About Me

About Me

About Me

About Me

Hello there! First of all, thanks for visiting my blog. Moreover, thanks for reading this "about me" section! I've been told that this is one of the most important pages in a website/blog, so I hope I will be able to to this properly. Anyway, I do suck at introductions so let's just start by going straight to the personal stuff lol with this faux slambook page. :D

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*some more personal stuff *

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Now that we're done with the more ~shallow~ things about me, perhaps you'd like to know more about how I got here. :D


PART I ♥ Gercy/Seng ♥ Beginnings and detours

I was born in Manila, but I was raised in a small town called Sapang Palay in Bulacan (Philippines). My family was in what others will call a “working class”. This meant that money was not easy at all, but we were okay, living from paycheck to paycheck. I grew up really close to my parents and two younger siblings, hence, I had a very happy childhood, haha. My mother had always told me (and all of my friends), that I really wanted to draw even when I was very little. No flat surface was safe from my crayons, according to her. Our life was quite simple, but happy!

ADF (Assumption Development Foundation) scouted me when I was in elementary school, and through an international scholarship program called Salamat Po Kai and a kind Japanese woman named Akemi Fujii, it helped send me to high school and college. In highschool, I was quite an active little artist. I joined our school's newspaper team as a cartoonist. I also joined lots of poster-making and slogan-making contests. I wrote to Mrs. Akemi Fujii in stationeries and cards that I designed myself. But since it was high school, art seemed like a fun hobby more than a dream, to my parents, and even to myself.

Through my parents' advice, I took a Bachelor of Science in Nursing course in college. They had this *classic* plan for me to follow my aunt's footsteps so in the future I could leave the country and work as a nurse abroad.I was 14 when I graduated high school, so I just decided to follow my parents' advice. However, as I got more exposed to the fact that this might be what I will be doing my whole life, I realized that what I really wanted to become was an artist. It was sort of frustrating because back then, a small voice inside of me also kept insisting that it was a very selfish dream for a poor young girl like me.

At first I kinda hated it, but with the help of ADF, I slowly convinced myself that it's just a small detour from what I really want.

Aside from the financial support, the kind and generous people behind ADF helped me pursue my love for drawing even though my course was BSN. They taught me to never lose sight of my dreams no matter what. They provided me with art materials I couldn’t afford (I was horribly broke during my college years), art books so I could learn art on my own after my BSN classes, and walls to paint (they trusted me with painting colorful murals on the walls of their own home). Most of the invaluable lessons I learned in my life so far, I learned from ADF.

I'm proud to say that I did quite an awesome job being a Nursing student. "Give your 100% wherever you are". /yay gold star/ However, after graduating and passing the Nursing Board Exams, I had a pretty hard time getting a job as a nurse because:
1. I was “underage” (I graduated college when I was *almost* 19),
2. The nursing industry in the Philippines was very saturated during that time,
3. Before getting a job as a nurse, I was required to undergo a lot of seminars and trainings which were quite expensive (I definitely couldn’t afford them),
and 4. ... My heart and mind were somewhere else.

As a new college graduate and eldest child, it was a huge pressure. To add to the pressure, my dad's company closed down so he was let go from his job. I. had. to. make. money. ASAP. I was on a crossroads and I had to decide, fast! To continue to push and convince myself to pursue nursing, or to have a go at what I really wanted in the first place, but in which I will start from zero?

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PART II ♥ Chichi/Little Miss Paintbrush ♥ Crossroads, MORE crossroads, and starting over

A crossroads with equally difficult and unsure paths. What makes them different from each other is this question:
"Which path am I willing to suffer for? Which path will make it all worth it"?

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I saw the answers in my nursing notebooks and books – but not what one will normally expect to see there – lots and lots of doodles and cute little drawings and "it's-cheesy-but-it's-true" illustrated daydreams of how one day people from all around the world will see my drawings.

