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Paint + Piña

Photo Credits: Lubang Tourism
This colorful barong is the result of hard work and effective collaboration.

It makes me happy to see my painting turn to life and transformed into an unexpected and abstract modern barong. I never imagined venturing into menswear, but here it is!

My client, the stylist of one of the delegates of the competition, envisioned the concept for the formal wear. It was as much as a challenge for him as it is for me. Though a veteran stylist in the pageant industry, it was his first time to style menswear. It has been a very long time since I made a painting, and my first time to use piña fabric as a canvass. We already established the project as a gamble.

I hesitated to do the painting at first. I wasn't that confident after inadequate practice. At the same time, there are drawings that needed to be finished. It seemed I was doing technical drawings day in and out for weeks and needed a breather; so I took the job and allotted one whole day to finish it.

The formal wear for men had a theme: "modern barong". There are a lot of modern barongs available in every mall and boutique for men. The only drawback is the designs are simple and fairly predictable. The client wanted something unique to break this monotony. Why not let the model wear a painting?

What must be painted?

I was thinking of abstract paintings. Colorful. Mismatched.
He was thinking of a tamaraw.

The tamaraw is a Mindoro dwarf buffalo. This creature is basically a symbol of Mindoro. It would be befitting to make it the subject of the painting since the pageant will be held in celebration of Mindoro Province.

Practicing on paper.
The paper I brought wasn't receiving the paint well but at least the concept can be seen.

After drawing the initial outline, I started painting.
In the upper right corner is a more cartoony tamaraw and some of the other sketches.

Day 1 into painting it was clear that the project needs one more day. My family was understanding enough to let me spend the night with my cousins to finish the painting. (The client happened to be a cousin in the second degree, and I was referred to him by direct cousins.) I felt at home and well taken cared of while working on the painting. I was well fed and happy. That state of mind definitely had great effect on my work.

Halfway into the painting...

Day 2 was when we saw the painting coming together. At the last hours of the night, I was just filling the gaps with paint and admiring the product.

All 4 yards of it. Finished. Ready to be sent to the tailor.

Never lose your artsy hands.

I missed painting manually. Most of the things I do now are digital. I do posters and some graphic arts but using a computer. Technical drawings and plans are done using a computer as well. It is more practical that way. I missed this. I need to paint more. I wish I'd have more opportunities to paint. 

A lot of artists who have completely switched to digital eventually lose their manual talent. Practice every once in a while. Draw! Doodle as much as you can. I still have a drawing notebook and I actually sketch in it.

I know people who were good in drawing when they were kids but lost the talent when they grew up. Why would people waste such kind of blessing? If God blessed you with artistic talent, then you must use it and enhance it and never let it go to waste.

Here are the photos of the finished barong. 
Photo Credits: Lubang TourismThe pattern painted in the piña fabric of his barong was painted by yours truly. ^_^The...

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