THE BOY WHO LIVED FOREVER (AKA THE OBLIGATORY HP POST)

Art

It’s over. The final film has been screened. Now what?

As I write this piece, John Williams’s “Leaving Hogwarts” is playing in the background on Repeat One. And while I don’t usually have anything in the background when I write, this instance I feel is the one exception I should make; the particular is dawning on me and fast, it has ended, and I don’t quite think I’m read to face it yet. I want to keep Harry with me for even a little while longer.

I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in the morning of July 14th, in a cinema almost full despite it being the first screening for the day. I went in with conflicting emotions and went out feeling the same way, if not even more distressed: I didn’t know if I should be glad it happened or be sad that it ended or hyped up with the brilliance and intensity of the film; I was confused; I was emotional; I felt lost. (I remember having sat down inside Powerbooks right after the movie had ended and spent a few minutes in solemn silence; I was sorting out the influx of both unwanted and otherwise emotions that had rendered me stupefied.) However, from the tumult of these ineffable feelings, there was one distinct emotion I knew was certain, sticking up from above.

Powerbooks

And it is this.

It may or may not have been in that part when the logo of Warner Brothers came up. It may or may not have been when the last few minutes of the film rolled in, the Hogwarts Express zooming out of view, the camera focuses on Harry’s face for the very last time and the screen fades to black, or somewhere in between the phantasmagoria; but I knew, as I took to leave from that darkened room, something inside me expire. And it was, I suspect, as many of those who have seen the film suspect as well, the grief of witnessing one’s childhoods end.

There really is no point dramatizing the end and dwelling in the particular: there are already way too many stories similar to this one, and better, that I’m not even going to try. I will, however, tread in that edge bordering that peculiar sadness, as I feel it my duty as a Potterhead. (My editor actually wanted me to write a bright, cheerful piece quite the opposite of this one. And I did write one, or at least, tried. A failed attempt as it turned out, as I was literally papered with false starts and found myself couldn’t circumnavigate toward the bright and the cheerful.)

We have literally grown up with Harry and his friends. The little kids that we were in the summer of 1997 and 1998, thirteen years later, are now no longer the kids we used to be, just as the boy under the cupboard under the stairs are no longer that kid. Dramatic as it may seem, the world Jo has given us are not merely stories we have loved and grown up with; they are as part of us as bad writing is part of Stephenie Meyer, as teen angst is part of Holden Caulfield, as pride and prejudice are pare part of Darcy and Elizabeth. They are stories in which we see reflected the world around us, the society we belong in, the people we know, the virtues of love and courage, the vices of greed and anger, the fallibility of human character, our friends’ lives, our lives. These stories might as well be portraits of us.

Harry Potter and his friends

For years we have been fighting with Harry, loving with Hermione, and laughing with Ron. Seeing all those years come to a close, seeing Harry and the rest of the gang bid us their final goodbyes, like the parting of ways of the closest of friends, is a difficult and sad affair. And it should be. Gone are the days of queuing up for the release of the newest book. There will never be again that hype of seeing the latest film adaptation.

Things, as we knew about Harry and his world, will never be again quite the same. The end has left in us a void no one else could be able to fill but the world Jo has brought to life. A strange and curious grief like this one cannot easily be put to words and explained, but can easily be felt by those who share it. We mourn not only the end of the franchise but for the end of our childhoods as well.

Harry’s story has been told and ended. The phenomenon has finally come to a close. But that doesn’t mean they will be gone; the story of the boy who lived with a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead will remain in our hearts and in our lives. Because the greatest of stories will indeed live in us forever. Jo has said it best: “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

Story

TIS THE SEASON TO WEAR….

Fashion

The pullover! The knit/crochet sweater, perfect for those lazy cold days when you just wanna throw something on and head-off. I’d preferably pick ones in a neutral or nude color so it matches with anything! Also, crochet/knit details are perfect for that extra umph! 

I’m all for wearing shorts, no matter what the season! But my pick for BER months, would be high waist shorts, especially the leather ones! It’d be too hot to wear those during the summer.

Lately I’ve been endlessly searching for low-heeled lace-up booties that would be perfect for school, or any day out. These would go great with shorts and a pair of socks, or even a dress! Lace-up wedge booties go with practically everything, actually! Plus, you can walk in them comfortably ‘cos of the wedge heel.

