My Creative Process Behind a Custom Artwork

Late last year, my college blockmate messaged me about painting a custom artwork for her. She recently moved to the US for work and she wanted to spruce up her apartment walls with art. I am happy that she thought of me to do this for her! She is a repeat client for my artwork. She ordered watercolor artworks with motivational quotes from me before which she gave as gifts to her friends for Christmas. I really appreciate her for trusting me again with this task.

She wanted 6 or 9 pieces of A4-sized artworks that she can display side by side and everything would look like a continuous piece. I love her idea. It was quite clever. Shipping one large artwork would be expensive. Having small pieces is easier to pack and move should she need to transfer residence. She hoped I would be able to send the artwork to her family in Manila before they leave for the US to visit her.

I asked for pegs so I have an idea of what she wants. She gave me free rein over the art work so I just bounced off ideas to her. I told her I thought of painting something tropical to remind her of home. She said tend to like green and orange colors and she preferred the mountains over the beach. I remembered the photos on Facebook of all the climbs she did. She also sent me a poem that she loved. I told her I will find a way to incorporate the poem into the painting.

So I looked for photos of Philippine mountains. I picked Mt. Batulao for its lovely ridges. I thought about painting from a vantage point similar to Katy Perry’s Roar video where she looked over Taal Volcano.

Katy Perry’s Roar Video

For the artwork, I decided to make 6 pieces. Mt Batulao would be at the center.

It was framed by trees and tropical plants and flowers. So I picked the following flowers to paint:

Angel’s trumpet and Hibiscus (Gumamela)


Lobster claw (Heliconia) and Taro leaves (Gabi)

Wild orchid


Plumeria (Kalachuchi)

Birds of paradise and Tahitian Ginger

I filled the blank areas with palm leaves and green vegetation.
Individually, the artwork can be displayed on its own.

Collectively, it is one large artwork.

Oh, I did not forget the poem. The verses are hidden somewhere in the painting.

I am really happy with the result. The whole process took 25 days from the time she messaged me until she received the artwork. I had other work to do in between. I paint when I have enough time to enjoy the process. Painting is my happy pill. Every work of art from me comes from a happy place. I do not paint to express sadness.

I am glad the my friend loves the painting. She found acrylic frames being sold online so it appears like the artwork is floating on her wall. The paintings now hang in her bedroom wall. She posted this on Facebook.

Thank you, Hannisel!
====================
For custom artwork, just message me here or in any of my social media pages.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katrinacenteno/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/katrinakarenart/
Youtube:    https://www.youtube.com/c/katrinacenteno

Oh, I also have paintings for sale through Artfinder. I also accept commission work through Artfinder.

How to Gain a Loyal Customer the Jackson’s Art Way

This post can also be entitled as “How not to go crazy with the Philippine Post Office”.

I am always on a hunt for online stores where I can buy my art supplies. I live in the province and my sources for art supply are in the bigger cities. I bought my watercolor materials from Fullybooked in Manila, Art Friend and Straits Art Co in Singapore. There is Art Nebula which I have already ordered items twice before and the transactions were seamless. But I am hoping for a wider range of products to try. Shout out to Art Bar! Please open your online shop already.

So imagine my excitement when I learned from an artist I follow on Instagram that the art supplies she ordered from Jackson’s Art in UK arrived at her doorstep in just a few days; I wanted to try it for myself. Jackson’s Art has a droolworthy selection of products for artists. I have a limited budget so I picked only what I immediately needed- brushes! I needed brushes for oil painting. I got an oil paint set as a gift from a friend. I also got two blank canvases as Christmas gift from another friend. Yes, I am lucky to have friends who understood my love for art.

