First of all, let me take this opportunity to greet every woman out here for International Women’s Day 🙂
As some of you may already have gathered from reading some of my previous posts, I’m a fan of spoken word poetry and have dabbled in a bit of spoken word myself. So, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2014, I share here a curated list of eight powerful spoken word performances that I believe every empowered woman must watch in order to remind her of her true worth in this world.
(Be warned: some of them are pretty intense stuff; I’ve cried watching them!)
If you love what you see here, please feel free to pass it on 🙂
1. Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter(I’m obviously a Sarah Kay fan!)
2. Lily Myers: Shrinking Women(a great counterpoint performance to #1)
3. Sonya Renee: The Body is Not an Apology
4. Katie Makkai: Pretty
5.Alicia Keys: P.O.W. (from her book, Tears for Water)
6. Becca Khalil and Nayo Jones: Ambiguous (for anyone who’s had to deal with rude questions on race)
7. Thea Monyee: Woman to Woman (for anyone who’s ever had to deal with ‘that girl’)
8. Najia Muhammad-Jaaber: Live Before You Die and Beat the Drum(An awesome spoken word performance by a female Muslim spoken word artist–what a revelation!)
Believe me, there is sooo much more good stuff where those came from, so I’ll be sure to post more spoken word performances in this blog. (To all Pinoys looking for more Filipino spoken word performances, stay tuned for material from Speak Philippines in Niña’s Notebook!)
Over a year ago, I was asking myself some life questions and came up with this doodle.
I’d like to invite you to answer these same questions and reflect on what it says about you, your life mission, and your current priorities. I feel like for me, NOW is the perfect time to answer this again and see how things have changed since the time I drew this.
I’ll definitely be sharing my answers on this blog. In the meantime, consider this my way of wishing you all a HAPPY WEEKEND! 🙂
First Wednesdays of the month are Poetry Slam nights for my favorite hangout, Sev’s Café (which I affectionately call my “unofficial living and dining room”). The “slam” consists of a competition for amateur spoken word artists and poets, while the open mic portion–as the name suggests–welcomes anyone and everyone who wishes to share a piece (or more!).
Here is a piece I’ve done for both the slam and our open mic sessions. I wrote it shortly after supertyphoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) flattened many coastal towns in the Visayas region in the Philippines. It was meant to encourage the typhoon’s survivors, but as I was writing it I also realized that I needed to write it in order to deal with my own brokenness. (And who among us isn’t broken in some way, right?)
I unfortunately don’t have a clear-enough video recording of me performing the piece, but once I do I’ll also post it here.
YOU ARE NOT BROKEN
by Niña Terol-Zialcita
Repeat after me:
YOU. ARE NOT. BROKEN.
I know that, right now,
It’s pretty hard to believe.
Didn’t a storm just
Everything you had?
Left you with
Except what’s standing
On your feet?
Rip apart your
Hopes and dreams, and
Bring you to your knees?
You feel broken,
BUT YOU ARE NOT.
Need to know
Is that the very same
That you fear
Is the very same world
That is cheering–
To go on,
In everything you’ve got–
Even when you think
You’ve got heart
You’ve got soul
You’ve got strength
The fucking courage
To stand back up
On your feet
And the resilience
To tell the
ABSOLUTELY NO ONE–
WILL BRING ME DOWN
BECAUSE MY FAITH
THAN YOUR WINDS
AND MY GOD IS
ANY FUCKING STORM.
YOU CAN PUSH ME,
YOU CAN TRY
TO SHRED ME TO BITS.
BUT YOU. WILL NOT. BREAK ME.
YOU WILL NOT BREAK ME.
I am bruised, yes–
I am writhing
But I remain
As sure as
As sure as
My body feels
I AM HERE
I AM WHOLE
I have fears
But I, too,
TO BREAK ME.
Take a step back
Look at yourself
That you are whole
You are loved
Whether you see it
Whether you know it
YOU ARE LOVED
YOU ARE WHOLE
If you liked this piece and would like to share it, feel free to post a comment here or tweet me at @ninaterol. I’d be happy to share it, given the proper attribution. 🙂
Want to see more spoken word pieces from the Philippines, check out the YouTube channel of SPEAK PHILIPPINES (SPEAK Phils). You can also click on their Facebook page. You can also catch us TONIGHT at SEV’s CAFE, at the basement of Legaspi Towers 300, Vito Cruz corner Roxas Boulevard, Malate, Manila. Visit the Facebook page to view the map and other event and reservation details. 🙂
MANILA, Philippines – What does it take to live a life less ordinary?