Things to wear

Yes, I love anything and everything pink! My bipolar style says so, as I can go grungy one day, and dainty the next. Or mix-up both! So my 4th pick for the BER months would be a ballerina skirt! Perfect for those days when you just want to bring out that girl in you. This would go great with any top, even a sweater! And would match with flats, or sandals, or even boots!

I’ve been wanting this envelope clutch for so long!! This clutch is perfect for any season, actually.. But it’d be perfect for the lazy BER months too, when you’re not worried about bringing an umbrella to school and just packing light, this envelope clutch would do you some good! Some of these clutches can even fit your laptop, so that’s an added bonus!

I’m over silver accessories as of the moment. I’m currently coveting on anything gold. I love how it matches with any outfit and adds that glimmer to anything plain.

This is a must, must, must! The staple oversized top that you can wear with leggings, or shorts, or a skirt, or even as a dress (if it’s big enough) Since we don’t really get winter weather here in the Philippines, we wouldn’t need woolly knit sweaters, so this oversized top is the perfect alternative. You can even wear a cardigan over it if you’re feeling extra cold!

Wonderwool Sweater

Last but definitely not the least is lipstick! Preferably in a shade of dark red, or ruby red. It brings out the white of your skin and is perfect for nude/grungy outfits. I just love red lipstick, I think it matches everything (even if a lot of “experts” would beg to differ) and this is my 8th pick for the BER months! It’s gonna keep your lips from chapping, too! But don’t forget to add that extra coat of lipgloss to keep ‘em moisturized even more.

I’m such a busy person and changing bags has always been a huge hassle for me. Well guys, our no-fuss bag is here! The carry-all is the new alternative to big and complicated bags. It’s today’s new IT bag! More than a 14 inch organizer to put your laptop, notebooks, pens and whatsoever, the carry-all is chic and definitely eye-catching.

Bid farewell to your tanks for a bit, the breeze is here! The knit sweater is perfect for the snuggle bed weather we’ll be having. My favorite is the grey one (not because it’s my favorite color) but it’s so neutral and easy to pair with ay color. It’s a whole new alternative to white tops! For knit sweaters, I really prefer loose and big ones. It can be worn a dress, just style it with a waist belt! Instant chic.

Floor sweepers, an old lady’s skirt- the maxi skirt has become an ultimate fashion find. Scour your mother or grandmother’s closet and you’ll surely find one of these! I was hesitant at first to try these on because fo my small frame but it’s actually flattering and gives my body type an illusion of longer legs.

Granny's Dress

Not a lot prefer to take a walk on the wild side with these dark yummies. BER months only mean one thing- you can don dark shades! It’s not an “emo” look to wear wine colored shades of makeup. Keep a simple look for your eyes and cheeks and wear dark lipstick for a shazzam! look. It will definitely level up your simple look.

Wind can be quite the problem sometimes, especially for me since I have really long hair. A wide or narrow brim fedora hat is my chosen solution for this dilemma. When you’re wearing a hat like this, you can keep your accessories really simple since the hat becomes a statement piece to your outfit.

Denim is last summer’s trend. Let leather take over your closet! Since it doesnt get too cold here in the Philippines, the leather motorcycle jacket is enough to keep you warm. Who doesnt want an extra edge? 😉

Many prefer the LBD or the LWD, I say go for the LRD. This screams HOLIDAYS. It’s bold color is so classy that you won’t need any other piece to make a statement. I’m actually opting to have a dress made in this exact design, it’s so simple and lovely!

We all need that pair of shoes we can pair with anything- from casual to a tad bit semi-formal event. These Jeffrey Campbell babies are actually a mix of subtle and edgy (for me haha). You can easily pair them with long or short bottoms, it doesnt matter. It’s perfect since it’s boots season now and these skyhighs will help you keep your feet dry. They’re your not so usual pair of black shoes.

Bike Short Black

 

COLUMNS: THE WAR ON MUSIC ELITISM

Lifestyle

YOLO, before it became a commonly used and acceptable excuse for stupid things we do—as a lot of us know—came into popularity through Graduation’s 2007 release, when Kanye first said it. But some of us also know that before Kanye gave us a statement we clung to like a bad faith, The Strokes have already suggested it back in 2006 in their single “You Only Live Once.” And didn’t that make a lot of us Strokes fanatics pretty pissed off about it?