So I immediately found myself browsing for brushes and learned that they offer free shipping for brush orders worth more than £20. I availed of the free shipping by ordering 5 brushes. The package was sent via regular post. It was estimated to arrive in 2 to 3 weeks. This was ordered on December 2, 2017. When I did not receive any notice 2 weeks after, I went to the post office on December 20, 2017. The person assigned there tried to check their records and found nothing. She told me to ask for the tracking number so she can look for it in their system. I told them I do not have a tracking number. I did not want to bother Jackson’s Art. I went home empty-handed and decided to go back a week after.

I went back on December 29, 2017. I still did not get my package. The person there told me to get the tracking number because it is easier to look for a package with a tracking number. I decided to email Jackson’s Art to ask for a tracking number. They replied immediately. I was told there was no tracking number because it was sent using regular mail. They were reassuring. They told me that the package may be delayed due to the holidays.

I was patient and I was persistent, too. So I went to the post office again on January 5, 2018. The person there again told me about getting a tracking number. I told her that it was sent through regular mail. She said that they have not gotten through their regular mails. I asked her that if it would be easier if I have a picture of what the package looks like. She said yes. So I emailed Jackson’s Art again about the possibility of showing me a photo what the package looks. They replied that all they can tell me is that it is in a regular padded mailing envelope and they did not have a photo since the package was processed in their warehouse. Carla of Jackson’s Art also told me to inform them if I still do not have the package by January 12.

At that moment, I was too disappointed with the Philippine post that I just decided to wait it out because that is what they are supposed to do. They are supposed to deliver the package (or at least a notice) to my doorstep and not me going to the post office. That is why there is an address written on the parcel! So I went digital, I know there is a Facebook page of the Philippine Post so I sent a message on the possible timeline for regular mail packages because the person in our post office seemed to treat them as last priority. So I got this reply.


It is already the 4th week of January and more than 35 working days since December 2, 2018. No package.

I have accepted the idea that I cannot trust the Philippines Post Office anymore. This is not the first time I have issues with them. The first time happened some years ago, I was expecting a dress from China. It was a blogger mail in exchange for a blog post. A month after it was sent, the sender emailed me if I received the package since it was already sent a month before so I went to the post office to check. I was just lucky that when I went there the package on the table in front of me was my package. It was already marked that they were unable to deliver it twice. It baffles me why they were not able to locate my house when utility companies and LBC are able deliver bills and packages successfully. The second incident was in the early 2015 when I joined a mailing exchange to practice calligraphy. I was supposed to receive 10 to 12 mails every month and I only received 3. So when I went for a vacation in Bacolod that year, I sent myself a post card through a post office there. I never received that post card. My friend, Gail, who sent herself a postcard, too, received hers in Davao City. My city’s post office needs to step up.

This was the postcard I should have received through mail.  This was my Instagram post  in 2015.

I was sad but Jackson’s Art is awesome. Since Carla said that I should email them if I have not received my package, I sent them an email on January 18, 2018.

And this is what I got in reply!

They refunded my payment! No questions asked. In my country, if you want a refund, you need certification that the mail did not arrive and a lot more paperwork. Jackson’s Art is awesome, people!

This prompted me to just reorder my brushes and order the watercolor papers I wanted to try. I picked DHL for mail this time. And I got the package today! Just 5 working days after I ordered them.

Happy mail!! Good job, DHL!

I got my brushes and watercolor pads!


This made me realize how we crave good customer service when it should not be something we beg from businesses. It should be a standard. When their customers are treated well, businesses will surely get much better returns. I ordered more that what I planned to spend initially after I got the refund. Hurray for Jackson’s Art! You definitely gained one loyal customer.

Update:

I got the package from the post office on February 8, 2018.

Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018!

This post is 5 days late. I am still in a holiday-mode. I feel like I need a holiday break from the holidays. But then again, we gotta earn living or, in my case, start panicking! Breathe in, breathe out. I survived another year in this independent professional work that I am trying to create for myself. There were bright moments of 2017 and there were those heart-skipping moments whenever I looked into my bank account. Then I am suddenly reminded that I have somebody up there looking out for me. I should be okay.

