life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


paper story: our invites

Kei gave me the free hand to create our invites. I count it as one of the perks of being a graphic artist, as I already have an idea of what I wanted our wedding invitations to look like.

But being Chinese we have to uphold certain traditions. Our Invitations have to be bilingual. Being quite of a rule breaker that I am, I know for sure that I am not going to have the traditional Chinese wedding invitation cards.

Sorry, but this is just so not us.

At home we have a shoebox full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

At home we have a shoe box full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

But I am not about to go out and buy generically designed cards. I am going to create my own, our own. And get it printed.

I wanted something simple: no letterpress, gold foil or emboss, but I wanted to inject color to make it look happy and not so plain and of course, it must look modern. So the cost would be lower, and also to highlight the design and color. And if the budget would allow, I also wanted it to be on pearlescent paper. So I went to ask my best friend Google for inspiration.  I found these.

invitation inspiration all photos from google.

booklet type invitation inspiration (all photos from google)

I like the idea of a booklet type invitations. Beacuse I have to write everything twice, one in English and one in Chinese. I need a lot of pages!

So, I took that idea and went to create my awesome, modern bilingual invitations. I made two designs and got Kei to pick one, so that everything has Kei’s approval from the design to the paper stock. 

I now present our draft/prototype! This was printed at home using our desktop printer and cream colored pearlescent board paper, and held together by two paper fasteners.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓=just what we wanted.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓ = just what we wanted.

Ours still feature the traditional Chinese symbol double happiness* 囍, which was modernized by making the 喜 “hug” the other 喜. Using soft colors instead of the usual red and gold gave it a more casual, romantic feel. Using pearlescent paper also made it look elegant. We also added bunnies inside!

*Double Happiness is a ligature, “囍” composed of 喜喜 – two copies of the Chinese characters 喜 () literally means joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and is pronounced as apolysyllabic Chinese character, being read as 双喜 (shuāngxǐ). -wikipedia

The invite was sectioned into three parts: The wedding- that includes everything about the ceremony. The Entourage- This page has everyone in the bridal party. Lastly, we have The RSVP- where we placed more information (what to wear, our instagram tags, facebook page…etc) regarding the event.

So, once we got our draft done, we got some of our friends (who has been-there-done-that) to check our handiwork. They thought it was the real thing! hahaha! It looked good. We had all the wordings down pat. One even commented that the look was so Pammy. I took that as a compliment. ^_^ Till we let one of our principal sponsors take a look of it. (Unknown to me, they are in the printing industry! *surprise surprise!* They would also like print our invites!!).

They asked us out for dinner meet-up they got us to choose paper stock for our wedding invites! So blessed! Just Wow!

Imagine our amazement when they handed over swatches of Prestige Paper Products and Fedrigoni Papers. They let us choose the one we like. I was over the moon! I love stationery and fancy paper! So many options all awesome paper! But we had to choose, and keeping in line with what we wanted we picked out Fedrigoni Papers for Indigo in Soho Sirio Pearl Polar Dawn.

It looks like this.

It looks like this. But the photo does not give it justice.

The photo does not give it justice at all. It has these iridescent rainbow flecks on a base of subtly shimmery cream paper. Prints and colors shows up well on the paper too! Awesome sauce pretty!

 Now all we have to do is finalize the texts inside of the invites as we have a lot of changes in those.  


-Need a Chinese graphic artist for your own invites? shoot me a message. ^_^

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being an artist

Comes with pros and cons. (I’m a graphic artist/designer.)

I love being able to help out businesses/people regarding branding, advertisements, packaging, layouts, photo editing, drawing, creating ideas, creating unique personalized gifts, helping you when you have a fashion crisis, flyers, illustration, doing my little sister’s school project/assignments, making designs for the church..etc. which is pretty neat!

But there are also times that I hate being one.

Like when people expect you to work for free. *No, I don’t work for free. I have bills to pay too, just like you. Do you work for free?* Or when they ask you to create a design and end up bossing you around to do what they want and create a ridiculous design then blame you for the awful design. *Have you forgotten that I just created what you want?!* Or when people think that artwork is not work. Or when people expect you to churn out the artwork right after giving you the details to the last minute because it is already needed. *I need time to create!*  Or when people say, Woah you charge that much?! It looks so damn easy! *Yeah right, save yourself the trouble and do it yourself then!* Can you do my (event) invitations for free? I can get you in for free! *seriously, I am not interested in your event* My son/daughter is just insert age here 10 and below and is a really good artist just like you. *facepalm* Design for us for free and it will be good word of mouth advertising for you. *WTF?!* Create a poster for me then gives me a lot of crappy, small sized photos and tells me to Photoshop it, then when told that those photos cannot be used, they get angry at you and tells you that you cant do Photoshop. *tableflip*

Exactly how I feel. People who does graphic design for a living will find this funny.

