9 Things I Took To Heart After Graphika Manila 2018

 Graphika Manila 2018's conference kit. Includes the art book, the tote bag, some stickers, a postcard from 3DSense Media School, a sticker from Design Pickle, and the wrist band. The ticket too! However, the Touch markers, Aicsthetic-color G-Techs, and paintbrushes are mine, though.

Attending this year's Graphika Manila is to make up for my stupid decision of not attending last year. There's a great kind of high that every creative in the room gets after two days of inspiration. Not only did the event leave me wanting to learn more, but also did it motivate me again as a "creative entrepreneur". Even if what was said recently has been said before, all these creative rockstars influenced us to work, create, and do our best. 

So what did I learn this year? Find out below!

9 Things I Took To Heart After GM 2018

 Author-artist Abbey Sy's advice on branding yourself, as said at Graphika Manila 2018: "You do you".
 At this year's Graphika Manila, Chris Do suggests a couple of readings that will benefit creative entrepreneurs.
 Serious Studio says the creative life, when starting out from nowhere, is pretty hard, but it is always worth it.

1. Design shouldn't discriminate. 

Serious Studio mentioned two ugly mentalities in the local design scene. When combined, it's this: designing locally and for the masses means downmarket quality. Serious Studio calls this bullshit as they show their work for homegrown brands BLK Cosmetics and Manila Creamery. It's time Filipino pride is used properly, because we do deserve nice aesthetics too!

2. Show me who your friends are and I'll show you who your starting clients are. 

Both Serious Studio and Hungry Castle's Danger Dave mentioned working with people you bond with very well. After all, if you share goals and vision, why not put it to productive use? Make a living out of doing something you both believe in is a beautiful thing. (An anecdote: one of my bests, Kari, runs Sophia's Kitchen. She gave me a bottle of her cashew nut and and let me find a way to promote it. They get PR, I make fun content for my readers, boom! It all clicked, and I'm glad to work with them.)

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3. Trust your gut and kick some butt.

Take note: I don't condone physical violence! However, there are two people I want to talk about: self-claimed critics and those clients. Author-artist Abbey Sy says she deals with haters by proving them wrong through continuing to put work out there. Long story short, she said "you do you." Meanwhile, Serious Studio had an instance where they did their best, but it wasn't enough for the client. Karma did soon gave its way to that client, much to the joy of an audience member who reacted so intensely. Meanwhile, The Futur's Chris Do gets used to criticism by playing The Insult Game with his family. It's not as harsh as it sounds–they start off by criticizing one player, and that player argues by turning the argument for him/herself. That's a smart and fun way to get used to negativity, isn't it?

4. Wrong ain't always negative.

Stink Studios revolved the talk around being wrong. Their team experimented with choosing the "wrong" color palette, "wrong" set up, and other things that tradition would cry over. So do break the rules! But before doing so, do know the rules if you're going to bend it. Golden Wolf's resident twins, Tom & Henry Purrington, believes in this by knowing what's usually done before going all-out to invent. They showed a range of their work that defied the animation world's gravity!

5. Your sense of humor is your friend.

To say Danger Dave had a blast is a dry understatement. His humor shone very much in his talk, and it felt a lot like an awards show! Hungry Castle's delightful weirdness shows in those giant Lionel Richie and Kanye heads that toured around the world. If you have a sense of humor with what you create, you'll definitely have fun in what you do. I think we all want that! I mean what were we in the creative biz for?

6. Know your identity and not just for your branding.

"You can be yourself, but like, for others." It's what's said in one slide of designer-author Adam J. Kurtz's heartwarming talk.  He designed with only paper and pencil and was able to express his feelings in a super dark, but super real way. But knowing yourself shouldn't just be for what you do for work. In another slide, he says "Be human above all else." In a day and age when our social media pages is a digital "personality", we should still integrate who we really are to what we show on social media. Faking it without letting things set in is fun at the start, but draining af when the tough gets going.

7. Do it for fun.

I follow Abbey Sy on social media, and she does love journaling for fun! I've seen her amazing travel journals in different countries. She eventually released a journaling book on her hobby, The ABC's Of Journaling. Point is, you can turn your hobby into a career these days, but still do it because you love it. After all, it's where you began.

8. Believe in yourself.

"Believe in your ideas" and "Know why you're in this" are two of motion graphic artist Evan Dehaven's pieces of advice. It's easy to get demotivated when work dries up or if you feel insecure with it, but always remember that you started with a reason. Remember those, and hang in there. You can do it, bud!

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9. You're a creator. Choose your destiny, FFS!

I've heard this in different ways. Midnight Sherpa's Miguel Lee calls this "internal compass". Even type genius Alex Trochut said the north of a creative's compass should always be "fun". For others, it's creating path, future, and new chapters... For me, it's creating the career you always envisioned. Define what you'd like to do, and do go all the way,  just like Weta Digital did with their intricately detailed VFX work! So believe in yourself and get going!

 In Graphika Manila 2018, Adam J. Kurtz mentions how important it is to be human now that people always claim they're a brand.
 Danger Dave only has one advice for this year's Graphika Manila: Make cool shit.
 Golden Wolf worked with Disney X and let them experiment on color palettes.


The 2018 Experience

Looking at these photos, I remember why I always wanted to go here every year. The energy is just so amazing! Apart from the speakers, 99.5FM's Margaux Sue Cortez did an amazing job as always in bringing the whole room alive and excited! So big thanks to her for making the show twice as fun as all the talks were! Also side note... I felt a little old in a sea of design students.


Did I mention how much I love aesthetic and Tokyo?


How about you guys? Did you go to Graphika Manila this year? If you did, share your thoughts below!