At the recently held Graphika Manila 2014, luminaries from the creative world shared the stage to talk about their creative process, their best work, the mistakes they’ve made, and lessons they’ve learned along the way.
We saw from their individual journeys that whatever the speakers’ backgrounds—whether they hailed from Barcelona or Bacolod, were a newbie or a veteran, worked freelance or in a studio—they all had one thing in common: they openly sought inspiration and designed their lives around what mattered most to them.
You can do it, too—regardless of your profession or passion. Here are 6 ideas to get you going:
1. Commit to your passions. Illustrator and creative director Ash Thorp admitted to coming from “humble beginnings,” and spent a lot of time drawing during his youth because he “didn’t have a lot of toys.
Thorp talked about his “year of complete potential”, during which he endured commutes every day from San Diego to Los Angeles “because L.A. is where the action is; it’s where Hollywood is.” Eventually, he got noticed by Hollywood producers, who commissioned him to do some work for the big-budget remake of Total Recall.
Today, Thorp lives back in San Diego with his wife and daughter, enjoying work and life as a freelancer.
His advice to the Graphika Manila 2014 crowd: “When there’s a trend happening, let the trend go [its] way and just be yourself.”
2. “Take your weakness and make it your strength.” New York-based illustrator and designerSara Blake/ZSO grew up near-sighted and with a “googly eye.”
Instead of looking at her near-sightedness as a weakness, Blake found inspiration in the many patterns she could see up close. Although she was a very shy child, Blake found solace in art and used her imagination and connection with nature to stand out from the crowd.
In a recent interview, Blake talked more about her creative journey and how she “embraced” her weaknesses to develop her own unique style.
Telling TheGreatDiscontent.com that she wasn’t the best illustrator when it came to drawing realistically, she said, “Instead, I decided to embrace that I use my instincts to determine what I would abstract and what I would base [on] reality.”
Blake tells the Graphika Manila audience, “Free yourself from anyone’s expectations but your own.”
3. Experiment. Learn. Have fun. (Rinse and repeat.) Creativity is the twin sister of experimentation. The more you experiment and learn, the more your mind stretches and makes creativity possible.
Each of the speakers talked about learning new skills, experimenting with new tools, and having fun with the process of discovery. Sara Blake even gave the audience a sneak peek into her creative process, showing time-lapse videos of her Photoshop screenshots.
In designing the typeface for her alias, ZSO, Sara Blake took inspiration from a heart, and joined the Z and the S in order to form an upside-down heart. Peacocks, owls, skulls, flowers, and other natural elements and patterns are also dominant in her work.
4. Seek inspiration everywhere. Would you work with “Designers from Hell”? “Obviously, we’re not from hell,” quipped Teo Guillem and Carlos Pardo from Barcelona-based studio Dvein, but they were such huge fans of the rock band Pantera that they decided to name themselves after the Pantera album Cowboys from Hell. The word Dvein is an acronym for the phrase, DiseñadoresVEnido del INfierno.
“Ideas come from everywhere, from a mix of everything, like the Philippine jeepney,” Dvein said. “Sometimes you don’t know where your ideas will end up.”
Meanwhile, for Fil-Am Eugene Gauran, who now works as Design Director of the award-winning, international visual effects studio The Mill, it’s important to “be inspired by different forms of media.” Although working primarily with visual effects and computer graphics, he said that he finds inspiration in design-based forms because “everything starts with design, and you work your way up.”
5. Go ahead and be obsessed with your craft. “Obsession is the secret to an exciting life,” Bacolod-born Filipino designer Isabel Gatuslao said as she related how her “obsession” with typefaces and identity led her to do work for influential people, including interior designer Chat Fores, celebrity stylist Liz Uy, and, very recently, for Nike and NBA royalty Lebron James.
Every element must have a reason for being—else, it has no place in a well-designed piece.
Jessica Hische concurred. “As a lettering person, you get more obsessed with the smaller details,” she says. This attention to detail plays a key role in her work. In designing the cover of the book The Circle by Dave Eggers, which examines the issues raised by use of social media, illustrator and letterer Jessica Hische took inspiration from “the interweaving connectivity of social media sites.” The cover, which featured a cleanly beautiful spherical piece featuring interconnected orange links, was cited by the New York Times online as one of the best book covers of 2013.