Exactly how I feel. People who does graphic design for a living will find this funny. (form the internet)

And usually all I can say/do to those people described above is just to politely smile and shrug of whatever they just said. *But in my mind, I just high fived their face while shouting aaaaaaarrrrgggghhhhh! like a Spartan*

I also found a list of why you should and should not date a graphic designer from the internet and found it hilarious! I tweaked it and made my version. 

graphic designers


The real lists can be found here:  Do not date a graphic designer & Date a graphic designer.

*We can still add more to the list. Let me know what you would like to add.

But, with great power comes great responsibility. It is awesome being an Artist.



An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. – James Whistler


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Whose time is it anyway?

I often times encounter a lot of time management issues. Working the eight to five at the office, we are given a grace period of 15 mins everyday for a total of “no strings attached” free late of 60 mins or an hour every month. I can say, the company that I am working for is understanding! Understanding of the fact that traffic jams in Metro Manila is a real drag. Even though I am aware of the time I am needed to be at work, I still usually come up late.

Blame it on the never ending digging of Maynilad water/drainage pipes, the stop at every corner-passenger hogging-overloading  Jeepney drivers, plus a sprinkle of some road mishaps and there you have it Philippine streets. The leading cause of my tardiness. And I am not blaming it all on the traffic, at times I am the culprit. I simply woke up late.

Then there is also this interesting concept of your time vs my time. As a graphic artist, I am usually at the beck and call of clients/editors/ad agencies etc. While I am ready to comply with their needs, they almost always have a hard time with time itself, that gets both parties in trouble. To be clear here are a few examples:

Ex 1. TRANSFERRED TARDINESS: Me and Editor at a deadline day at the office.

Me to editor: So, I will be expecting the edited materials by 1:30 so I can revise the layout by 2:00 and you can final proof it at around 2-3:30, give me the go signal to print,  then we send it to the printers by 4:00

Editor: Sure.

Me: Okay. ( in my mind everything is under control.)

fast forward to 2:30 I haven’t head a peep from my editor. So, I call him. 

Me: Hello is Editor there?

Office mate (who happens to pick up the phone): He just arrived in the office, maybe he is out for coffee.

Me: okay. (patiently waits.)

It is now 3:00 and I follow up on my editor again. 

Me: Hello Editor! can I have the revisions now? because we are lagging behind schedule.

Editor: I am looking at it now, will call you back once its done.

It is now 4:00 and I follow up again. 

Me: Hello Editor! Is it done? we need to send it to the printers about now.

Office mate (who happens to pick up the phone): Oh sorry pal, He is not in the table.

Me: where is the editor?

Office mate: the editor has some guests, sorry.

It is now 4:30 and I am fuming. 

Me: blankly staring at the email. Then at about 4:40 I get the first part of the revisions, I still have to input it into the layout and get it to be proofread for the final time. (My office hours ends at 5:00.) Go figure, how am I going to do that much in a impossible time frame?

by 5:30 I send in the corrected layout.  By 6:00 the editor is out for another cup of coffee.

6:30- the editor reads the revised layout. edits and asks for changes in the design.

7:00- I send the latest revised layout and wait for the proof reading to give me the go signal.

8:00- still nothing.

8:30- A writer gives the go signal. Guess where the editor is?! The Editor is out of the office.

9:00- I go home.

The next morning I fill up an overtime form.  Results in 4 hours of overtime. 

Me: places the form on my Supervisor’s desk.

Supervisor: why took so long to accomplish the task?

Me: I have to wait for that slug, lazy ass of an editor.

Supervisor: you should follow up on him.

Me: I did. Maybe you could tell him.

Supervisor: okay. because we are not wasting company money on unnecessary overtime. I am sure this can be done faster.

Supervisor then talks to editor, editor straightens up a bit, editor get resentful at me for ratting editor out. 

In the end I lose. and the editor goes back to what he does best. Delays.

Why editor does it? just because editor can, and editor is much higher than Graphic artist. Editor gets Better pay.