I realized what I had to do. They say “it’s never too late to be what you might have been”, anyway. Equipped with the lessons ADF taught me, and my resolve to pursue an art career, I took that leap of courage. I also had this fire inside of me that wants to prove to "poor young girls like me" (and to their parents) (sorry) that there is indeed money in art, if you strive well enough (same with any other job out there, hello). But first, I had to get my stuff out there for the world to see, so I decided to start up an art blog through tumblr.

At that time, I was also helping out managing an internet café with a ♥very special♥ friend, so I had plenty of time (and internet access) to (micro)blog. I learned digital art from similar art blogs, and soon I learned how to do commissions. I only had a mouse back then, so eveything I did seemed wobbly haha but I was proud of it. Progress is progress!

I practiced and learned stuff every day. I loved sharing helpful quotes that I believe in and my everyday life through doodles and comics. I only had very few commissions at first, but as I learned, made, and posted more stuff, I attracted more clients, big and small, local and foreign. *cries* ♥

Here's a summary of my progress in learning digital arts:

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Through my art blog “Little Miss Paintbrush”, I met other artists like me, new friends, and soon, connections. Projects overwhelmed me, but I worked hard, and I worked happy. Soon enough, from being just an afterschool hobby and a dream career, art became my profession.

Before I knew it, I became the full-time breadwinner of my family, and my parents were so proud of me. They even apologized for making me take up BSN, but I said.. NO, it wasn't their fault. It was mine. They were just as ill-informed as I was. My life, my responsibility. Their responsibility was to love me and guide me in what they believed was good for me, and so far they've succeeded in that! I'm proud of them too, for supporting me until now.

Before long, I was also able to save up some of my earnings so I could buy a pen tablet, a laptop of my own that can handle more art/drawing softwares (and more games haha) and other art supplies. Soon I was also able to enroll myself in an Adobe Illustrator Basics class, which further improved my skills.

And most importantly, I was finally able to give back to ADF, which had helped me so much in a lot of ways.♥

PART III ♥ So, what's up with me now? ♥

Little Miss Paintbrush and Whimscute

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I still do accept commissions and collaborations, but now I'm more focused into producing items and merchandise out of my own art, like stationery items, art prints, clothing/fabric, and toys, like SWIMMER and tokidoki! ♥ It sounds far-fetched but I know I'll get there someday! ^_^

Everything I make as of now, I'm selling through Whimsicute, my arts and crafts online shop. I even made my own original Whimsicute characters so they will be my brand's mascots someday, haha! Yeah, I dream big.

Japonisme and Japan Lover Me www.japanlover.me

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I'm currently employed at Japonisme International Co. as Japan Lover Me's Head of Creatives. I do most (if not all) of the graphics and illustrations.

Kawaii Philippines

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I'm one of the founding members of Kawaii Philippines, a movement that promotes happiness and positivity through the kawaii culture. I also function as the Creative Head and Kawaii Illustrator most of the time. I'm also the Art Director of the Kawaii PH Book, and project head of the Kawaii PH Book Launch!

Total Girl Philippines (Summit Media)

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I'm currently a contributing illustrator at Total Girl Philippines, the first and only magazine for tweens in the country. They also sometimes commission me as main illustrator for some of their book projects, including the TG Slambook, TG School Planner, and more.

Mad Tee Party

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I do most (if not all) of the printed shirt and totebag designs of Mad Tee Party, a fashion brand that specializes in kawaii designs.

Q: Not a question but your name, ChiChi means "(insert word here)" in my country.

A: That's totally OK and that's actually a known fact since most words have different meanings in other languages. Like the name "Kiki" means a totally different word in my country. (*_*) ... sorryyy

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Q: What software/s or illustration program do you use for your digital art?

A: I use Paint Tool SAI for freehand drawings. I use Adobe Illustrator for vector artworks.

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Q: How do you keep your lines smooth?

A: There's a line stabilizer in Paint Tool SAI that works like magic. Also with practice! :) In addition to those, I think that when I'm certain with what I want to draw, my lines are more steady and smooth. Sketching my idea out on a piece of paper before working on the actual artwork helps a lot.

