It has always been confusing for me whether I should celebrate the number of years that I’ve actively been blogging on Tumblr, or Facebook. Finally, it has dawned upon me that I should be celebrating the day The Googly Gooeys were born.
Well, the first set of Googly Gooey-like illustrations were published on my Multiply account three years ago today. I was having such a bad day (or week!) and so pissed at my friend for being so so so so so stubborn (Oops…I think I just abused the use of ‘so’ in a sentence). My friend knows that without him, the cartoons wouldn’t have been born. Ponggo & I have been thanking him each year. Hehehe. It was also that week when I finally realized that if I wanted to learn how to draw digitally, I might as well start practicing (Duh…stating the obvious).
I was trying to explore this function where you can nudge a shape so that it forms a more spontaneous…umm…shape. I figured that it looked like a creature so I gave it hands, eyes & eyebrows. Hence The Googly Gooeys rainbow edition!
During that time, I was blogging with words and doing lay-outs for corporate clients on the side until another friend suggested that maybe, I can blog with my drawings. They didn’t have names at that time. For a while, Ponggo & I even called the blue goo “Sprikidoodles” and the pink goo “Inday” for fun. Ponggo finally named them the Googly Gooeys and the characters were later renamed after our silliest real-life nicknames–Tipsy & Ponggo.
We had to trim down the line-up to the pink & blue goo since they seemed to have a bit of personality compared to the rest of the bunch.
But that’s just one part of the story.
(Ooooh. Brace yourselves for a long read!)
As a kid, I’ve always loved to draw. I wasn’t good at it but it made me happy. I was that girl who always had art materials & paper with her. I loved using all colors of the rainbow, I feel like my drawing is not complete until I’ve used all colors. (I think I still haven’t graduated from that way of thinking until today…Oops).
While the rest of my classmates had their Sweet Valley phase (it was more or less the Twilight or our time and I hear people disagreeing), I was stuck reading Archie Comics. Sometimes, I’d read certain issues of it again just to check if I missed out on stories in the background such as a guy slipping and accidentally falling into a manhole while Jughead & Archie were busy arguing on the foreground. This probably explains why I love creating a lot of useless props in the background for my cartoons.
Come high school, I decided I wanted to draw for the school magazine. The thing is, there were a lot of talented people who auditioned for the part! I braved the try-outs during my freshman & sophomore year but didn’t get accepted. When I was in third year, I decided not to apply because it was my birthday that day and I wanted to spend the afternoon with my friends instead. During the same year, I got my first ever drawing lessons from none other than…my ballet teacher! Ha. Hehehe.
She needed someone to draw cartoons for her souvenir program. She asked me to develop my own set of characters. She would supply me with the script & asked me to revise my drawings until she was satisfied (toes had to be pointed & turned out even on paper). I learned a lot from her!
When I entered senior year, I auditioned again leveraging on the fact that my teachers would finally give me a chance since I’m graduating anyway. Ho ho ho. I made it to the school magazine! Yay! Woohoo! )
While choosing a course for college, I kept three things in mind: (1) it should not be beyond 4 years because I was already a burned out from studying all my life (Oh the drama!); (2) it shouldn’t require memorizing terms and Latin words; and (3) it should give me the freedom & happiness of drawing. I was ready to take Civil Engineering in another university but my dad convinced me that I should take up a business course.
My college course was supposed to be Math + Art but it was transformed to Business + Math – Art. I spent a lot of nights solving equations sometimes even crying to my friends while trying to figure out the correct mathematical sentence for the volume of a doughnut. During one of the semesters, we had this regular homework wherein we were supposed to answer the 50 numbers at the end of each sub-chapter. I don’t like reading but I finally learned how to read a math book in college. I worked hard on these lengthy assignments I kept them until today.
So, instead of spending time drawing the day away, I was just there on the side staring at the awesome graphics of MTV Ink hoping that one day, I too, will learn to do these things. As a desperate attempt, I would volunteer to do our group’s magazine lay-out project using Microsoft Excel & Powerpoint since I didn’t know how to use any other software.
Today, if you’ll look at my resumé, you will see a graduate of Management Engineering who did nothing for extra curricular activities but draw cartoons for different school organizations. While the rest of my batchmates took their practicum in banks and consumer companies, I did mine at an ad agency where I finally learned how to use Photoshop thanks to my classmates’ obsessive-compulsiveness because I was taking too long coloring my cartoons for our storyboard presentation.
After college, I spent a few years in the corporate world and even though I was assigned in marketing, sales or trade marketing, I would continue to volunteer to do presentations, lay-outs and whatever else that gave me the opportunity to draw. Finally, after a few years of doing some branding work for consumer companies, I figured I should probably explore how I can express myself visually and digitally and upgrade my hand drawn cartoons.
(Woot! You’re still reading this? I know for a fact that our readers are not used to seeing prose here so thank you if you reached this point!)
I guess, what I’m really trying to say here is, it’s so easy to brush aside the stuff you’ve always loved doing for the sake of being practical. But of course, you know what it is that will truly make you happy. Be it traveling, cooking, hiking, singing, dancing, skating or whatever it is that’s been gathering dust on your bucket list (or imaginary wish list), make sure you give it time. It’s so easy to say, “But it takes too much time” and “It’s impossible”. It’s always funny and uncomfortable at the same time to take a non-traditional path (such as business school to graphics) and move out of your comfort zone or at least somewhere beyond what people are expecting you to become.
Also, it’s always easy to give up when life gives you signs that something might not be for you. But, if you really want it, then go get it! As long as you’re not hurting anything or anyone, never apologize for the things that make you happy. We only have one life to live and a life spent pleasing our critics is a life wasted.
Happy third birthday to the Googly Gooeys! )