Social Media Fast + Tagalog Pass

Two major things happened this past weekend besides the fact that my baby boy turned 7 on Saturday!

#1.
For the first time since I've owned either a Facebook or Instagram account, I did NOT post some major event on the same day that it happened on either of those accounts.

#2.
I noticed that instead of reprimanding Cedro for not speaking to me in Tagalog when he wanted to say something, I just let him speak to me in English.

Because of these two things, I had some pretty important epiphanies and have made some new resolutions.

I hereby declare a self-imposed 2-week minimum social media fast for myself (after this blog post)!

I confess that I often get lost in the art direction and documentation of the moment rather than living in the moment itself. I admit that I spend more time and energy posting and reading other people's posts rather than resting or DOING something else… anything else! Drawing or sleeping immediately come to mind. Haven't done much of that lately yet I constantly complain about the lack of those two things in my life.

Time to take control of my choices and be more accountable for my health. Instead of buying more and more makeup and fancy skincare products to mask the fact that I don't get enough sleep, I really have to make sleep a priority! As a start, I have deleted my Facebook and Instagram apps from phone for the time being. I still want to document memories for Cedro and Drae and for myself. Instagram has been amazing for that and I just have some posts automatically shared on Facebook, but my motivations have been pretty messed-up. I should just post and then close the app, but NO. It becomes a black hole and then all of a sudden 1 or 2 hours are gone. Poof! All because I can't decide on the right filter or crop or hashtags or that I can't stop scrolling through my newsfeed until there's nothing new to see.

I am in desperate need of a major Social Media Cleanse! I need to recalibrate and remind myself of my priorities and motivations behind future posts. My late mentor, Freda, used to remind me to try create art with the assumption that no one would ever see it. Obviously something else happens in the creative process and the end result when you don't have an audience.

As for the Tagalog… Maybe it was because it was Cedro's birthday and I subconsciously didn't want him to feel frustrated on his special day (Tagalog is his weakest language of the 3 that he knows) or maybe it's because he was clearly excited (we went to Legoland for the first time) and I didn't want to dampen the mood or interrupt his train of thought.

You know what happened? He expressed more to me in the past couple days than ever before. Don't get me wrong. We are super close and we talk all the time, but this was different. The sentences were spilling out almost non-stop.

I know it's common sense to expect that he would communicate more complex thoughts and emotions to me in English – his default language after Japanese. I will always enforce the Tagalog rule when he speaks to me, but I will be more mindful to do it in constructive way going forward.

How can I be upset or frustrated with him or jealous when he seems to have more lengthy in-depth conversations with Brian when (a) I am the only one who speaks to Cedro in Tagalog (Sure there are my parents and extended family, but a weekly video chat and the occasional holiday visits are not going to improve his Tagalog skills); (b) And by the way, my Tagalog sucks and I myself struggle with it; (c) He doesn't go to a Tagalog immersion school; (d) He doesn't have local friends or young cousins who speak Tagalog; (e) Cedro has never been to the Philippines; (f) I can't find any quality, modern children's programming in Tagalog, at least not on YouTube.

So what am I going to do about all that? What are my options other than taking a leave of absence from work and taking Cedro to the Philippines next summer and every summer until he's an adult? Well, since I'm his only Tagalog teacher right now, instead of feeling sorry for myself about how my Tagalog sucks or whine that Cedro doesn't seem to be making an effort, I have to hustle and really learn the language, continue to practice and gain proficiency. If I can stick to my Social Media Fast, then some of that time can be dedicated to reading my Tagalog language books and listening to the accompanying audio recordings and exercises. I can take the initiative to reach out to friends and cousins who are fluent and just keep practicing.

I just have to do it and try to teach by example and not put so much pressure on Cedro.

Bye for now, Social Media friends. I just remembered what my priorities are.

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4-min Daily Doodles for 40 Days

IMG_5801

For Lent this year, I’ve decided to draw a 4-min doodle every day. Today’s doodle is inspired by my friends, Tom and Thomas, who I’ve known for 18+ years. They are 2 of the sweetest people on planet Earth. Check out this interview about their business. I love how they make time for community work despite their busy schedules. (Tom has owned a few Boston Terriers over the years in case you were wondering about the dog.)

Drawing Again!

ArdithNishii_working_vs_relaxing

I always need a deadline to push me to draw more than a doodle.  Tonight’s final deadline for the 2015 Communication Arts Illustration Competition was as good a reason as any… The piece is inspired by the tendency of feeling like I have no ideas when I need them the most.  It’s as if my mind were completely blank with the soundtrack of crickets in the background.  Ironically, when I want to try to relax and put my mind to rest, that’s exactly when my brain starts buzzing with no off switch within reach.

It feels good to draw again.