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Q: Why don't you tell people your age?

A: Because it doesn't really matter? :)) I don't understand why some people make a big deal out of someone's age. It's not like you can't do something anymore because you're "too old/young for it". If it won't harm yourself or others, then go for it lol.

I also don't age. winkwinkfountainoflifewinkwink

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Q: How do you feel about people who copy your artworks?

A: For me, copying is an important part of the learning process. So as long as they do it to learn and to eventually develop their own thing, I'm totally fine with it. If people learn through my art, it's a huge honor for me. Also, credits are much appreciated! ;)

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Q: How is that different with art theft and how do you deal with it?

A. Art theft is when you claim an artwork is yours, but it's actually not. Especially if you make a profit or receive recognition out of it. :( Another example is intentionally tracing/copying an existing artwork, denying that you actually based it from someone else's work, then, like mentioned above, making a profit out of it.

It is actually very complicated, but knowing about copyright laws is a plus. However, there are instances that these copyright laws are not exactly applicable, so I just ask help from my family and friends to help me defend myself. >3< Most of the times, when my art gets stolen, it gets reported to me by concerned readers and friends, so I am able to take action immediately by trying to contact the "offender".

Additional lesson: ALWAYS give proper credits to the artist. Even if you paid for it, it won't hurt you to give credits to show your appreciation. PLEASE PEOPLE

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[Reserved for more QandA hehe]

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chichi
So, that's what I have to say about myself so far. :D Anyway, you can get to know me better by reading my blog posts! Thanks for reading and see you around in my blog! ♥

20 Comments

  1. Jen Ricardo
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 16:30:55

    This beautiful your personal blog, like everything you do. Only a few details would be nice posting entries on the main page, and adsolutamente be great to follow your blog by email or RSS does not like, but have some way of being notificsdos when you upload new content.
    Kisses from Venezuela.

    Reply

    • ChiChi
      Jan 22, 2016 @ 04:41:02

      Thank you so much for the feedback/advice! ♥ I’ll take note of them. :) Hugs! ♥

      Reply

  2. Audra
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 05:24:05

    I loved learning more about you! The webside is great Chichi!

    Reply

    • ChiChi
      Jan 23, 2016 @ 17:21:54

      (//////) Heehee thank you, Audra! ♥

      Reply

  3. Tish
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 07:01:33

    MORE POWER TO YOU CHICHI! You inspire me with how much you’ve gone through. Despite how cute your works are, you’re one of the strongest artists I know! Love you and keep burning bright <3

    Reply

    • ChiChi
      Jan 23, 2016 @ 19:08:07

      AAhhh aww how sweet is this! ;_; Thanks, Tish! ♥ (;//////;) I will! <3

      Reply

  4. Faithe Z Mitra
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 11:11:32

    Hi Ate Chichi! You inspire me SOOOOO MUCH, like,seriously. I learned to lo love art and like you, I’ve been drawing a lot lately! My friends and classmates compliment me and now they’re starting to find their own niche too, and it’s all because of you! You’re a BIIIIIIG PART OF MY LIFE. I wouldn’t have achieved any of these if it weren’t for you. Oh my gosh, how do I thank you? I will definitely give back to you and mail you letters in the future! Iloveyousomuch! Keep inspiring us all! You’re a blessing from heaven! You’re my role model foreverrrrr! ;* God bless you a thousandfold! <3

    Reply

    • ChiChi
      Jan 23, 2016 @ 19:12:21

      Hi Faithe!! OMG your comment T____T It’s an honor to inspire bright young dreamers like you, huhu! Thank you so much too for all the love and support! You guys inspire me a lot too, and are also one of my favorite blessings! ♥ Thank you so much!!! ;A;

      Reply

  5. Max
    Jan 24, 2016 @ 06:12:09

    Congratulations on launching your new website! You had spread such a wonderful vibes to the art community through your kawaii-style drawings. Your drawings had improved progressively through the years as seen in your archive. One way or another, I’m sure many people who aspire to draw well are inspired by your dedication. More importantly, people can learn from your never-give-up attitude and perseverance towards what you truly love in life. I believe one day you will be much bigger than today.