For professional creatives, what matters to a client is to show work that reflects a clear and insightful strategy, a focused mind, and a clean, disciplined hand.
6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Every creative knows that his first draft or study will not be his last.
A simple tip for those who are afraid to get started out of fear of making a mistake? Start with a pencil sketch of your ideas before committing them to ink or a digital rendering. Pencil sketches or doodles get the mind’s creative juices flowing while being clear that “this is just a work in progress.” Plus, it’s easy to erase, making it less painful to undo an error.
Jessica Hische put it another way when she said, “It’s hard to get clients to believe you’re good at something unless you do it over and over.” Make those mistakes. Assess why they happened. Note that for the future.
This applies even if you’re not an artist. Make your ideas real by writing them down, examining them, and consulting the relevant parties.
In creativity, and in life, practice makes perfect – and profitable. – Rappler.com
Calling all Ateneo alumni! Do you have creative pieces that have been locked up in your drawers and hidden hard drive folders, waiting to be dusted off and shared with the world? Heightshas an open call for submissions until January 4, 2014–and we can still be part of it!
Heights accepts contributions year-round; however, there are deadlines for special issues (e.g. Seniors Folio).
You may contribute more than once.
All submitted and solicited works undergo staff deliberations. Works are published based on merit. The author’s identity is kept confidential.
MECHANICS FOR SUBMISSION
Write SUBMISSION as the subject of your e-mail.
Attach your work to the message. For written works, there are no limitations for the number of pages. Artworks should be in CMYK format with a resolution of 300 dpi. If you feel the need to include an artist’s statement, please do so.
Include a short bio-note or write-up, and your contact details.
Disclaimer:I am neither a member nor an alumna of Heights, but I’ve been a fan of their work through the decades and just want to share the message. Please direct your queries to the email addresses above. Thanks!
I’m a writer, first and foremost, but once in a while I am compelled by necessity to open Adobe Photoshop and do something with words and images. I definitely do not claim to be an expert–I don’t even know how to do the magic lasso thingy really well!–but there have been times when I look at the finished product and am really proud of what I’ve done.
If you come across this post and are a professional graphic designer, I’d love to hear your thoughts on tips and tools that I can use to improve my work. Please also feel free to recommend classes and workshops that you really think are worth attending. In the meantime, here’s hoping you’ll like what’s in here so far. 🙂
ALBUM COVER DESIGN
Water SignZ by Paul Zialcita
This was the most challenging design project I took on so far, mainly because it was a very personal endeavor and involved the first album of my husband, Paul. For this, we used photos that he took using a camera phone, and I had to painstakingly write/draw the front-cover characters one by one. (No fonts matched exactly what he wanted!)
All in all, I love how it came out, but I do wish I had a better and more efficient way to write or create fonts.
Dreamboarding by Writer’s Block Philippines
I love how simple this poster looked, and how it evoked exactly the kinds of imagery and emotions that we wanted our audience to feel. This was inspired by a photo of faded lights in New York City. It might seem too girly for some, and the logos look a bit too big, but it worked for us then!
Eat Shake Love by Paul Zialcita and Sev’s Cafe (work in progress, 2013)
Another labor of love for my hubby, this is a save-the-date study (date to be approved) for a fundraiser for victims of the earthquake that rocked Visayas in the Philippines on October 15, 2013. Our idea was to keep the colors, fonts, and graphics very clean, and to emphasize the charitable aspect of the event.
What I loved here were the black, white, and red theme, as well as the simple icons that we used to emphasize each line.
Writer’s Block Philippines (designed 2010)
By far one of my favorite logos because of its simplicity and ease-of-reading, and because of its mission that remains close to my heart to this day. Writer’s Block Philippines now uses a different logo and is run by my former co-founders, Ana Santos and Nikka Sarthou-Lainez.
TechFish (designed 2009)
Here’s another favorite of mine. I remember being inspired by the “play” button of the old stereo components, then fusing that idea with the concept of moving forward and the evocative name that we chose for this venture: TechFish. The rights now belong to my friend, Vince Golangco.
POSTCARDS & OTHER GRAPHIC ELEMENTS
Here’s a number of other stuff I’ve done over the past few months.
There’s more where these came from; for now, I’m just grateful to have enough skills to come up with things that I like. 🙂
For your own stash of tips, tricks, and other feedback, tweet me at @ninaterol!