That YOLO is a contestable way of living was beside the point; it made us angry that people have been throwing it around proudly when we have known it (and have perhaps lived it) way before all these mainstream-loving people did. Suddenly, YOLO to us has lost its magic. And there, in that feeling of misplaced pride, we have an example of our version of music elitism.

Music elitism has been around for a very long time, but like YOLO, it has been gaining more popularity these past few years with the influx of unknown, obscure bands from all over the internet. We began to define our coolness with how little the bands we like were known.Then suddenly, the ones which have reached a wider audience, or at least people outside the circle with which we identify ourselves, are just now plain shitty.

lifestyle

But don’t we think that to measure the greatness of a piece of music based on its popularity is really just kind of unfair? We are not doing anybody a favor by calling those which are known bad, and then be selfish with the ones that we claim are good. I’m pretty sure the artists and the producers we glorify so much won’t be happy about our selfishness either. This only makes us corrupt people—claiming for ourselves that which does not even belong to us. And if we are so keen as to calling the popular ones bad, then why do we let them continue spreading like wildfire and hiding those which we believe deserve to have more air-time?

My biggest guess as to why music elitism exists in this context is that it makes us feel special knowing that we know good music—the best ones, as some of us may claim—and it only shows how much greater our taste is than everyone else. But allow me to question this entitlement with the notion of what music, especially of the good kind, are supposed to be: shared. So I ask: should we really trust our sense of good judgement?

The issue here, perhaps, is that we are forgetting the powerful potential of what music can do, and supposed to do, for the blinding purpose of satisfying only ourselves. We are so busy enjoying criticizing Justin Bieber and basking in our awesome playlists that we began to completely miss the point.

Lifestyle2

So let me remind you: Sure we all have the freedom to be critics.

And by all means do. I encourage it, especially that as people who are at a very vulnerable age, it would be good for us to filter which things to take in. As I have to admit that, yes, there are a lot of bad existing albums out there. There is a very huge gap between being a critic and a hater, though, and to judge music by solely basing them on a criterion that discriminates not the artist or the music itself–but the people who enjoy it–may be indicative of really bad taste.

Elitism represents one kind of hindrance we encounter in our never-ending fight for progress. It spurts the growth of people against the direction which music could lead them to. Instead of appreciating the variety and making the most out of it, we keep pushing others downward. Thus, the whole process just becomes counterproductive. This does not just hold true in the elitism we see in soap operas where the Donyas and the Dons prohibit their children from falling in love with poorer people. In a more realistic and less melodramatic situation, we see elitism here as we exhibit our most undeniable contempt towards those who are just different from who we are in terms of how many bands we know.

Music Lifestyle

And honestly? It isn’t very YOLO of us.

Harris’s The Writer

Art

The-Writer-Painting-by-Justin-Harris

Nothing helps so much as grabbing hold of a pen and a paper when a writer gets attached to gloomy thoughts, and more often than not, out of the artist’s depression, she pens down a beautifully written prose out of a blank page. Think oven-head-sticker Sylvia Plath.

In his latest work, London-based illustrator Justin Harris, makes use of different forms of media to create a series of illustrations titled The Writer. Each piece in the series showcases an assortment of color which spreads on the canvas, but the faceless figure remains in black and white. Harris presents a two-sided view on the inner workings of a writer—her ability to blow away others with her art, and the battle she faces on getting rid of her inner demons. The rather theatrical illustrations Harris makes draw a distinction between the writer’s cheerlessness against the cheeriness of the creative output.

HOW TO: BOKEH BY SHERICA OCBANIA

Things You Like

Creating a bokeh effect is really simple. Before I start this tutorial, I am going to give you guys a simple introduction about bokehs. According to wikipedia,it is a blur or the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of a picture.  The word “bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke” (pronounced bo-keh) which literally means fuzziness or dizziness. Bokeh effects in a picture replaces the original background of the picture into a tiny circular lights that add elegance to the picture itself. A lot of people in the internet, including myself get really fascinated with bokehs.

