SURROUND yourself with inspiring people” is a saying that is both uplifting and intimidating—especially when you are among a bunch of crazy, talented individuals.
It’s been a little over a year since I became a certified member of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK), the first and only organization of illustrators for children, and already I feel like I’ve learned so much.
I remember my first meeting with Ang INK like it was only yesterday. It’s hard to keep your cool when you’re in the same room with award-winning children’s storybook illustrators. I was shy and awkward at first, but eventually, I warmed up to them because they were friendly.
I remember the games, the drawing activities and the getting-to-know-yous; pun jokes were also abundant. Right there and then, I knew I’d be gaining more than tips and opportunities from this talented bunch. I quickly forged friendships with some of the industry’s best artists.
Organizing a milestone event isn’t a chore when you’re putting it together with amazing, goal-driven people. Even just preparing decor for the exhibit is an adventure in itself!
As I stood surrounded by the 200+ artworks of “Tinker Tales: Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan at 25,” our five-week-long exhibition at the Ayala Museum showcasing Ang INK’s achievements in the last quarter of a century, I couldn’t help but feel proud about how far Ang INK has come.
From 21 members of the core team 25 years ago, the group now has 70 active members and continues to grow.
The goal of this year’s exhibit is to bring out the kid in us, to let our imagination run wild and free. Drawing on our diverse styles and unique points of view, we came up with over 200 artworks inspired by the stories of students from San Vicente Elementary School, AHA Learning Center, The Raya School, Quality Life Discoveries and ATD Fourth World-Philippines.
Fellow To Be You artists Don Mikel Fumar, Tristan Yuvienco and Koi Carreon are also part of this exhibit, as are some of my art idols: Liza Flores, Aaron Asis, Arnold Arre and Pergy Acuña, to name a few.
Ang INK pushes me to further improve my craft through monthly meetings and new friendships formed. Through this group, I feel that shooting for the stars isn’t as tough or impossible because there are people around me—INKies, we’re called—committed to achieving the same goal.
“Tinker Tales: Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan at 25” runs till Oct. 16 and includes activities like illustration masterclasses and live drawing sessions with INK members. E-mail [email protected] for inquiries and more information.