Superhero Character for the Stan Lee Foundation

© Illustration by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Super Happy Baby!!!! © Illustration by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

My latest drawing is a submission for the Stan Lee Foundation creative invite to design a superhero.  Of course, this is a perfect excuse for me to use Cedro as a muse.  My superhero is Super Happy Baby!!!!! He can fly!  He can dance!  And he can make ANYONE happy just with his laugh/giggle and golden, sunshine-like radiance.  PLUS he has the ability to make anyone an amazing dancer!  Imagine that!  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone were happy and knew how to dance well?

(Voting starts on February 8th, 2011 and ends on February 14th, 2011.)

Pacquiao Shirts are Here (Again)!

 

© Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

Revised Pacquiao: Living Legend design © Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

Still Christmas shopping?  Look no further!  We’ve redesigned our Pacquiao shirts to comply with the Zazzle content guidelines.  (We think.)  Hopefully, the new shirts will be up there for more than 24 hours!  For those of you who tried to purchase shirts for the Pacquiao vs. Margarito fight, we apologize for the inconvenience. 

© Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

Revised Pacquiao: Pride of the Philippines design. © Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

© Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

Pacquiao: Shadows Boxing design © Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

© Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

Tito Manny is My Hero! © Design by Barkada(ko) Art + Design

Exhibition One Hundred Exhibit Closing Day

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez NishiiI wasn’t able to attend the opening reception so I feel fortunate that I had a chance to swing by the gallery space today.  The experience means so much to me on so many different levels.  First, it’s a thrill to see my work on display IN PUBLIC.  It’s the same feeling I get when I bump into someone out and about who happens to be wearing a Barkada(ko) tshirt.  Second, it’s an honor to see my work alongside those of esteemed artists.  Third, it simply makes me happy that I’m drawing again.  Fourth, with my new muse, baby Cedro, in my life, I feel so inspired and motivated to create more art. (Just need to find a way to do it with this breastfeeding lifestyle!)

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

original charcoal drawing

And last but not least, the act of going to Hollywood with Cedro on my own is a BIG deal!  Leaving the house lately tends to require a 2-hour ritual of feeding, changing, diaper-bag-prepping and emergency-bottle-prepping on top of changing myself into a presentable nursing-friendly outfit, putting on a little makeup to disguise the fact that I’m sleep-deprived, packing some water and a snack for myself, packing whatever I need for my final destination and looking up directions in case my navigation thingie on my phone poops out.

Thanks to my husband, Brian, we were able to get out the door together in 35 minutes!  So, out we went in the Nishii-mobile minivan.  We dropped off Brian at his audiobook recording gig in Studio City so I could have access to the car and continued on to Hollywood at the A & I Gallery.  I feel more and more empowered to run errands on my own with Cedro and generally live life beyond our little apartment!  It feels like yesterday when I felt like it would be next to impossible to leave the house at all!  I’ve definitely come a long way.

© Photo by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

Cedro, my model and muse

So here’s to new beginnings!  To the rebirth of my artistic career and to my new life as a mommy.

While today is the closing day of the exhibit at A & I Gallery, you can continue to purchase a print at the Exhibition One Hundred website.  I must give a shout-out to Barkada(ko) supermodel and superfriend, Cat Jimenez, founder and curator of Edition One Hundred.  Thank you, Cat, for believing in me.

Edition One Hundred Art Show

Ardith's submission to Edition One Hundred - LOVE COMES FIRST

"Love Comes First" by Ardith Ibañez Nishii... featured on Edition One Hundred

I am pleased to announce that (a) I am drawing again! and (b) one of my drawings has been selected to be a part of the Edition One Hundred “Freedom + Revolution” show!  What is Edition One Hundred?  It’s a curated online gallery of limited edition art prints.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the opening art reception on October 2nd.  (I’ll be in norcal for a cousin’s wedding.)  The LA launch party sounds like another spectacular event put on by my dear friend and founder of EOH, Cat Jimenez.  I encourage you all to attend!

For more info:

ARTY PARTY 2009

part of the ARTY PARTY projection

part of the ARTY PARTY projection

I can’t believe that 4 days have already passed since my Arty Party last Saturday!  It came and went in a blink!  I couldn’t have been happier!  Great turnout (~100 guests), great vibe (Gstaad bar and lounge), great music, and great friends!

I have announced The Big News countless times that this was supposed to be the year that I was going to make It happen — to follow my true passion and do something about my art.  So I set a date (October 3rd, 2009) and went to work on assembling my art to share.

I spent one month prior to the party reviewing and studying my 50+ journals and sketchbooks.  I have to say that it was a fun and self-indulgent exercise.  I essentially forced myself to read my illustrated diaries from the past 24 years!  I approached my Arty Party with low expectations.  I didn’t pressure myself to create any earth-shattering masterpieces.  The event was an excuse to throw a party and force myself to create something.  Anything.