    Reply

  6. Yani
    Jan 25, 2016 @ 01:13:53

    Congrats on your new blog ate chichi, I am a big fan of yours since I was in Highschool!!! Keep inspiring us with your cute drawings. Fighting!!!~

    Reply

  7. Pam
    Jan 27, 2016 @ 04:53:02

    Ate Chichiiii, I really love your artworks. May I ask what type of paper you are using for your watercolor arts?

    Reply

  8. Vars
    Feb 10, 2016 @ 23:58:05

    Oh, I have to tell you: I’ve been in love with your art at the first sight. You and your arte are really really lovely *w*

    Reply

  9. steffgwenn
    Mar 01, 2016 @ 09:24:18

    heyyyyy girl i like your website its really INSPIRING i wish i was as famous like you you ar sooo famous cause………..you are the most INSPIRATION OF MY LIFE MMMMYYY WWWHOOLLLE LIIIIIIIIIIFFFEEE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wish i would learn like yooou.

    Reply

  10. littlemisschubby♥
    May 09, 2016 @ 04:33:13

    Hello po Ate Chichi ~ I personally LOVE your blog. Really really. It’s so adorable and pretty cute same as your art works. How i wish i do have a blog like yours and how i wish i’ll meet you someday. (I live in the Philippines too) I’d love to get an inspiration from you. These days, i promise to myself that i will work hard to improve my drawings but then laziness strikes so, i tend to forgot my goal as an artist. Now that i’ve read how you practice really hard, how you give big efforts, how you REALLY love arts as your passion.. it’s making me realize that it’s not easy to achieve a goal without any hardships.. I mean I have to work hard to pursue what i really love to become and what i really want my drawings to be. Honestly, i see myself from you. It’s because . . You love cute things (kawaii), you love to draw, you love to play computer games, you look like a kid/young, you’re so cute. :3, you dislike crowded places as well as smoke, etc. which is the same as mine. I’m still young and i’m still confused about my passion but then since kid, i already love to draw . . or maybe i’m just too scared of my future? :'( I already thought of becoming an architect. Anyway, thank you for making this blog and sharing your story. It’s really nice. Thank you and godbless~ -yoursecretadmirer -littlemisschubby♥

    Reply

  11. Dale
    May 25, 2016 @ 06:52:15

    Your story inspired me! Thank you for sharing it Ate Chichi, and I hope to meet you one day (I live in the PH as well)!

    When I was younger I was really just drawing because I like to draw, but then I stopped because I thought I’ll never get better and I’ll never be good enough.

    But then I found your blog and I got really inspired to be just like you, to be able to do drawings and influence people because of it. And now I’ve improved so much and I have learned a lot through LMPB. You are still one of my favorite artists up to this day, and without you, I would have abandoned drawing forever.

    Please never change, you are awesome!

    Reply

  12. Trixia
    Jun 15, 2016 @ 02:02:52

    Hi! I’ve been a fan of yours back when you were still using a mouse! Very inspired and proud! :)

    Reply

  13. Tin
    Sep 17, 2016 @ 04:04:07

    Hi ate Chi ^_^ your blog inspired me a lot to make my blog better. maybe you can give me some tips to improve my blog too.

    Reply

    • ChiChi
      Nov 14, 2016 @ 23:05:55

      Thank you! <3 Just be yourself, I guess! xD

      Reply

  14. LalaloopsieGirl
    Nov 15, 2016 @ 09:50:47

    I’m a future educator and I plan to be visually creative when it comes to presenting my lessons. Like ur works .. They’re unforgettable and splendid ! Hindi na ma-bobore ang mga students when it comes to learning . :D

    <3

    Reply

  15. Asmaa
    Jan 04, 2017 @ 11:57:33

    I’ve been waiting to know better since i followed you few years ago. I am feeling so glad to know you , such a nice ilustrator. I love you and your art <3

    Reply

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