I am excited for 2018! I have two high school reunions, 1 vacation already in the calendar, 1 wedding of a friend and several other things planned. Plus, my cousin is moving back in town! She will be staying in the unoccupied room of mine in the other house and she had laid out plans on how she would decorate it. We already spent one morning just hanging out and planning what she should do to the space.

I have my own personal goals. Honestly, I did not achieve much of my 2017 plans except for item no. 5. I did make a lot of memories and that is more than enough. I am eternally grateful. My journal is filled with much love and happiness.

I think my greatest achievement for the year is when I got the same remark from three different people in different occasions telling me that I seem to have no problems in life. Honestly, I do have my share of problems. I guess I need to write another blog post to share how I deal with them.

I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead of you. I hope we all get to achieve our goals. Even if we don’t, I hope we can learn a thing or two in the process. I leave you a video of this adorable little girl talking about New Year’s resolutions. I hope this makes you smile.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn36cBi9v6A?rel=0]

10 Surprising Things You Need to Know About My Friend, Janus.

Last March, I posted on Facebook a link of the blog post I wrote about my friend, Ernelyn, as a way to greet her on her birthday. I got a comment from my friend, Janus, that he was sad that I did not write a blog about him. I know he was kidding but I already promised to write something by January 1, 2018- on his 42nd birthday.

This was the conversation, mostly in Bisaya. (You may skip reading this part if you do not understand Bisaya. )

So here it is! Let me tell you 10 surprising things about him.

1. Janus was a hearthrob. In grade school, girls from other schools would ask to pose for photos with him. Like an artista, he would oblige.

2. Janus once declared that I was not his friend. And it was true. Although I knew him since grade school, Janus became my friend just 6 years ago. Our common friend, Mitzi, told me that when she invited him to her birthday, he asked who were invited and when Mitzi mentioned my name, he immediately said that we were not friends. So, when I saw him in a get-together with friends, I said hi. From then on (and with much regret! Kidding!), he became my biggest bully.

That regretful day. hahaha

3. Janus may be a bully but he has a soft heart. He and another friend once organized a visit to an orphanage. They sponsored the food we brought and spent time to play with the kids. He was also quick to organize a pass-the-hat activity whenever a friend needs financial help.

4. Janus is a dog-lover turned cat-lover. He used to have a pet named Extra. He chimed that he called him Extra because of the extra expenses incurred in having a dog. He gave him up for adoption when he saw that Extra looked lonely living with him. Now, he is a magnet for stray cats. #titogoals

5. Janus is surprisingly witty. His friends know that he is effortlessly funny. To his friends, he is the undisputed comment king on Facebook. Post something on Facebook and you kind of expect he would have an opinion about it. Sometimes, when I sense a conversation that seemed like an onset of a joke, I would just ask him to tell me the punchline because I know he has something up on his sleeves and I don’t want to be outwitted again and again.

Ernelyn and I were in fits of laughter.

6. Janus is a grammar nazi. He has quite a radar for such language blunders. (So, please be nice to me when you see grammatical errors in this blog post, Kuya Janjan. I call him Kuya Janjan because I am respectful to elders. Hahaha)

7. Janus is well-loved by friends and many of them are female friends. I guess it is because when one needs his opinion on something, he does not mince his words. He gives his unedited male perspective on things. He also shows he cares even when he is miles away.

8. Janus is old-fashioned when it comes to dating. He puts on the works- flowers, chocolates and gifts. Maybe because he is older. Old dog, old tricks. Peace, Kuya Janjan!

9. For someone who likes giving chocolates, he does not like chocolate.

10. Among my friends, Janus is the most eligible bachelor and he is not afraid to find that person he is going to spend the rest of his life with. I hope you find her, Kuya Janjan.


Cheers to your 42nd, Kuya Janjan! Happy birthday!

Photos: Credit goes to the owners of the photos. (Grabbed from Janus’ FB)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...