Some observations or recurring patterns in my journals:  (1) I have been complaining about how lame I am for not pursuing my art, yet I created 24 years’ worth of art (in the privacy of my sketchbooks), (2) I have been repeating like a broken record how much I want to work on some sort of film production, (3) I like to make lists and diagrams, (4) I seem to enjoy drawing mountains, buildings, plants, animals, portraits, random everyday objects, as well as images from my dreams… I know.  I know.  That’s everything!  It’s true.  I seem to enjoy drawing.

I pulled approximately 100 images and either cleaned them up in Photoshop and/or created an entirely new illustration based on a particular image or moment.  For the party, I pared down the set of images to 50 or so and animated them in Flash.  Time ran out pretty quickly so my husband, Brian, came to the rescue and animated my “mountain” sequence and stitched it together with the rest of my animation in AfterEffects to create the DVD.  The finished product was a 15-minute looping animation.

It was quite a learning experience to work in the DVD color space.  Because the venue only had a DVD player connected to their projector, I had to tweak almost all the colors of my original animation — toning down the whites and the blacks.  A pain but good to know.

I also made some limited edition prints of 10 of the illustrations in the animation.  (I’ve reordered new mats to make the rest of the collection available for sale at the Barkada(ko) website hopefully by the end of next week.)

some of the matted prints

some of the matted prints

Special thanks to my sister, Arlene, and my cousin, Stacy for matting and bagging the prints!  Wow!  I couldn’t have pulled out this event without them.  So glad that they flew in from California to help!

I also have to thank my sister-in-law, Lisa Nishii, who took my idea of providing gifts bags for the kids to another level!  She generously supplied the extra treats and went out of her way to get special snacks for the 12 kids who attended the party.  I think the kids had a great time!  I WILL take credit for these amazing LED glow cups that I purchased from ExtremeGlow.com.  Those were a big hit with the kids!  With a press of a button, you can change the color of the cup or even cycle between all the colors!

photo by Mike Wilkins

photo by Mike Wilkins

My sister also created custom stickers, tattoos, and coloring books using my illustrations!  As you might have guessed, assembling the kiddie bags was almost just as much work as creating the art for the party!  I have so many close friends and family with young kids that I wanted to make sure that they were properly entertained during the 3 hours of the party.

EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS:

  • Brian Nishii: my loving husband & A/V expert
  • Stacy Pascual: my cousin (aka Event Coordinator Extraordinaire)
  • Arlene Ibañez: my devoted little sister & lifetime slave
  • Lisa Nishii: my sister-in-law & Kid Party expert
  • Kim Brothers: Ray, Chuck, Sonny (DJ crew)
  • Gstaad: Anthony, Matt, Soraya, & Dan (43 W. 26th Street, NYC)
  • Gourmet Garage: catering
  • Rik Panganiban, Cori Kaylor, Anne Tamayo, Edowa Shimizu, Cliff Pershes, Mike Kearney, Remy Casasola: my investors!  Thank you for purchasing a print!

I finally did it.  No class project or client deadline to follow.  I finally made time for myself.  I finally made time for my art.  It feels good.

This is just the beginning.  Stay tuned for ARTY PARTY 2010. In the meantime, you can check out the animation that we projected below. You’ll have to play your own soundtrack or ask Arlene and the Kim Bros to come over and DJ for you!

BARKADA(KO) ONLINE STORE LAUNCH!

Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

Barkada(ko) Store Grand Opening!!!

This is my first attempt @ posting a blog from my phone! Stayed up late last night testing the new store with Ging (pronounced “Jing”, aka my sister, Arlene) so we haven’t had a chance to blog… Now here I am on the bus back into the city after working all day on MallyBeauty.com…

HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE THE GRAND OPENING OF OUR FIRST ONLINE STORE!

It has been 5 years since we started Barkada(ko) & 4 since our last appearance selling our shirts at Filipino festivals across the country. We took a little break and now we’re back! Our goal is to liquidate our inventory of first edition shirts so we can pave the way for the next projects. We’re really excited about using bigcartel.com as our web store thanks to a blog post we stumbled upon in MyModernMet.com! Since we’re a very small sis-n-sis operation, this will help out tremendously in fulfilling orders & managing our inventory! YAY!

Thanks again to family, friends, & newfound fans for your love and support over the years!!! We couldn’t have done this without you! But thanks most of all to my lil sis! She painstakingly counted, recounted, triplechecked & polybagged each remaining shirt — getting everything ready for the launch!!! All in all, she spearheaded this whole effort. She’s my inspiration! Can’t wait to live in the same city! It’s been almost 20 years!!!

Celebrating Filipino Pride Worldwide!!!
xoxox