And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. -Victor Shklovsky

Whats in the bag? (Tools of the Trade)

Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 3 comments

Who says you need super cameras, high-end equipment or paintbrushes with bristles made out of unicorn hair to create quality art and media? Everything created that was magnificent began as an idea, thought or feeling. It began much like how a tree begins as a seed, sitting there in that soil of potential (WOAH). Media or the medium your using (Pilot or Uni pen?) always comes in 2nd, even 3rd or 4th place. So what if you have HDD 3CCD cameras with super zoom lenses fit for wildlife photography in the city?

Expensive equipment don't create movies like Star Trek without the George Lucas telling the story. Wait... He didn't write that? 

Anyway, remember the Twilight Zone series? Rod Serling, the brilliant host and genius behind the series, managed to tell his stories and push the limited possibilities of film back in the 60s where everything was black and white and mannequins coming to life seemed like a CG thing to do. And hes not the first to push the boundaries of whats possible. I've seen many people do great things with so much less, and some have even managed to create with none! I'm not talking about Jesus or Buddha, but hey we can talk about them too, I mean, don't you think they did a pretty good job walking around with no money and cheap footwear, inspiring millions even up to now? Howbout we take a stand back and think about what it is exactly - what is it behind inspired work whether its a really good book, a religious movement, an excellent speech, or a Mona Lisa that sparks that light, that inner awakening that drives us to move, to fly, to explore, to laugh and even cry?

Its LOVE!! I tell ya. (No, its not Divine Intervention or the spawn of the gods of Olympus) Trust that I believe this with all my heart. *wink* And in my own experience of work, freelancing as an illustrator, designer and animator prior to teaching at My Masterpiece, I saw the difference between my inspired/loved work and my un-inspired work. My inspired work seemed almost to have a life of its own, it extended beyond its function and lived through other people who got inspired and created other inspired work - like a contagious virus! My uninspired work, on the other hand, performed its function yet it stopped there. Yes I got paid but I got tired doing the work as well.

Art and creativity is not the mere act of DOING. It is an experienced inner movement that takes you from one state to the next. It can be expressed through the smallest gesture or a grand orchesta, the important thing is that you are there and you are the conductor.

I know I was supposed to write about "tools of the trade". Well, I hope I went beyond that and perhaps, towards the heart of it.


Process Drawing with Kara

Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 4 comments

Last saturday we had another excellent Kara Art Class. This time we did process drawing, the subject being the self, US, and allowing anything to be expressed on paper. We used charcoal sticks to sketch on craft paper.

Here are the sketches from the session:

Ligaya Domingo

Laurie Maravilla

Linny Lareza

Cobbie Karagdag

Karla Co

Bianca Silva

Nica Hechanova

Fran Mortel

Katrina Tan

Type Poetry (Entries and Winners)

Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 8 comments

This announcement has been long delayed! Finally we have here our entries and our winners! Yes, we have 2 winners for this contest due to the absolute awesomeness exhibited by our talented participants. The judges decision was unanimous! Congratulations to Angely Chi and Trina Samaniego! 

Take a look at our entries:

Aki Hawkins

Cobbie Karagdag

Angely Chi

Linny Lareza

Trix Lareza

Trina Samaniego

Brands Clazara

Jad Montenegro

Nica Hechanova

Me As An Artist (MAAA) by Cobbie

Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2009 | Posted by cobbiek | 1 comments

This question got me thinking.
My answer boiled down to this photo below:

Perhaps like a dewdrop,
I'm all wet.

Seriously, it's open for interpretation.

Type Poetry

Posted: Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

Musings on Type
So for some weeks now I've been hanging mostly around bookshops. Reading up on areas I haven't explored as much and discovering many things in the process. Typography turns out to be more than what it seems... =)

Splots Contest 2: Type Poetry

1.) Pick a quote, headline, word that inspires you
2.) Create an artwork by using the quote, headline, or word you chose and play with typography (variation in font, size, etc) - ANY medium can be used!

Guidelines for Submissions:
1.) save as JPG
2.) 300 dpi Resolution
3.) at least bond-paper size or 8x10 inches
4.) email at

Deadline for Submission:
August 23, 2009 - This Sunday!

