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Kaligayahan

Happiness. The gift of joy in its simplest form. There are times in life where we find our energies drowning in the daily stresses of our world. This drawing however, stands as a reminder to our 21st century minds that every now and again, it’s good to slow down, step back and enjoy what’s right in front of us.


Message:

We are in a day and age surrounded by technology where our minds are constantly thinking ahead. Our days are dictated by competition in business, and competition in our wants and needs. While it is crucial to have goals to work towards, it is just as important to celebrate the little things.

It is when the smallest moments visit us, that we're put back into our proper state of gratitude. This piece is a reminder to live in those simple moments, because even the most basic times can lead to ultimate happiness.



Origin of Inspiration:

When I had the great opportunity of playing in the Philippines, I was exposed to a culture of ultimate thanks.

Before every game, our team would pray and give thanks for the opportunity to play the game we all love. Every meal, big and small was received in appreciation, and every conversation started with eye contact and a genuine smile.


My time in the Philippines was quite eye opening; I was exposed to a massive economic gap and witnessed first- hand the severe realities of poverty. Though what the Philippines lacked in financial stability, surmounted in natural beauty and love. No matter the financial state, the one constant that remained through it all was a spirited heartbeat and a passion for life. These people were rich, simply by choosing to live in an ultimate state of gratitude: a lesson we all could learn from.

 

Details:

I am inspired by my Filipina ancestors because even in the hardest of times, they constantly are filled with life. I felt that the lesson of gratitude would properly transmit through the representation of our cherished Pacific Islander culture.


I wanted to depict an older generation so that I could capture the wrinkles in the face and the aging in the hands. I believe that there is a story lying within each line on our face and crease in our skin. These wrinkles act as mementos of past experiences that we keep close forever.


The smile lines in this particular drawing are meant to show a life of endless laughter and happiness. I wanted to make the hands and wrist seem a bit weathered and fragile to highlight an elder age while the eyes exude nothing short of pure spirit and vitality. This is a nod to the idea that happiness knows no age.



Guest Appearances:

A happy Pacific Islander was a good start, but my goal was to really get the message across that Happiness is Simple, and that it's all about enjoying the little things in life. I left some some extra space in the top of the paper and asked myself, "What is something people do to put a smile on their faces?"


On days that I would go for walks, I'd see people sitting outside on park benches feeding birds with big smiles on their faces. The visual stuck with me. I thought to myself, how sweet would it be if two baby birdies were snacking on some food off the top of a cute little hat! .


..and the idea was born.



Drapery:

The addition of the birdies gave me the opportunity to work on drawing fabric folds within the hat. To be honest, depicting cloth is not exactly my favorite thing to draw. It may not even be my fifth favorite. Top twenty might be pushing it. Nevertheless, it's always good to practice.


I first needed to figure out where the point of connection was located. In this case, the placement of the birds dictated the movement of the folds.

Since the birds were sitting on the top of the hat, the direction of the folds would all connect up to that specific point.

The one cool thing about drawing fabric is that you get to choose the direction of movement for each fold. It all starts with two simple lines. Once the direction of those lines draw out the proper angle of movement, you're then able to add highlights in the middle, and lowlights around the lines. After some blending, the "fabric-look" starts to come together. The more distance between the two lines, the thicker the fold appears.

 

Evolution:

While sketching out the face, I had purposely left room at the top for either a hat or a turban headpiece. In times where I have multiple visions circulating around, I get on my phone and digitally sketch out the possibilities. This allows me to get an idea of what the final draft will look like before ever putting charcoal to the paper.


Here you can watch the evolution of the headpiece turned bird-hat. There were a couple options that went through the evaluation, but it wasn't until the last contestant that I decided to go with a simple hat, later adding the stars of the show🐥




If we are always trying to “keep up,” we will never be in the moment. And if this year has taught us anything, it’s that we must cherish the breathe that goes through us, celebrate the spirit within us, and live in the moments that come to us.
It is the now that is a beautiful place to be. - Dowd Creatives




*Custom pieces are available upon request*


Customized handcrafted frames and glass covers are also available upon request for additional purchase. Please visit the Contact page to reach out for inquiries.




Signature:

As part of my signature, I include coordinates of the location in which that specific piece was created in.

The idea came as I was traveling so much and had painted and drawn in multiple parts of the world. I wanted this nomad component to be a part of the piece's story. As "Kaligayahan" was created in Luxembourg, its respective coordinates act as a footprint in its creation.




You can find "Kaligayahan" on display and available for purchase at:

Creation Plus- Art and Framing

74, rue Ermesinde (corner avenue Victor Hugo) | L-1469 LUXEMBOURG | Phone: +352 22 63 33

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