Bokeh-lights

  1. One thing you need to have is a camera. Preferably a Digital SLR. Creating bokeh with the use of a a point and shoot camera is possible but then the result wouldn’t be as good as the one shoot with a dslr.
  2. If you want a better bokeh effect then you can use the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens or the 35mm f1.4.
  3. Set your camera mode to aperture priority. You can also use the manual mode.
  4. Put your lens on a wide aperture (f/1.8-5.6) and manually focus the object you want to take a picture with. The wider the aperture (closer to f/1.8), the more bokeh.
  5. If you’ve got no subject and just want to create a bokeh effect with the street lights then manually focus your camera and tada!
  6. Also the farther you are to the background, the more effective the bokeh will be. Make sure that the background has lights. Like car lights or street lamps work best in this project. Having just a simple background would just create a regular blur.
  7. Using a tripod would be helpful too especially when you’re shooting in a dark place.
  8. If you’ve got no camera (which is highly doubtful) and you just want your pictures to have this bokeh effect, you can try downloading bokeh textures from the internet. Open your image » Paste the texture in a new layer » Set to screen, light or overlay mode. And you’re all set with your bokeh-ish photo!

THE ART OF BOOK DESIGNS

Art

Classic. Let us begin first with the matter of semantics. Classic: from the 17th century Latin classicus, meaning, “belonging to a class or division,” and later, “of the highest class.” Classic, as defined by the Apple dictionary, is “a work of art of recognized and established value”; classic as in a piece of literature whose origin are from over centuries ago, classic as in Moby Dick, classic as in Les Miserables, classic as is Tess D’Urbervilles.

Teenagers have an aversion to classic literature, and sadly some many non-teenagers have, too. It may or may not be because of the unorthodox use of words and sentences and punctuations that filled their many pages, may or may not have something to do with English class making classic novels a required reading, may or may not simply be because they did not grow up reading them.

To be fair, reading a classic book requires of its reader a demanding need of time and patience and commitment and research—unless the book is an annotated version, in which case the research had already been done for you and all you have to do is refer to them. The syntax is difficult to follow, the sentences so labyrinthine it does not take much for one to get lost in them. Another reason why the classics are not as appreciated, and one that is truly unfair, is because it is simply, in the minds of the young, “boring” and “tasteless” and “old.”

Penguin_Classics

But they are labeled “classics” for a reason. They are the best of their class. Their values have been established and validated and recognized for centuries. From the classics sprang forth the books that we now have, from Jane Austen to Ernest Hemingway to Doris Lessing to Stephen King to J.K. Rowling. If there are the books people should be read­ing, they are the classics.

What Ruben Toledo did with the deluxe editions of Penguin Classics changes that notoriously flawed perspective so many people have come to associate with the word “clas­sic.” A Filipino fashion illustrator and artist, Toledo has created beautiful makeovers of the much-loved classics.

He has ren­dered the books’ designs with grotesque, cartoonish illustra­tions, with Toledo’s expertise in fashion illustration lending itself into the mix. The covers are stunningly beautiful and fresh and they still have that distinguishing quality each of the book has possessed for hundreds of years. Toledo com­pletely revamped the idea of classic literature with his fresh take on their covers.

penguin-classics-Front

GREAT PROJECTS TO JUMPSTART AN AWESOME 2016!

NEWS

Make 2016 more interesting with little art projects that will hone your creativity and keep your productivity in check! Something to keep your schooling and creative juices in balance.

  1. Project 365- The main idea is you take one picture a day. It can be something related to the happenings in your own world, or it can be something totally random. Check out Merphi’s, Maine’s, Maan’s,  Mare’s and Elisa’s photostreams for examples. It can also be Project 52 if you don’t really have time to take photos. Drawings can count as a photo, right? So it’s basically your decision if you want to do something else for your project 365, as long as you actually finish it.
  2. 100 Movies a year- Just as the title suggests, you should watch a hundred movies within one year. Expand your movie range and go indie or international! Writing skills can be improved as well if you manage to write a review per watched movie.
  3. Project calendar 2016- I just coined that term a while ago. Anyway. The whole gist of the project is you take a photo of a certain number, let’s say number 1 and then you’ll continue up to number 31 and make your calendar for January. February has 28/29 days (thanks for the heads up!) so you’ll have to take pictures of numbers 1 to 30. That goes on to December!
  4. Project the-world-is-gonna-end-next-year-so-you-better-plan-ahead- The title said it all. List down the things you wanna do before 2017 aka your bucket list. But of course this is just a joke, but it’s still something to make your life more exciting and lived to the fullest.

great-projects-to-jumpstart

Any other projects you’re currently working on?

Edit: I had a slight typo. Sorry about that. February has 28/29 days. I can’t bend the space and time continuum.