In a new light

And so the time came that I wanted to invest (finally) in a pretty steep and interesting gadget. A few weeks ago, and just right before my birthday, I came across the Fujifilm X-Series cameras that apparently merges “traditional styling with cutting edge innovative technology.” Love how that sounds. But more than anything, it is the look and the physical design of the Fuji mirrorless camera range that got me—it’s chic, unique and relatively retro. And to be honest, I did not want to get a DSLR camera. Regardless of its prominent high-quality features and what not, it’s just too conventional, too conforming for me. georgina

Of course, I needed to spend some time researching; going to company websites and blogs; reading product reviews and related articles in order to make sure that it’s worth the spending. But hey, this post isn’t going to be a review. I’m not very knowledgeable of the ideals and standards in the photography spectrum. I just wanted a dang good camera that would please me and my love for taking and editing snapshots. I also did not want the frills of sophisticated professional photography–basically, the fuzzy stuff. I just want my camera to be modern and user-friendly; and all photos HD enough to be adored.

I was fortunate to get a very good deal online, and managed to purchase a Black Fujifilm X-M1 mirrorless camera, which was just fit for my current budget. What’s ridiculous is that I’ve always wanted a silver one, but I initially thought that only the black was available in the store I got it from. To my surprise, I found out that silver was also in store and would actually cost a few dollars more; but this was after my package arrived. Bonkers! And truth be told, processing an exchange and/or refund is just never fun and convenient. So, what the heck. I’m keeping the black.

So far, so good. Loving the captured photos. Now, I am spending some time trying to learn the features of my X-M1. To date, I’ve successfully transferred my first few shots wirelessly from the camera to my iPhone through the related app, which just blew me away honestly!

And so, I thought I’d share my first few attempts with you. They’re just random snapshots; don’t expect too much. Colours have been slightly enhanced through helpful filters. Also, check out my gorgeous model, my very fine subject. He’s beautiful. Such a natural.

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From my vault

I had a quick dig. I was riffling thru my virtual sketchbook, and realised how much stuff I got in there that I haven’t formally shared yet. And so, I got you some of my favourite works–nothing quite stupendous or virtuosic. You know I am not that (or trying to be) in this matter. These stuff fall under my “visual journals” created a couple of years ago. Feel free to leave comments and what not.

Dame by Rie Manaloto, Graphic line art, 2013

“Dame” by Rie Manaloto, Graphic line art, 2013. I remember doing this for Mother’s Day, and hence inspired by my mother. This was also a part of my 21 Project.

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Souled by Rie Manaloto, Graphic illustration, 2013

“Souled” by Rie Manaloto, Graphic illustration, 2013. I gotta say that I was obsessed with Yeng Constantino for quite a long time that she was the subject of every single illustration I did. She personally saw and double-clicked this on Instagram when I posted it.

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When Her Hair Was Red by Rie Manaloto, Graphic illustration, 2013

“Fiery as Red” by Rie Manaloto, Graphic illustration, 2013. Another Yeng-inspired illustration that was also viewed and double-clicked by Yeng on Instagram. This was also a part of my 21 Project.

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Strait-laced by Rie Manaloto, Graphic abstract, 2013

“Strait-laced” by Rie Manaloto, Graphic abstract, 2013. This was a self-portrait, influenced by what I can remember was a very strong feeling of suppression that surfaced during that time.

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See my other works here: Canvas and Sketches.

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Copyright © 2015 Rie Manaloto. All rights reserved.

Éponine

Chilling on Pinterest and I was surprised to find my sketch from not more than 2 years ago. It’s a fan art I submitted to the Les Miserables page, which gained some public attention. Find it here.

eponine watermark

A very simple, minimalist, designer’s sheet-inspired digital watercolour art. (That line has used at least 5 adjectives)

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eponine les mis page

Screen-capped from the Les Mis page. All in all the post gained more than 1K ‘likes.’ Not that ‘likes’ still matter.

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eponine watermark 2

Here’s the second artwork that didn’t make it to the page.

Éponine by Rie Manaloto

R.

I got something to tell you

I’m weird. I guess that’s one fact that not a lot of people know and realise. I actually am.

And fine, I know that that ‘word’ has been overly used, even misused, maybe misrepresented; or perhaps resorted to by people who simply want to be listened to, understood and respected.

Well, I think that word, for the lack of idiosyncratic terminologies, is somewhat enough to depict my nature. I give a nudge to the people who actually know and understand this.

So after that introductory nonsense, you’d be surprised to know that again I’m onto something peculiar, perhaps, for a lot of people.

Tonight, my second night in my new home where everything is still in a state of acquiescent chaos, I was in the middle of putting things back into order—fixing stuff here and there, learning how to be better and smarter every time I’m given a new space to ensconce myself in.

Then, out of the blue, I found my art book, which I purchased back in 2013 to use as a scene prop in a mini film project I did with a colleague about visual artists during my Expanded Practice days. I had to make random, artsy, colourful doodles in the book to make it look like a portfolio, or an ‘art journal’ in the scene. Some looking well thought-of, some really looking erratic. Eventually, I actually used it to create more weird, personal stuff.

And so I had a flip through the book, and found my many random drawings, sketches, unfinished paintings and more weird stuff. It felt good, brought back lots of memories, and retold some cool stories of the past year.

Later during the night, I sat up on my bed, thinking, reflecting. It’s me in my own cerebral mode, which is very normal by the way. I was thinking about heaps of stuff, feeling so many things that my logic couldn’t even explain and synthesise any more because they’re just that overwhelming.

