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an illustrated life


one of the my most favorite art forms is the simple yet brilliant sketchbook. in it’s raw form, it’s nothing out of the ordinary: a bunch of paper, bound between two covers…lined, or unlined. the magic is what unfolds inside. an intimate glimpse inside a person’s wold, in illustrated format. fleeting moments captured in rushed secrecy, the little beauties one person appreciates in her daily life. a sketched trash can, a portrait of a loved one, doodles from a boring lecture, all woven with a tapestry of to-do lists, unfinished ideas, forget-me-not reminders, journal entries and whathaveyou. books that people make for themselves, images from their existence that they don’t want to forget.

i used to keep an illustrated journal all throughout high school. it was a personal journal, but not really one that was meant to be private. i shared it with anyone curious enough to look. the drawings were mediocre..hardly anything that would be considered as an impressive work of art, but the narrative was amusing in its unremarkable regularity. it was an adolescent girl scribbling away her crushes, inside jokes, amusing moments, frustrations, and weekend festivities. everyone could relate.


illustrated life 2

that was when i began to realize the real capability of art. ordinary as my friends and i appeared to the world, my illustrations immortalized us and recorded the history that we were creating. young pinays had a life to live in hayward, california and it was worth archiving! affirmations of our existence and history as filipinos in america was not something that we had ever encountered before, so we reveled in the little stick figures we created, and the drama that unfolded before our lives and within my book.

i think everyone should keep an artistic journal. you don’t need to be an accomplished author or historian to understand the value of a life. scrapbook, sketchbook, photobook, whatever…document your life and exercise that right brain at the same time!

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