Thanks to my fellow toy lovers, I've been painting incessantly with custom toys for the past month. And here's a sneak peek of my latest project that I posted in my facebook page last week. There will be no definite release date yet but this is something you should watch out for. By the way, the Herzensbrecher show is probably kicking off right this very moment. I'm very thrilled to be in the same show with the people I look up to for inspiration. If you're interested in my pieces or just curious to see how other artists' pieces look like, you can check them out at Strychnin Gallery.:)

Happy Hearts Day!
Just updating with a new poster.

Herzensbrecher
I was invited to take part in an exciting project that will be happening in Berlin two weeks from now. Herzensbrecher, the charity show organized by Strychnin Gallery in collaboration with porcelain company The New English,  features a group of contemporary artists and designers. The main goal is to raise money for the hugely important organization ‘Ein Herz Für Kinder’.Each artist were given one handmade heart for them to customize. But in a big event like this, confusion may arise. Like my case where I received these two hearts."Malaya"approximately 10" tallacrylic on bone chinaThese might have been the most challenging for me to customize. When I received their invitation, I prepared myself for the great task of designing a simple heart. You know, the shape we always draw.haha Yes, I am really that shallow.:P So you can just imagine my shock when I saw anatomical hearts. But like every other project, no matter how simple or difficult, I put my heart into this."Maligalig"approximately 10" tallacrylic on bone chinaI initially planned to add clay for the flowers but decided to paint them instead. I didn't want to take the risk of drilling and breaking these handmade hearts. But I still "broke" them and exposed these beautiful ladies inside.;) Here are more pictures to show how challenging these hearts are to paint on. If you're going to be in Berlin on the 16th, please drop by the show and see how big the participating artists' hearts are. Enjoy!

WIP: Manila


The Battle of Napaeae Forest
I have a question for you to ponder on. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?;) But I don't want to engage you in philosophical banter because the truth is, I really don't know. Assuming it does, it would be the sound of clashing axes, grating chainsaws and crackling ember followed by long screams and a loud thud.I'm actually talking about the ongoing war between the two tribes of wood elves: Wildfire and Kaingin.  It all started when one elf from the latter named Cannabis forgot to prepare for fall and was stripped naked in front of the neighboring Wildfire. To save face, Cannabis made up stories that started the rift between the tribes. And now both camps are ready for the face-off. Pick your bets and see who ends up as firewood at www.bjornik.bigcartel.com.

A New Direction
I've neglected this blog for too long. I didn't notice that it's almost three months since the last time I posted. But I had been so busy to blog about my art. I even missed my yearly art summary. So for those who don't follow me in facebook, here's the long overdue summary of the illustrations and toys I created last year.Looking at this, I realized that I spent the most part of 2011 customizing toys. The year went by unnoticed and I painted a total of 45 toys. That's almost a toy per week.  Not bad for my painting practice but I still have a lot to learn.I really love toys and enjoy creating my own designs on this platform. It serves a breather for my illustration projects and my stepping stone to becoming a painter. Hopefully this year, I can apply everything I learned in painting to all my projects. Wait, that didn't sound right. I will still be customizing toys! If you like my designs, you can email me to get updated with the next toy release later this week.But if you're here for some pen and ink goodness, don't worry, I am still drawing. In fact, I'm currently working on the largest illustration of my life. Just don't forget to check out my facebook in case I don't post it here.:D

Taking a Back Seat
Hooray! I'm finally done with our home renovation and was just right in time for my nephew's 1st birthday. All the designing and supervision, party preparation, and creation of the Shah Mat II series have been strenuous for me that I need to take a break from everything. So you won't be hearing from me for a while  (that's been always the case in this blog) until I have something new and exciting to share.:D So just follow me in my twitter and facebook for WIP's and other news if you wanna get updated with what I do.The above photo is not of our home but the penthouse unit housing the set of my artworks embroidered on backrests of these chairs. Just click any of the two chairs below to get a closer look at the detail.To all those who emailed me asking about Shah Mat II and other commissions, thank you! I'll reply to you as soon as I get home. To everyone else who are interested in acquiring the whole Shah Matt set, just email me for the next email update. Cheers!


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