All of a sudden, my eyes were pulled into my art book that was also sitting on my bed with me. And then I thought, wow, okay, I could use this right now.

What happened just got to happen and here I am writing this blog post because I needed to unload some of my thoughts and feelings. If you’re actually reading this right now, thanks.

Look, I’m not an artist nor a painter, but I like to draw. I like to paint. I like the thought of dipping a semi-clean paintbrush into a palette of colours, splodge them on a blank canvas, and paint whatever I want to.

I have no professional training and/or education in visual arts and the like, and I got zero knowledge about the histories, cultures and entities enveloping art.

All I know is that drawing and painting, just like singing, is an effective and liberating way of expressing yourself. And saying what you want to say without the fear of being judged and criticised (maybe sometimes). You just let the colours and the strokes do the talking, and you don’t need to back it up with tons of explanations. The finished picture will justify you and answer for you. And it doesn’t matter if people understand it or accept it. Once the work is done, you’re done talking. You’re done venting.

Venting. That’s it. Call it an artistic venting. “Artistic” because it involves paintbrush and some colouring (?). See, I don’t even know if that’s even politically correct, but that’s how I want it to be. I feel, therefore, I paint. (Wow, that sounds so quotable!)

Now that I think I have somehow made the context clear and established, I am venturing to explore my abilities and natural propensities further through art. I know that sounds like a very worn-out cliché but I really wanna do it with tangible equipment “in the flesh”, and put more “flesh” on my thoughts and ideas. Many of you knew that I’d normally be using a drawing software to create my stuff (Take the 21 project as an example). Now I want it to be more authentic, more real. Literally.

I know it’s nothing really special and spectacular, but I guess it is a “creative” move. I think I’m an artist who is always open, loves to explore and experiment a lot, and loves to try out new things. This is just one of the many.

I just feel like I’m at my most honest and free and when I’m sketching or painting because it’s the emotions and the pictures in my head that drive me. It’s genuine, it’s real. There’s no obstruction, no inhibition, no fear and no prejudice. It’s just a full-on, spontaneous outpouring.

So in the next few months expect my “visual journals”, which are just paintings, drawings and sketches that reflect and convey some significant and interesting issues, impressions, perceptions, stories that are all very personal and impressionistic.

I’m sure a lot of them will come out pretty vague as my main artistic style and language is abstract. But they’re merely expressions, and the people who will care to see it and analyse it are allowed to develop their own feelings and perceptions of the work. Of course, no one could ever understand it the way I do.

There would be times when I wouldn’t even provide a description or explanation of what the work is about. Don’t be bothered. It just means that I don’t need to elaborate.

And so, that’s what this entry is about. I’m pretty excited about this and I can’t wait to share with you a small part of my complex dimension.

So here’s what came out tonight.

By Rie Manaloto

When Colours and Whites Mix by Rie Manaloto. Oil paint on paper.

Rie Manaloto

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Copyright © 2015 Rie Manaloto. All rights reserved.

Yeng’s Purple Hair

Yeng’s Purple Hair

Gone from red to ash blonde then finally to purple. Pop-rock Princess Yeng Constantino seems to have become a real trendsetter. She knows how to wear newness and queerness in a very beautiful and cool way. LOL However, I must … Continue reading

A Christmas reflection

A Christmas reflection

Beyond all the yuletide fun, christmas shopping, massive clearance sales, Santa and the reindeers; foods, decors, toys and all that, there’s the story of JESUS—the Christmas kid who happens to be the Messiah, the Saviour. They say that the 25th … Continue reading

Pasek and Paul performance featured on UWS Music page

CLICK THE PHOTO TO WATCH THE PERFORMANCE.

Another video of myself is out. But this time, I was not the one who published it. I was startled. The recording of one of the songs in my Men On and Off Broadway project was uploaded by the official UWS Music online account on YouTube. I can’t really say that it was done without proper consent because we had to sign some paper that deals with copyright, permission to use or republish such stuff and in which I actually agreed. But really, what a privilege to be actually chosen to sort of represent the UWS Music course and its tagline that says, “There is more to music at UWS.” Very flattering. And I’m quite grateful.

Just a small trivia you might wanna know, this song from Edges: The Musical called “Along The Way” by Pasek and Paul has always been a dream performance piece. From the very first time I heard the song and watched it being performed in various interpretations, I fell in love with it and knew straight away that I would be performing it one day. And so, came Spring and the ‘Rep and ID’ unit that allowed us to design our own project (i.e., our personally designed musical repertoire). With no qualms, I included the song in my repertoire, and by good fortune, was able to find a pianist who could accompany me and keep up with my fuzziness. As bountiful fortune would have it, she came signed and sealed, in the name of Patricia Wong. The rest is what we could call history.

Despite the flaws of this performance (e.g., (1) mic’s mounted up on mic stands were scattered around the stage as I entered which made the singing SO uncomfortable. I tried to get rid of them fluidly and subtly while actually singing but I tell you it was one of the most awkward moments of my life. I utterly hate ‘adverse’ surprises; (2) the FAIL falsetto in the end. I did prepare for it and in my rehearsal sessions I had always done it perfectly (Like, c’mon I’m a falsetto maven). Nevertheless, perhaps it is true that every once in a while there are things that happen when least expected), I am very grateful to the Lord for making this ‘dream’ come into view. I was blessed with the right resources, the right people and an adequate amount of time to prepare well for it. But I know this ain’t the last time I’m doing this song. And next time, I’ll make sure that it’ll be bigger and better.