Sing Me a Self-Portrait Entries and Winner!

Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

Here are the entries and the winner for the first Splots contest. Interesting submissions! Tough choice for the judges.. but fun to do anyhow,  so congratulations everyone! The next contest should be even more interesting. haha.. anyway, heres a closer look at the Sing Me a Self-Portrait entries!

UPDATE: Late entry submissions!

Denise Gonzales - "A Break, A Pause" by As Tall As Lions

Benny Gonzales - "Beat It" by Michael Jackson

Angelie Tan - "Joga" by Bjork

(late) Angely Chi - noise music performance by Japanese sound artist Toshiyuki Seido

Nica Hechanova - "Such Great Heights" by Postal Service

Wella Hong - "The First Time I Loved Forever" by Melanie Safka

Cobbie Karagdag - "Juicebox" by The Strokes

Bianca Silva - "Now We Are Free" by Lisa Gerrard

Carmen Reyes - "Strawberry Swing" by Coldplay

Eo Lim - "Better Together" by Jack Johnson

Leslie Gonzales - "Gold & Warm" by Bad Veins

Sing Me a Self Portrait

Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

Photoshop, from the word itself, suggests something that deals with photography. it was the genius solution to the costly, toxic, meticulous (though romantic and raw) darkroom process of developing photographs. what it does is it mimics everything (and beyond) possible in the darkroom without the actual darkroom. it made photography and the manipulation of it available to the masses - anyone with a digicam and computer can be a photographer, and more than that - a graphic artist.

now once the basic requirements have been met: computer, digicam, photoshop. the next step is creating great photographs or, if you intend to go beyond mere photography, creating great imagery/design. how does one become great at that?

take up a basic art course! but that takes time and money (though it still sets the basic groundwork for AWESOME MIND-BLOWING art). i'd say, start by looking at the things around you that call to you or inspire you. investigate and ask what about it makes it so great. is it the colors? the way it makes you feel? the story it tells? in the beginning you'll find yourself mimicking styles and ideas that have already been created. thats alright, repetition isn't a crime and to really learn anything requires a lot of PLAYing anyway. play with what you like, explore and express in "reckless abandon", as they say. originality comes naturally when you've played so much, enough for you to decide the kind of style or technique you want to stick with. for now we're just gonna have fun. =)

Sing Me a Self-Portrait

this week's project is about taking a source inspiration and translating it through a different medium. since music is always inspiring and always enjoyable we're picking any one song (of your choice) and creating a self-portrait inspired by that song. you'll be needing a picture of yourself, photoshop, stock photographs, drawings and/or textures that will go with the kind of song you picked as your source inspiration.

to submit your entries, email your portrait and song of choice to on or before Sunday, April 16, 2009, 12 noon.

Space Samba by Sound
obviously i'm not part of the competition but to show an example, heres the song i chose and the feel i wanted to recreate was that spacey driving-around-the-city vibe. so i put in some moving lights, city elements, city lines, off-focus dew drops and some galaxy and star elements.

Space Samba - Sound

Take ONE!

Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

The first editing team involved Kat (eunoia), Fran, and Cobbie. Last year, 2008, involved a lot of artistic exploration and collaboration. This meant coming up with various versions of the Side Stories Trailer. Part of our experimentation was the first splot stop-motion sequence by Fran. Featured here in this video.

Side Stories genesis

Posted: | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

It was only around mid of 2008 that the idea of creating an alternative art tv show became more real than imagined. Anna, the boss and visionary behind My Masterpiece believed, out of her complete and utter passion for creativity, that a bunch of art teachers (me included) could create and conceive such a thing, using anything and everything available! from cut-outs, to toys, to outdoor halogen lights, and even the teacher's themselves to perform, act, and collaborate with each other.

Teachers Stand Together

Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

OK. so Teachers Stand Together is an actual band. but anyway. here are our lovely contestants:


Posted: | Posted by Katrina Tan | 0 comments

oooodles of cabooodles.. OK! lotsa stuff in store for this class - er -  competition. but anyhow its fun and its fuzzy and its everything masterpiecey. Fran already did a splot animation and I apologize for not acknowledging her during the class. *luftwuf you fran*

Will upload the video soon. In the meantime, here are some images from the animation.