Arlene Sy
Art + Illustration


My journey as an artist chronicled in life events, thoughts, and musings.

Paper goods debut

I'll finally talk about my very first collection of paper goods! Yay!

In my previous post, I wrote about participating in the recent BGC Art Mart, which was such a new yet fulfilling (and eye-opening) experience. I debuted a small line of paper products during that art fair.

A few months ago, I set my sights on producing a 2015 calendar within the fourth quarter of the year. I knew it would make for a great offering during the approaching holidays. Initially, I thought about creating new artwork and illustrations from scratch, but found myself pressed for time as I needed to come out with items in less than a month, if I was to make it in time for the Art Mart. I contemplated a bit more until I decided it was a good idea to share my newfound love for flowers and botanicals with the world, through paper goods.

In the process, this first collection of stationery had become an expression of how I learned to paint flowers, how I learned to love what seemed like such a mundane theme, and how this helped shape my perspective and artistic voice in the course of a year.

To better articulate this newfound love for plants, flowers, and botanical art in general, I wrote a short preface on the inside-front cover of the calendar. Here's what it says:

"From 2013 to 2014, my journey as an artist took an interesting turn when plants and flowers became a prominent theme in my work. Through commissions and personal projects, a love for botanicals grew, and helped craft my creative voice into what it is today.

"Here is a calendar with a compilation of some of my favorite floral illustrations, which were created in the span of a year. All of them are my personal interpretations of specific plants and flowers, all rendered in watercolors. I'm a nature lover who (ironically) has never owned or tended a garden, so my exploration of botanical themes helped me grow my very own Secret Garden--even if it's just on paper."

I wanted to individually sign the calendars as a special, personal touch, so I left some space for that, too :)

Aside from the theme itself, aspects of the production for this calendar were close to my heart. In the couple of weeks before the calendars went to print, I already knew what paper I wanted to use. It's a special, off-white, textured Fedrigoni cardstock I used for many of my projects (particularly wedding invitations).

The second line of items I've produced, in the same theme, are two collections of floral/botanical notecards. The first collection (above) features floral artwork and patterns. For the second set (below), I reproduced a collection of botanical illustrations (which originally appeared in a poster I made for Heima last year), into a set of mini notecards. Because I was really pressed for time at this point, I personally sourced my own paper and envelopes, and had them printed at a nearby print shop (you have to hand it to them though, they actually did a superb job!). As of this writing, I'm having a new batch produced by a trusted printer (whew, no need to personally cut and fold anymore, haha!).

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I have plans to sell these goods at a couple more bazaars before the year ends, but if you're interested in any of these items this early, I have wonderful news! I've just successfully constructed a shop page here on this site. It's a work in progress (and I'm currently only shipping within the Philippines), but I'll definitely update the page with new products every now and then. Please do hop over to the Shop (found at the bottom of my main navigation, left of the site), or you can also access the link directly at Happy looking!