Oh, there is also this issue of errors in the work. Typos/grammars that are wrong get blamed on graphic artist. Just because the graphic artist is the last to hold the material. They didn’t think it was because the work was rushed. Editor gets away scoot free. Graphic artist get a memo. I get sad, vent out by eating out and get fat, rant about my problems to my friends resulting in late sleep, wake up late, go to work late. get memo for being late.

So tardiness is sometimes transferred tardiness.  

Ex 2. DISAPPEARING GHOST/DIFFICULT PEOPLE : Me and Ad agency representative.

Time is: 9:30am

Ad agency representative: We need a layout for this product, conceptualize fresh and young feel in the layout. We need this before lunch.

Me: okay, will work on it. will send two drafts before lunch.

around 10:30, I send the drafts. 

Ad agency representative: Merge the two layouts in one, and make it mush more chaotic to look fresh and fun.

Me: okay.

sends in the revised draft at 11:00

Ad agency representative: Why did you move the photos, it looks messy. make it straight.

Me: okay.

sends in the draft with straightened pictures 11:15

Ad agency representative: Give the layout more play! (irritated voice) crop some photos and tilt some!

Me: okay.

sends in the draft with straightened/cropped and tilted pictures 11:25

Ad agency representative: (irritated voice) It looks messy. Give it a orderly feel!!!

Me: okay. But you said make the layout conceptualize fresh and young feel. I made it tilted to look more dynamic and fresh.

Ad agency representative: (irritated voice) Just do what I said. send it now, we are so late!

Me: okay.

sends in the draft with all stick straight pictures. 11:30. by this time I have done 3 revisions to the layout already! and each is drastically different!

Ad agency representative: (irritated voice) you just don’t get it! I said fresh and young! this looks so rigid!

Me: you said to make it look orderly.

Ad agency representative: (irritated voice) orderly but not this! make it fun!

Me: how do i make it look fun? place a huge FUN word on it?! gimme  a break! ….

sends in the draft with straightened/cropped and tilted pictures the one I sent  last 11:25. 

how about that?

Ad agency representative: (irritated voice) this will probably have to do. Wait for my call after lunch.

The Ad agency representative didn’t call back the whole day and the day after that.  Till three days after. 

Ad agency representative: (cheery voice) remember the layout? we have a few corrections and it will be okay.

Me: okay. (while trying damn hard to recall where I saved the files)

Ad agency representative: (cheery voice) will send in the revisions in a while.

Me: okay. Will wait for it.

The Ad agency representative emails a minor revision at 6:30 way past my office hours (8-5). 

The next morning;

I sent the layout with revisions.

The Ad agency representative didn’t email/call back the whole day and the days after that.  Till a week after. 

Ad agency representative: (cheery voice) we have another project do a elegant/feminine layout for us.

Me: okay. But may I ask about the last project we are working on?

Ad agency representative: (fake surprised voice) Oh dear! are you not informed? it was canceled.

Me: … cancel my ass! I just wasted my time listening to your crap and doing all those revisions for nothing! 

Oh, what a pity.

Ad agency representative: (cheery voice) So, I will explain this new project….. yada yada….

The what?! that’s it? no apology or anything? you caused me to be delayed in my other projects or I could have just have a more relaxed pace of time those days but I did cater to your call, and now you need me again to do your bidding? So that you can make another ever-changing concept revisions again? Damn.

So Graphic artist being late  for the ever-changing layout not acceptable, while ad agency representative cancels without a warning is okay?!

So you just wasted my time, and made my life harder than it is.  Can I kill you now?

I have a lot more stories of this nature, I have only shared the most bloody two.  The Mañana Habit- or the concept of Filipino time.

Here in the Philippines, 20 minutes late is considered early. Being late is acceptable at times fashionable, more so if you hold a place of position. In my opinion it is some sort of power tripping.  I am always frustrated whenever I would attempt to schedule my work flow, people would mangle it up/ never show up and other people who could help simply did nothing/or close to nothing to assist/help me in getting our work done. It’s annoying, frustrating, and very difficult to understand, but for many people here in the Philippines, the concept of time and their own concept of time will never match up.  Still, I remain hopeful that one day Filipino people, especially in the workforce will understand that having business/workflow run on time is key to success. Being on time also makes you look professional and that is always good right?!

To remedy this problem I always set my schedule an hour early when dealing with pesky editors/ad agency representatives/etc. So, I don’t get too worked up when they are late for lets say 45 mins. But even with this an hour earlier schedule, Guess what? They are still late.