Were you at our Washi Tape Launch Party last November 6? Our latest washi tape designers, award-winning comic artist Manix Abrera and singer-songwriter Reese Lansangan, had on-the-spot demos and interesting talks revealing details about their processes and styles.
If you missed the party, don’t worry! We got to sit down with each of them and convinced them to share secrets about their artistic backgrounds, inspirations, and more.
Occupation: Komikero (comic artist), author
On his idol: Manix’s father is a political cartoonist, so it comes as no surprise that as a little boy, Manix enjoyed watching his dad draw and even tried copying his drawings. His father dissuaded him from doing the latter, and taught Manix the most important lesson: Develop your own style. On a related note, Manix advises young artists not to copy others’ work because if you do, you’ll always just be second best.
On one of his first drawings: He remembers drawing their house filled with ninjas and robots—his favorite characters!
On his dream job: Manix has always loved making comic strips, and as he was growing up, he told himself that it was the career that he really wanted to pursue. With a stroke of luck and lots of hard work, he continues to entertain people with his engaging comic strips to this day.
On his “regular” schedule: This comic artist needs to submit six strips by Thursday night to be published in the papers the following week. It’s up to him how he gets ideas for them, and when or where he draws the drafts and inks them. Usually, he goes out in the morning—rides a bicycle, commutes, or climbs a mountain—to seek inspiration from real-life stories and experiences, then just adds a twist for his comic strip.
On crafting something unique: Manix believes that it’s our culture that makes our art one-of-a-kind. There’s a wealth of stories to be told, you just need to be perceptive enough to find them. In his opinion, it’s important to take a notebook wherever you go so that you can chronicle everything you experience. On days he has artist’s block, he just opens his notebook and uses one of his banked ideas.
On his Hey Kessy original washi tape design: If some of the drawings on his washi tape roll look familiar, it’s because Manix used background characters that have come out on Kikomachine and News Hardcore. He felt that the cartoon faces with different, exaggerated emotions would be more relatable to people of all ages.
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, visual artist, graphic designer, fashion designer, author
On music: Singing has always been a part of Reese’s life. She’s been singing songs as early as two years old! Her dad, who comes from a musical family, used to play the guitar and the trumpet.
On art: Their family business involves art prints and framing, so she has always been exposed to art as well. As a child, Reese’s family would bring home art materials as pasalubong, so she thought painting and crafting were normal activities in Filipino households.
On one of her first drawings: She revealed an obsession with drawing Sailor Moon on every page of her encyclopedia. Though she loved the personality of Sailor Mars, she adored Sailor Moon’s aesthetics such as her long pigtails, flashy jewels, and pleated skirt—the quintessential schoolgirl.
On craft-based pursuits: Reese is currently pursuing a lot of things that her parents pushed her to do when she was younger. She shared that she and her mom would follow an arts and crafts book and work on a DIY project every weekend. Some noteworthy projects included vegetable stamps and homemade clay. It became her breeding ground as an artist, and helped develop her fascination for making things.
On the magic of creating: Reese shared that she also enjoyed making jewelry such as wristbands and necklaces. Ultimately, the process taught her the important lesson that she could make anything with her own two hands. To this day, whenever she considers doing an art-related project (some of which she has no knowledge or background on), she would have no fear because of her childhood training. This artist firmly believes that there is no failure in making stuff, even if the result doesn’t meet your standards.
On her Hey Kessy original washi tape design: You’ll find the words “Arigato Internet” as well as relics and symbols of the digital age. It is Reese’s salute to her first album (also entitled Arigato Internet) and homage to the inspiration, audience, and network it has given her throughout her career as an artist and musician.
Have you visited the shop and bought their specially designed washi tape rolls? You can purchase them online here! We’ll also be posting photos from the launch soon!